Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rou bao (Meat bun)

I learn 2 techniques about making pork patties from this lesson and i can now apply it when i make meat balls and other dishes involving minced meat....

You will read about the techniques in the process of preparing the meat below.

What do you need for the meat filling?

- Pork 500g, cubed finely (or use minced pork)
- Water chestnut, 6 pieces, cubed
- Mushroom, soaked and diced finely
- Spring onion 1 stalk
- Potato starch 2 tbsp
- Salt 1 tsp
- Sugar 3 tsp
- Oyster sauce 2 tsp
- Pepper
- Sesame seed oil 1/2 tbsp
- Cooking oil 1 tbsp

How to prepare the meat filling

In a large bowl, combine pork, salt, 2 tsp of water and starch powder. Mix well.

First technique

Continue mixing and tossing the meat into the bowl for 5 - 10 mins until the minced pork has a starchy and sticky texture. Pork (similar to prawns) has a natural ability to generate a starchy texture after kneading. If you cannot achieve the texture, add more water and starch powder. (Mixture 1)

Once you can lift the entire ball of pork in a ball using your hand and it doesnt disintegrate, the pork is ready for use. The end product is meatballs that has more bite and the meat holds it shape after you bite into it.

Second Technique

In a separate bowl, combine mushroom and water chestnut. Add sugar, pepper, osyter sauce and mix well. (Mixture 2)

We all tend to add the above ingredients and seasoning to the pork and mix together. BUT according to the instructor, if you mix them separately before adding to the pork, the pork just taste different.

Shared with hubby this technique and he thought of a scientic explanation. Water chestnut and mushroom will release water and at the same time, absorb the marination better. If you add the to pork directly, the pork will soak everything up. Makes sense, dont know...

Combine mixture 1 and 2, mix well.

Add sesame seed oil, cooking oil and spring onions, mix well.

Spoon the conbined mixture into 22 balls of meat and place them onto the tray. Keep them in the freezer and freeze it for 10 mins as frozen meat balls are easier to wrap into the dough later.

What do you need for the bun skin (dough)?

- 300g plain flour
- 50g sugar
- 5g baking powder
- 5g yeast
- 5g white oil
- 1 egg white
- 120g water (approximate)

How to make the dough?

Place flour into a bowl, make a hole on the centre of the flour.
Add sugar, baking powder, yeast, white oil and egg white into the hole, mix it with a bit of the surrounding flour until mixed.

Adding water very slowly, bring in the flour from the sides of the whole and incorporate the flour into the dough. Adding water slowly each time to incorporate more flour.

When all the flour are added to the dough (the bowl will be clean), remove from bowl into a clean table top and continue kneading.

If the dough is dry during kneading, cut the dough through the centre, flatten it, wet hands and rub hands over the flatten dough. Fold in the dough from the sides and continue kneading.

You will need 5 - 10 mins for the sugar in the dough to dissolve and the action of the yeast to kick in. The completed dough should have a smooth surface and springy to the touch.

Once the dough is ready, roll out into a long 'rope' and pinch it out into cubes of 20g each. the dough can make 22 balls of 20g dough.

Flatten dough using the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out the sides until you have a flatten circular shaped dough. The centre of the dough should be thicker to be able to hold the meat.

Please frozen meat balls onto the dough and pinch the sides of the dough to wrap meat inside the dough, seal tightly.

Place completed bun onto a piece of paper and let it rest for 20 mins before steaming.

Steam on high for 10 mins and you will have freshly steamed bun from the steamer

View cross section of the bun here.

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