The origin of steamed buns is rooted from China. With thousands of years of history, steamed bun has been a staple diet in many Chinese families. They usually come in a variety of sizes and stuffed with different types of filling such as pork, chicken, cabbages, mushrooms, tofu, spinach, etc.
Steamed buns have migrated overtime to many different countries and took on different versions. In Vietnam, the most traditional version is stuffed with ground pork that is mixed with wood-ear mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs or quail eggs and Vietnamese sausage (lap xuong). While steamed buns can be eaten at any meals, they are commonly eaten as breakfast. One of the best feature about these buns is that they can be made in large batches and stored in freezer for later consumption. All you have to do is re-steam them and in a short few minutes, you can enjoy a scrumptious steamed bun just as good as the freshly made one.
For the dough:
1. 1 bag of steamed bun cake ( I used the Rooster brand that was made in Australia)
2. 100g or 1/2 cup of sugar
3. 1 cup of milk
4. 1/2 tsp salt
5. 1 tbsp of cooking oil
For the filling:
1. 1/2 lb of ground pork
2. 1/3 cup of sweet pea and carrot mix (optional)
3. 1/2 of white onion (diced)
4. 2 tbsp of minced shallot and garlic
5. 3 tbsp of minced wood-ear mushrooms
6. 3 hard-boiled egg (cut each into quarters) or 12 boiled quail eggs
7. 1 Vietnamese sausage or lap xuong (sliced into 12 pieces)
8. 1.5 tsp of oyster sauce, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp of mushroom seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder.
Mix flour, sugar, milk and salt in a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Start out at speed number 2 and slowly increase to number 4 once everything incorporated. Knead for about 10 minutes then add 1 tbsp of canola oil (or any type of cooking oil) and continue to knead for another 10 minutes.
Cover and proof the dough for about 30 minutes in the mixing bowl. Once the time is up, divide the dough into 12 equal balls.
While proofing the dough, prepare the filling by mixing all the filling ingredients together except for the eggs and sausages. Divide the meat mixture into 12 equal portions and form them into round balls with a piece of sausage and egg in each meatball.
Roll out each dough ball into a thin, round layer. Place a meat ball in the middle of the dough. While holding the dough on the left hand, creating the pleats around the edge of the dough in the counter-clockwise direction with your right hand in the pattern as seen in the picture above.
Continue pleating until the ends meet and twist the top of the bun counter-clockwise to close the hole of the bun.
Place each bun on top of a piece of square paper to help it from sticking to the bottom of the steamer after steaming.
Place the buns in the steamer, add some white vinegar to the boiling water underneath the steamer to help whitening the buns.
Place a kitchen towel or paper towel on top of the steamer before cover with the lid to catch all the dripping water that could make the buns soggy while steaming.
Steam the buns for about 10 minutes, then open the lid to shake off or wipe off the excess water condensed on the lid. Cover and continue steam for another 10 minutes until done.
You can freeze the remaining buns in the freezer and re-steam or microwave before the next consumption.