BAO BUNS are slowly becoming a fast food trend across Bangalore and India. Since these buns are steam cooked and served with a spicy meat filling everyone seem to enjoy the soft buns and spicy filling combination.
How and where did these BAO BUNS originate? According to legend, BAO or BAOZI were invented by a Chinese scholar and a military strategist Zhuge Liang during Three Kingdoms period in 3rd century AD initially these buns were served with a piping hot soup to the sergeant.
These buns can be served with any filling even a sweet filling like fruit and icecream its yum. My choice of filling would be mutton ghee roast and prawn chettinad. To create super soft and fluffy bao try to use a bakery grade flour for this recipe you can find bakery grade flour at bakery supply stores.
INGREDIENTS For BAO BUNS :
3 Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour (Maida)
1 Tbsp Yeast
1 Tbsp White Vinegar
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Cup Luke Warm Water
2 Tbsp Oil
Method: Activate the yeast first. In a bowl add sugar and luke warm water add the yeast and mix well once the yeast doubles start kneading the dough. Combine milk powder, vinegar and all purpose flour add the activated yeast to the flour and start kneading to form a soft dough add water if needed to create a soft dough.
Add oil to the dough and knead for 15 minutes or until the dough is soft. Cover the dough with a plate or a towel allow to proof and ferment on the kitchen counter.
Once the dough has doubled in volume knead one last time start forming lime size dough balls dust with flour and roll out to 1/8th inch thickness apply oil and fold. Place the bao on a plantain leaf.
Add water to a wok place steam cooker or we can also use idli container and cooker to steam cook these bao. Once the steam builds place the bao and steam cook for 10 minutes or until done.
INGREDIENTS to CREATE CHICKEN IN BLACK BEAN SAUCE:
250 Grams Chicken Tenders (Breast meat)
1 Tsp Butter + 1 Tbsp Oil
Finely Chopped 1/2 Onion, 10 Pods Garlic, 1 Inch Ginger and 3 Chilies
1 Tsp Pepper Powder
1 Tsp Soya Sauce
1 Tsp Black Bean Sauce
Salt as per taste...
Method: Start with chopping the chicken into bite size cubes wash drain the excess water in a colander and reserve...
Heat a wok on medium to low flame add butter and oil once the oil heats up add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and chilies fry till the raw flavor has gone and the onion should turn transparent.
Add the chicken to the onion masala fry a bit add a pinch of salt and keep frying for 2 minutes once the meat turns pale in color add pepper powder, soya sauce and black bean sauce toss the meat in the sauce check for seasoning and add if needed. Check if the meat is cooked once the meat has cooked reserve.
Chicken tenders cook fast it hardly takes around 5 minutes to create this dish. This chicken in black bean sauce can be served as side with garlic noodles or fried rice. This recipe is excellent filling for Bao...We can also use chicken sausages cut into bite size pieces instead of chicken tenders...
Once the Boa bus are steam cooked we can start serving them filled with meats, mushrooms or veggies of our choice. To construct a bao...fill the bao with meat top with julienne carrots and onions and serve hot...Enjoy...:) Prepare Bao ahead of time and freeze them to create quick bao meal when ever your in a rush.
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Some of my favorite Bao fillings are listed down click on the links for detail recipe.