Baozi (Bāo Zi 包子) being a member in the Chinese dumpling family is well-known for its round shape and beautiful pleats. It is often described as a type of "bun with filling", because of its soft skin made in the same way as Mantou. You can cook the Baozi in the traditional way, to steam; or to steam-fry, a popular way origin from Shanghai called 生煎 (Shēng Jiān, meaning steam & fry) in Chinese.
When I was a kid, I always chose Baozi over Jiaozi (traditional dumplings). Most of the time my parents had to chase me and beg me to eat more, since I was not a good eater. However unlike the usual occasion when there were Baozi on the table, I was willing to grab some and ate them with a bowl of rice porridge. The major difference between Baozi and Jiaozi was only the shape, but mysteriously I was more attracted to the earlier one. Eventually the shape makes a difference!
THE LEAVENED DOUGH FOR THE SKIN
After the shape, the key reason why I preferred the Baozi was for its spongy skin made of the fermented dough.
The thick and soft texture of the dough is made the same way of the Mantou. It could absorb the broth of the filling, which made it juicy and flavorful.
THE STEAM-FRIED BAOZI
As the Chinese name says, the way of cooking "steam-fry" is to cook the Baozi in two ways at the same time: steam and fry.
Pan-fry the bottom of the Baozi first, then add in water to let the steam cook the whole buns. When we take a bite of the Baozi prepared like this, we can have a little bit of everything: crispiness and softness of the skin, plus the juicy filling.
STEAM-FRIED BAOZI WITH BEEF FILLING 牛肉生煎包Course: SECOND COURSECuisine: CHINESEDifficulty: MEDIUM
You can cook the Baozi in the traditional way, to steam; or to steam-fry called 生煎 (Shēng Jiān, meaning steam & fry) in Chinese.
- The Dough
All purpose flour: 400g
Dried yeast: 4g
- The Filling - Group 1
Minced beef: 500g
Five spice powder: 1 tsp
Sichuan pepper powder: 1 tsp
Grated ginger: 1 tsp
Scallion (chopped): 1
Water: 3 - 4 tbsp
- The Filling - Group 2
Soy sauce: 5 tbsp
Dark soy sauce: 1 tbsp
Oyster sauce: 1 tbsp
Sesame oil: 1.5 - 2 tbsp
Sunflower oil: 2 tbsp
- The Dough
- Melt the yeast in water. Then add the water little by little into the flour, at the same time stir the flour with the chopsticks to mix it well.
- Knead the flour into a dough. You should look for a dough with solid and soft texture and at the same time non-sticky to the fingers. Rest it for 15 minutes.
- (15 minutes later) Knead the dough again until the surface turns smooth. Cover and rest it until its size doubles.
- The Filling
- Mix all the ingredients in Group 1 together. Keep stirring towards the same direction until the liquid is well absorbed by the beef.
- Chop the onion into small pieces.
- Heat up a wok with some sunflower oil. Add in the chopped onion and stir-fry it until its color turns golden brown.
- Add in all the rest ingredients in Group 2 and mix well.
- Leave the onion to cool down, then mix it with the beef prepared in Step 1.
- Assembling The Baozi
- Take the dough and keep kneading it in order to squeeze out all the air from the fermentation.
- Roll the dough into a log, then divide the log into small pieces (around 15g each) using a knife.
- Roll each piece into a disk shape using a rolling pin.
- Fold the Baozi following the below photo guide. Also check out the 6th Way of Folding in the video tutorial here below.
- Lay the Baozi on a surface leaving some space among each other. Rest them for 40 - 60 minutes.
- Heat up a skillet with a layer of sunflower oil.
- Lay the Baozi inside the skillet and pan-fry them with medium-low heat for one minute until the bottoms turn golden brown.
- Add in hot water into the skillet covering half of the Baozi.
- Cover the lid and let the steam cook the Baozi inside the skillet for 6 - 8 minutes.
- (6-8 minutes later) when the water is all evaporated, turn off the heat and take out the Baozi.
- Sprinkle some chopped scallion and sesame. Enjoy it!