The steamed bun stuffed with red bean paste is a typical sweet bun in the north China. Back in my childhood while I was living in my hometown Shenyang, we used to buy them from the food stand crossing the street for breakfast.
A LITTLE STORY ABOUT ME
At that time the set-up of street food stand was very basic. In order to keep the buns warm in winter time, the vendor needed to put the steaming hot buns inside a case made of foam board, then covering the buns up with a thick duvet. I remembered the moment when the vendor uncovered the duvet to grab the buns, there would be hot air escaping from the case, making vapor in the air. This scene made deep impression in my mind. It signified a heart-warming breakfast and the new start of the day.
Years later I left hometown for university, afterwards moved to Hong Kong then Italy, I almost never had the red bean paste stuffed buns any more. One reason was that the selections for breakfast has been widened. Another reason was because this bun was not very common in the South China, needless to say in Italy.
A LITTLE STORY ABOUT HER
Last week Virginia of In Cucina con la Valigia reached to me asking if I could make a recipe of the steamed bun stuffed with red bean paste. In 2017 she went on a trip to Beijing. During a trekking & camping trip along the Great Wall, she took the breakfast in a farm house, where she tasted this bun. Virginia told me that that sweet steamed bun made a part of her great memory of her trip in Beijing, and she would love to remake it in her kitchen. I felt so glad and empathetic with her, since this food also used to make my day!
In this recipe I am showing you two ways to cook the stuffed buns: one is with the traditional method: steaming; the other one by pan-frying.
STEAMED BUNS STUFFED WITH RED BEAN PASTE 豆沙包Course: SNACKCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Media
All purpose flour: 400g
Dried yeast: 10g
Red bean paste: 360g
- Melt the dry yeast in water (I suggest to use 10g yeast for 400g flour in winter time. You could reduce the quantity of yeast to 5g in Summer). Add the water little by little to the flour and mix them well using a pair of chopsticks.
- Knead the flour into a dough. You should obtain a solid dough with a bouncy texture and at the same time non-sticky to the fingers.
- Cover up the dough and rest it in a warm place until its size doubles.
- Move the leavened dough to a wood board. Lay some flour on top of the board to prevent the dough from sticking on the surface.
- Knead the dough for a minute to squeeze out the air then divide it into small pieces (around 50g each). Knead each piece into small ball. Cover all the balls to prevent them from getting dry.
- Take the red bean paste and divide it into small portions (around 30g each). Roll each portion into a ball.
- Take a dough and poke a hole at the center using your thumb. Expand the hole using your hand to open it wider.
- Place the red bean paste ball into the hole. Close the bun by pushing the boarders of the dough up with the help of your fist in order to seal the red bean paste inside.
- Place the buns in a steamer and rest them for 40-60 minutes.
- (optional) Draw a red dot at the top center of each bun using the food coloring.
- Place the steamer on to a wok or pot filled with water, then turn on the fire.
- When water starts to boil, lower the fire to medium and continue to steam for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the fire and let it cool for 5 minutes.
PREPARATION OF THE PAN FRIED BUNS
- Following the steps 1-8 in the recipe above.
- Gently press the buns into flat shape.
- Brush a layer of water at the center of each bun and sprinkle sesame on top.
- Heat up a pan and place the buns in it. Pan fry them on medium-low heat for 2 minutes on each side.
- Cover the lid and continue to cook the buns for 5 minutes on each side. Check from time to time, make sure the bottom is not burnt.
Are you convinced to make them yourself and have a taste of breakfast from the north China? Do you also have other Chinese dish that you would like to make at home? Let me know in the comment below.
To know Virginia's trekking and camping experience along the Great Wall in Beijing, head to her blog In Cucina con la Valigia.