Monday, January 3, 2011

Panfried Pork & Scallion Mini Buns

Yum. Yum. Yum.

Words can not describe the yumminess of these bite sized buns. And this is one of those dishes that I thought was incredibly difficult. But I assure you, although it may be time consuming, it really is quite simple.

Originally from Shanghai, the dough is made with yeast and we all know how lovely yeasty breads can be. And together with the pork filling is simply delicious.

I made these as my potluck contribution to the NYE's party we attended. I also made some toasted honey pecans with sesame seeds. Basically this recipe but with pecans.

May 2010 was the month and year that started my obsession with all things food and weight gain. Thank you 2010 for being good to me. Through ups and downs, trial and errors, its been a fun ride but its time to say goodbye. So long 2010!

As I sat quietly and reflected back on the past year....I had a huge brain fart and forgot what I was thinking about...I realized how much I ate learned. Let's talk again at the end of this year shall back to the buns.

I suggest you prepare the yeast dough first. And do not be intimidated by the ingredients list and directions. It really is quite simple. Just a bit time consuming.

Printable Recipe
Pork & Scallion Filling
Courtesy of Asian Dumplings
10 ozs Fatty Ground Pork, coarsely chopped or loosen with fingers
2 tsp Finely Minced Fresh Ginger
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Scallions, white & green parts (about 3 scallions)
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Rice Wine
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Water
*Yields 32 small buns

Basic Yeast Dough
1-1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup LukeWarm Water
2 tbsp Canola Oil
2 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
12-1/2 oz or 2-1/2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour

1. Put the yeast in a small bowl and add the warm water and allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk in the oil and dissolve completely. Set aside.

2. Combine the sugar, baking powder, and flour in your food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine. Keep the processor running and add the yeast mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream and allow to process for about 20 seconds or until the dough starts to form a ball (add a bit more water if your dough does not form) knead the dough in the processor for about a minute to allow most of the dough to gather together.

Press down on the dough. It should feel soft and should not stick to your fingers. If the dough seems a bit wet, simply add more flour and knead until the dough is manageable. Take a lightly oiled bowl and place the dough and cover and allow to rise in a draft free area for 45 minutes. I placed my covered dough in the oven. Use right away.

If you're not using the dough right away. Tightly wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator. When you're ready to use the dough, allow the dough to come to room temperature.

Make the pork & scallion filling...

1. Either coarsely chop or break apart the ground pork meat to loosen up the meat. Add the ginger and scallions, mix well using your hands.

Combine the salt, white pepper, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and water in a small bowl, stir to combine. Pour the mixture over the pork and scallions, mix well. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes at room temperature if you're making the buns right away. Or place in the refrigerator overnight and allow to reach room temperature before using.

Prepare your dough...

1. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work area. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten to a thick disk. Cut the disk in half and cover on half by placing a bowl or lid over the dough so that it prevents drying.

2. Roll the dough into a 1/2 to 1/4 inch log and cut into 16 pieces. Its best to cut the log in half to make even size pieces. Lightly roll each piece into a ball and flatten to a 1/4 inch disk.

3. I used a fondant rolling pin with the pink guard and rolled out the pieces to 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Keep the rim of each circle thinner and the middle a bit thicker. Sprinkle with flour to keep from sticking.

Prepare a lined baking sheet dusted with flour to place your buns on.

4. A) Hold the dough circle in a slightly cupped hand and add about 2 teaspoons of the pork & scallion filling. Keeping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the dough clear around the edges.

B) Begin pleating. Using your thumb and index finger gently pull the edges toward the middle creating pleats.

C) Once you have reached the last pleat, fold over pinch together and gently press to seal. Place the bun pleat side down on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have used up all the pork filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 30 minutes or until 50% larger than their original size.

While the buns are rising make your dipping sauce...

1. Take 1 tbsp of finely minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, 1-2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp grape seed oil & 2 tsp sugar, whisk well. Add a bit of water the sauce is too salty or vinegary. Taste as you go.

Preheat your cast iron skillet to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of canola oil for a medium skillet and a 1/2 tbsp more for a larger skillet. Add the buns pleated side up 1/2 inch a part, the buns will expand while they're cooking.  Fry for about 1 to 2 minutes or until they are golden or light brown. Gently lift to check the color. Flip the buns allow to brown on the other side. While holding the lid over the buns, add enough water to the skillet about 1/4 cup. Cover lightly with a lid or aluminum foil allowing the steam to escape. Allow the water to bubble away, about 5 minutes. Checking to see that the buns do not burn.

When you hear sizzling, remove the lid. Allow the buns to fry for about 1 more minute until bottoms are brown and crisp. You may flip and brown the other side as well.

Reheat leftovers with a bit of oil and water in a non stick skillet on medium heat. But I have a feeling that these lil treats will pretty much disappear right before your eyes.

I urge you to try making these at home. They'll for sure be a family favorite. I promise. Enjoy!
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35 Reactions to this post

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  1. Luciana said... January 3, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    Ciao cara, realizzi sempre delle ricette buonissime e perfette...sei davvero brava, un abbraccio e buon anno

  2. Fun and Fearless in Beantown said... January 3, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    These look lovely and I'm sure they were a big hit!

  3. jose manuel said... January 3, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Que bueno y rico se ve esto. Se ve delicioso.

    Saludos y feliz año

  4. I'm a full-time mummy said... January 3, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    My hubby will drool over this! He's a pork fan!

  5. Dionne Baldwin said... January 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    I read the title, saw the photo and I swear I could smell the wonderful aromas that go along with these little treasures.

    Time consuming is aok when it is something like this! Kind of like lumpia or gyoza, they may be time consuming but SO worth it!

    If it weren't for your photos I would be intimidated by this but it seems simple enough that even I could pull this off! Maybe.

  6. jean said... January 3, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Yesterday, Trader Joes was handing out samples of their pork buns from the freezer section and I was impressed by how they tasted. Of course I took home to packages. These would be even better, I'm sure. These seem doable to me--I'd better give them a try. I kinda like making my own dough now. :-)

  7. Swathi said... January 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    These are delicious, I was looking for the recipe so that i can try with veggies.

  8. Newyorkerbyheart said... January 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    OMG they look amozing!! I so much have to try them - thank you for the recipe :-)

    My best,
    Birthe from Denmark

  9. cooperl788 said... January 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    These look like lovely little pillows of goodness, perfect as an appetizer when we have company over. Yum!

  10. Roxan said... January 3, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Lisa these look delicious! How quickly were the gobbled up?
    OH these are from the Asian Dumplings cookbook, how do you like it? I have this book saved on my amazon wish list (it's more of a bookmarking tool for me). I really want it!

  11. Jennifurla said... January 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Oh yum, what a great treat for everyone. The savory dish is just die for.

  12. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said... January 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    This look delicious, Lisa! Now I just need to come up with a good pork substitute :(. Too bad it provides so much flavor in Asian cooking!

  13. Zoe said... January 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM

    This is my favorite too but there is too much effort involving in its cooking and we usually eat out to have this treats. Got to make these myself one day.

    Happy 2011 and look forward to see more lovely pictures of your cooking and your little man for the new year :D

  14. luckybunny said... January 3, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    As soon as I get to the grocery store I'm making these, they look so good!

  15. Hannah said... January 3, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    Like always your pictures and food look amazing!! You are going to make it really hard for me to cut out the grains LOL!

  16. Chef Dennis said... January 3, 2011 at 9:05 PM

    I bet those little beauties didn't last long, they do look delicious! You do make them sound so easy, even if they are time consuming. I may have to give them a try!

    heres to another successful year of blogging my friend!

  17. SUNFLOWERS8 said... January 4, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Ciao Lisa buon Anno ^_* ricetta salvata, presto la proverò, grazie!
    Buona giornata

  18. Anonymous said... January 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    How much water do you add to the yeast? It says 3/4 water... but 3/4 of what?

  19. ~Lisa~ said... January 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Thanks guys!

    @ Roxan, I like it so far. The recipe is really good.

    @ Xiaolu, you could use beef. It would be equally good.

    @ Hannah, sorry I know you're on that diet.

    @ Anonymous, thank you for noticing that. I fixed it. It is 3/4 cups.

  20. New York City Girl Expat Abroad said... January 4, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    I love this post... I know a LOT of love goes into making these.. Sebastian and I (he's Japanese) made Gyoza, and I think dumplings, etc, can be so versatile, but I love mine with insane amounts of shitake...

    Sebastian can fold them well, as for me... um.. I can't sew a button so that should tell you something.. but piping cakes, etc... I can do... Looks super!

  21. jen cheung said... January 4, 2011 at 10:37 PM

    You are such a talented chef Korean Mommy. This looks like those Shanghai buns I usually have in Shanghai restaurants. Looks delicious I would have it with red vinegar :)

    jen @

  22. Monet said... January 4, 2011 at 11:54 PM

    The pleated dough looked so pretty in your hand. These buns are beautiful, and I'm sure the filling is spectacular. I love pork and I love yeast! This would be a lovely little appetizer for a dinner party (or a fantastic main course with a side of veggies and some rice!) Thank you for sharing this plate of scallion goodness. I hope you have a beautiful Hump Day!

  23. MONONOKE KITCHEN said... January 5, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    I adore pork buns!
    Great recipe and great blog!

  24. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines said... January 5, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I hear you about the eating problem. I haven't even wanted to look at food, although I couldn't help but be memorized by these buns. Our pig is on the coals today, so I guess the diet will have to wait a couple of more days. Have a great week.

  25. Sommer J said... January 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    These look fabulous, Lisa!!! This is definitely bookmarked for making in the near future. My children would LOVE this. Pork, dough, dipping sauce??? Yes, please. Thanks for sharing!

  26. lena said... January 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    these look cute and delicious, have not eaten this for a long time though, thanks for sharing!

  27. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said... January 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

    These look delicious Lisa! Homemade wrapper sounds wonderful and I think you can make Xiao Long Bao (soup dumpling)! It's my favorite. It's also popular in Seattle because Din Tai Fung has recently opened here. :D
    They have a huge window to show people making the wrapper from scratch just like yours.

  28. blackbookkitchendiaries said... January 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    these look absolutely yummy! i love the step by step photos as well. it got me craving for some right now. thanks for sharing this and have a great day.

  29. Fresh Local and Best said... January 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    I am so bookmarking this recipe to try! I love these dim sum-like appetizers, especially when they contain pork and are fried!

  30. Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said... January 5, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    These look and sound absolutely amazing! I do not have much experience with Korean food, but would love to learn. I just got home from work a bit a go after a long day and boy I wish I had a few of these right now. Happy New Year!!!

  31. Lisa said... January 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    These look like restaurant quality. Sounds like a delicious way to bring dim sum into the home. I'll definitely keep this recipe in mind.

  32. Newyorkerbyheart said... January 21, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    I just made these - HUGE succes!! - thanks for the recipe :-)

    You can see them on my blog:

    My best,
    Birthe from Denmark

  33. Kate said... May 6, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    I used to be so intimidated by yeast breads and I am so glad I got over that fear. These look de-lish! I can't wait to try making them.

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