- 10 g yeast, dried
- 530 g cake flour, sifted
- 50 g sugar
- 375 ml lukewarm water
- 30 ml vegetable oil
- 500 g shredded chicken, pork or beef
- 10 ml black- or red-bean sauce
- 4 - 6 spring onion, chopped
- Sesame oil, for brushing
To make the dough: Combine the yeast, sifted cake flour and sugar. Add lukewarm water and vegetable oil. Mix to form a soft dough then knead on a lightly floured surface, until soft and smooth.
Transfer to a lightly oiled container, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Halve the dough and knead each half for 2 minutes before rolling into a 5cm x 25cm sausage. Divide into 12 equal portions. Using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, flatten each portion into a circle, 7cm in diameter.
To make the filled buns: Mix shredded chicken, pork or beef with a drizzle of blackor red-bean sauce, or oyster sauce and chopped spring onion.
Place 15–30ml of the meat mixture in the centre of each dough disc.
Lift the outer edges and pleat to close at the top, ending with a pinch. Brush each bun with a little sesame oil then cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Transfer to a steamer and steam, tightly covered over briskly boiling water, for 10 to 15 minutes.
To make the plain buns: Brush each dough disc with a little sesame oil then indent the middle using the end of a chopstick. Fold down the middle to form a half moon. Crimp the edges tightly shut using a fork. Proceed as with the filled buns.
Cook’s tip: Serve this Chinese delicacy with barbecued pork and hoisin sauce.