Sunday, 28 April 2013

Steamed Pork Buns (Chinese style)

Click here to order book

I love going out for Yum Cha, its's such a nice little way to eat lunch on a weekend.  China Town in Melbourne has a whole street full of wonderful chinese restaurants and cafes. A series of little trollies are pushed around and you can select the wares from the many baby steamer baskets piled high filled with goodies including steamed dumplings and buns.

I don't think I have cooked anything from Jamie's Kitchen by Jamie Oliver, until now,  although I do love to browse through it from time to time.
But with the Belleau Kitchen challenge this month it was destined for my kitchen.

Randomly chosen, randomly opened, the book released pork buns!  I had never cooked them myself before and they were so easy I can't help but wonder why.  The filling can be made in advance which is very handy as this can be a drawn out process. This makes 8 large buns.


Filling (can be made in advance)
Olive oil
500g pork mince for ease
sea salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon five spice
3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
1 inch (2.5cm) fresh ginger peeled and sliced
2 dried chilies, crumbed (I used flakes)
1 wine glass of fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons hoi-sin sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
Optional - 1 handful of fresh lime leaves (my poor new little tree took a bit of a hit here)
1x7g sachet of dried yeast
200ml tepid water
250g plain flour
100g cornflour
1 teaspoon salt
50g butter

To Serve 
soy sauce
sweet chilli sauce

How to put this together.....
  • Heat a large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil.
  • Add the pork mince, season with salt pepper and five spice.
  • brown the meat and add garlic, ginger and chillies and continue to fry for a minute.
  • Add orange juice and reduce by half
  • pour the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool
  • Empty yeast into a second bowl and add half the tepid water 
  • in another bowl sieve the flours and salt and rub in the butter
  • When the yeast has bubbled up, pour in the rest of the water, then add flour and butter
  • Mix to form a soft dough
  • Leave to prove in a warm place, covered with cling film, until it has doubled in size, then break it into pieces about the size of a walnut and shape into little round balls. 
Take one of the risen dough balls and flatten it out on the palm of your hand until it measures 21/2 in in diameter. Press it down in the middle and put a desert spoon of pork mix in the middle.
Wrap the sides of the dough up around the filling, pinch and seal it up and place sealed side down on the line leaves in the steamer.  
Place on lime leaves in the steamer basket - this may have been more aromatic if placed in the boiling water under the bamboo steamer instead of under the buns. 
 Leave a gap if possible between buns so they can rise. Allow to sit and prove for 5 minutes before you steam them. Put the lid on and steam over a pan of boiling water for about 10 minutes until the buns are cooked and the filling is hot (cut one open to check).  Serve with little bowls of soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to dip the buns in.  I also steamed some green beans, brocolli and sprinkled with spring onions as an accompaniment. These buns could be made even smaller and would be ideal for finger food.

Entering this in the Random Recipes Challenge for April at Belleau Kitchen.

Friday, 26 April 2013


ANZAC Slice - Slouch Hat - Rosemary
We have just celebrated another ANZAC Day and in true form the biscuits were made in abundance-
See last year's post for the recipe here.  The house always smells delicious on these mornings.

The weather was nearly perfect for the Dawn Service this year, albeit it was cold, the march to the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne was swamped in sunshine.  The TV was full of diggers telling stories both sad and happy and scenes of Services held around the world in Turkey and France. This is a day when we pause to remember those we lost and those who are still serving.

My day started with a phone call from two of my grandsons who wanted to know what time  I would be going around to their place to make Anzac Biscuits..... they wanted a little help  ( I hope that tradition continues). 

My own biscuits were made and taken as a gift for a friend along with some rosemary from the garden.
Traditionally sprigs of rosemary are worn on the lapel on ANZAC Day. Rosemary has particular significance for Australians, as it is found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula.  Its is said that rosemary improves the memory and so fits well with the response at the end of services - 
A local coffee shop had been selling "Anzac Slice", so having given away all my biscuits  I thought I would have a go at a slice.  I used exactly the same ingredients as for the biscuits and pressed the mixture firmly into a shallow slice tin lined with greaseproof paper.

Mark the slice/bites lightly with a knife and bake in a low oven (150C) for 20 mins or until golden brown.  Cut the slice into pieces and leave to cool on a rack (it is really difficult not to eat them while still gooey!).

This mixture makes 9 big slices or 18 bite size pieces either are ideal for breakfast on the run or lunch boxes (maybe reduce the amount of sugar).
Click here for recipe

This is also a day to remember my grandmother who died on ANZAC Day 25th April 2003 aged 96 and even though she had never tasted my Anzac Biscuits I am sure she would have loved them.