You know you're a little obsessed with food (or have a food problem really) when you're watching youtube videos in a foreign language just to drool at food, whilst you should be working too. That's what I was doing last week with this youtube clip. Whilst the langauge was too much for me the fried beef buns really caught my eye so I decided I'd have a little go at recreating something similar myself.
I thought about making these with Chinese chives then settled on spring onion as they're far more accessible. In fact if you're into cooking Chinese food then these are likely going to be a store-cupboard meal, and damn cheap too - spot on for these thrifty times. Even if you haven't got the ingredients I think you can buy them all in a standard supermarket, although you'll have to put up with those tiddly bottles of stuff they sell. I've tried and failed many a time to fold the delicate spirals of bao but I just cannot get them presentable, here though I get to squash them flat after I massacre them, which is perfect.
The results, even if I say so myself, were outstanding. The wrappers held everything in during cooking so with the first bite masses of juice burth out - fragrant with ginger, sesame and spring onion and rich from the beef. A dip of soy, rice vinegar and chili cut through the fat and added welcome heat. With 250gr of beef and 200gr of flour this should have done a couple of people but I ate them all, feeling pretty bloated by the end - but smiling.
Fried Beef and Spring Onion Buns
Makes 6, which should do two of you
200 gr of dumpling flour (or half plain half strong white)
100 gr boiling water
Pinch of salt
250 gr of minced beef, not too lean, you want those juices
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 ts finely grated ginger
1 TB light soy
1 TB rice wine
1 TB sesame oil
1/2 ts sugar
1/2 ts salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 TB light soy
1 TB rice vinegar
1 ts chili oil
Splash of sesame oil
Mix the flour with a pinch of salt then add the boiling water, stirring well to combine. Knead for a cople of minutes until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and let rest for an hour.
Mix filling ingredients until well combined. Stirring in one direction really brings them together. Leave this to rest until the dough is ready.
Roll 1/6 of the dough (this will be 50 gr) out into a circle about 12cm across, you can flour the work surface if it is sticking. If you can it is handy to have the edges thinner than the middle. Whilst doing this leave the rest in clingfilm so it doesn't dry out.
Place 1/6 of the beef in the middle (slightly over 50 gr here) then fold the wrapper around it. I do this by continually pleating around and around. When you reach all the way around there will be a hole so pinch it shut with a twist. There may be excess dough at this point, you can nip this off with some scissors. Once selaed squash, pleated side down, into something about 6-7cm diameter and 2cm thick. Repeat 5 times.
Heat some oil in a large frying pan over a low to medium heat. Fry the buns for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
Mix the dip ingredients together and serve. With the boiling juices inside it is probably best to wait a couple of minutes before eating though.