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Friday, February 21, 2014

Pork-Filled Buns

As an excellent accompaniment to soup, salad, or Chinese food, these Chinese-style pork-filled buns are one of my old favorites. When I prepared these buns yesterday, I filled them with boned slivers of pork from the barbecued pork ribs Ron had made the day before (see Note). Thus, these buns easily qualify as a Plan-Over.

Pork-Filled Buns:

To Prepare the Buns:


2 lb. (1 kg) fresh or frozen pizza dough (see Further Note)
Canola oil, as needed
Cold water, as needed
2-to-3 tbsp. melted butter or margarine, divided

If using frozen dough, thaw 1-to-2 hr. at room temperature, just until dough is workable. Allow thawed or fresh dough to rise in a medium-sized bowl with a light brushing of canola oil of keep dough from drying out. Let rise in a warm place away from drafts (I use the top of the fridge), covering bowl loosely with waxed paper, before using in this recipe.

To Prepare the Filling:


1 tbsp. curry powder, divided

¼ tsp. cayenne
¾ tsp. sugar
6 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
1-½ tsp. finely minced fresh ginger root
3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced fine
½ lb. raw pork or leftover cooked pork (in short slivers with a width of ¼ x ¼-in. (.6 x .6 cm) to ½x½-in. (1.2 x1.2 cm)
1-½ tbsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
3 tbsp. cold water
1 tbsp. canola oil
½ c. onion, chopped fine

Read recipe through and have all ingredients assembled before proceeding. Combine 1-½ tsp. curry powder, cayenne, sugar, 3 tbsp. soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add pork to soy mixture, stirring until coated. Set aside. In small bowl, combine remaining 1-½ tsp. curry powder and starch. Add water and remaining 3 tbsp. soy sauce, stirring until starch dissolves. 

If using raw pork: Heat oil in large, heavy-based skillet over high heat. Add pork mixture and cook, stir-frying constantly, until pork is lightly golden and no pink remains. Stir in onion, sautéing just until translucent, 2 or 3 min. Add starch mixture to skillet, stirring just until sauce thickens, about 30 sec. Transfer to bowl to cool. Punch down risen dough, proceeding as recipe directs.

If using cooked pork: Heat oil in large, heavy-based skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, sautéing just until translucent, 2 or 3 min. Add pork mixture just until pork is heated through. Add starch mixture to skillet, stirring just until sauce thickens, about 30 sec. Transfer to bowl to cool. Punch down risen dough, proceeding as recipe directs.

With a lightly floured knife on a lightly floured work surface, cut dough into 20 equal pieces, rolling each into a small ball. With a lightly floured pin, roll each piece into a small round about 4 in. in diameter. Place 2 heaping tsp. of filling at each round’s center, bringing edges of dough together to pinch up edges. Dab edges with a little water to hold dough together and seal in filling. 

Lay buns seam-side down 2 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheet or in greased bun pan. Lightly cover with sheet of waxed paper. Let rise in a warm place away from drafts (I use the top of the fridge) about 20 min., until buns have increased in size. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Brush risen buns lightly with butter or margarine. Bake about 20 min. or until golden. Brush with a little more melted butter. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 20 buns.

Note: You’ll find Ron’s fabulous rib recipe indexed as Main Dish: Pork (Barbecued Pork Ribs/Ron’s).

Further Note: Italian bakeries often sell fresh (or frozen) pizza dough. Years ago, it was common to find bread dough in the freezer compartment of the supermarket. Trends change: Its harder - and sometimes impossible - to find that product today.


Prepare soy sauce mixture ...

Adding peeled, fresh ginger ...

And barbecued pork.

Chop onion finely.

Sauté it.

Trim those buns, baby! Cut dough 
into 20 buns while you're at it.

Center 2 tsp. filling on each round.

Using a little water, pinch edges together.

All four edges!

Loosely roll into a ball with lightly floured hands.
Bake, seam-side down, about 20 min.

A delicious bun - with a scrumptious secret inside!
Tomorrow: Six great recipes that really cut the mustard!

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