Today I’m going to step outside of Europe for the first time as part of this series and take you to Asia! We’re going to do a BBQ beef baozi recipe (aka BBQ beet steamed buns).
M and I often eat pre-packaged baozi purchased from the local market. I first became addicted to them while we were in Malaysia where they served them at our hotel. I had never even seen them before our trip there.
Most of the baozi at our local market is made with pork filling and M doesn’t eat pork so we’re often limited in our choices. I didn’t realize just how easy baozi are to make on your own if you’re patient enough to wait for the dough to rise, but now that I do, we’ll definitely make these more often!
BBQ Beef Baozi Ingredients
You’ll need a steaming basket and parchment paper to complete this recipe. This serves about 20 buns!
For the dough:
- 2.5 cups of flour (we used wheat flour but you can use all-purpose flour)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1 pack of yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3/4 cup of water
For the filling:
- 1/2 lb of either ground beef or thinly sliced beef
- green onion (to taste)
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- 1/2 cup of bbq sauce (or more if you prefer)
Combine the flour, yeast, salt, baking powder and water in a large bowl. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes. Place the dough in a clean bowl (with some oil spread across the bottom so it doesn’t stick). Cover and set aside for one hour.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Slice green onion. If I am using thinly sliced beef, I first cut it into thin strips and then I sear it in the pan before mixing it with bbq sauce in a bowl. If I am using ground beef, I cook the meat completely before mixing in the BBQ sauce.
Once dough has risen (after about an hour), flour your work surface and divide the dough in half. Roll out the first half and use either a cookie cutter or wide rimmed glass to cut out circles. Roll out the circles until they become thin.
Use a spoon to place the meat in the center of the dough. Add in cheese and green onion to your preference.
There is a more traditional technique for folding the buns which you can find here, but I simply fold up the edges until they meet at the top and then twist the bun until it is sealed. Place a small strip of parchment paper beneath each bun.
Bring water to boil in a small pot and place buns in your bamboo steamer. Steam on high (ten minutes for small buns and fifteen minutes for large buns).
Baozi Steamed Buns Making Tips
Honestly, you can really put whatever you want inside the dough – pizza fillings, macaroni and cheese, and sandwich fillings (like a reuben or pastrami).
You can also make peanut butter and jelly baozi! Or nutella baozi!
If you don’t eat them all, wait until they cool and then freeze them for later! You can reheat them by steaming them for a few minutes whenever the craving hits.
This recipe is an adaptation of this more traditional Nikuman (steamed bun) recipe at Just One Cookbook.
Have you made steamed buns? What’s your favorite filling to put in them? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!