Monday, 12 November 2012

Fried Chicken Buns

Finished buns

I do feel more than a little bit of shame that I am posting another recipe that originates from Sunflower Food Galore, but I've had a week where I cooked almost exclusively using recipes from that blog. Hopefully she is of the belief that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I can't ape a dim sum restaurant at home, as there are usually only two eaters and just making a batch of one type will make more than we can eat. If I want the full experience of trying lots of delicious morsels, I do have to eat out. However, I do enjoy the process of making them, especially when I am in the mood for pottering around in the kitchen.

These chicken buns are half fried, half steamed, so you get a golden crispy base, but with a steamed top and filling. We couldn't eat all of them in one sitting; there is something very heavy about dim sum.  I set aside half of the buns, clingfilmed in the fridge, prior to cooking, and had them the following day-they didn't seem to suffer any ill effects from hanging round. Although I would recommend either taking them out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook them, or cooking on a lower heat than usual, as the chicken filling will take longer to cook if it starts off fridge-cold.

Condiments of choice
Before sealing
Buns before cooking

For the dough:
200g white bread flour
100g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
¾ tsp of salt
¾ tsp of quick acting yeast
2 tbsp of cooking oil

160 – 175 ml of water
For the filling:
350g chicken breast cut into small pieces (I used thigh as I am not keen on breast)
1 ½ tbsp of grated ginger
2 tbsp light soy
1 ½ tbsp of Shaoshing wine
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
2 – 3 tsp of sesame oil
1 heap tsp of cornflour
2 stalks of spring onion, chopped
Few sprigs of coriander, chopped
Small handful of bamboo shoots (optional), cut into small piece (I left these out)
Few woodears, soaked and cut into fine strips – optional (I left these out)
some water and little oil for cooking


Start with the bread dough: mix the dry ingredients together and add the oil. Gradually add stir in the water to make a soft dough. Knead for five minutes until smooth and elastic. Set the dough aside for an hour to rise.

During the dough's rising, mix all the filling ingredients together.

When the hour is up, tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Leave for a few minutes to relax, then divide the dough into 12 equally sized pieces. Take one of the pieces of dough and roll into a ball. Stretch or roll the ball into a 8cm circle. Put a lump of filling in the centre of the circle, and bring the edges together to seal. Dust the bottom of the bun lightly in flour, and set aside to rise. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Heat a little oil over a medium-low heat in a frying pan that has a lid. Cook the buns in batches- carefully transfer them to the pan, and cook covered for 1-2 minutes. Check one of the buns, and if the base is pale golden, the drizzle 4 tablespoons of water around the buns and replace them lid. Leave to steam for another 2 minutes, once the water has evaporated add another 2 tablespoons of water and cook for about another four minutes. All the water should be evaporated.
Serve immediately.

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