Japanese/Chinese cooking: Ebi Buta man (Steamed shrimp pork bun)

Now and then, I crave for steamed buns. You can buy those at Asian store, but Asian store we go to is 2 hours drive away. So, I tend to make from scratch and have fun with it.

 I have introduced Buta man (Steamed pork bun) before here, and this entry’s recipe will be with mixture of shrimp and pork.

I like both.

As you might have noticed by looking through Japanese cuisine recipes on our blog,  some of the dishes in Japan has Chinese food influences, but it is adapted to Japanese culture and made with a little different ingredients or called different. Just like “Sushi” is adapted to American culture and you find sushi made with something more appealing to people here in the states.

 In Japan, you would find “karee man” (steamed bun filled with curry flavored meat with vegetable,dough is yellow color), “Niku man ” (steamed bun filled with meat usually ground pork filling), “An man” (steamed bun filled with sweet Azuki beans paste). You can usually find them being sold hot at convenience stores after September through winter in Japan.

When we went back to Japan last October, my father had Kalbi steamed bun from convenience store once and he said it was good.

Other seasons, you can buy those at frozen section and all you need to do is to steam them for about 15 minutes or so on stove top.

In our local area’s Asian restaurant who serves Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food, they had steamed pork bun as special menu for one month. It was good but it was so expensive! One bun cost us $6…

It was okay bun, and over priced bun.

 If you have about 3 hours to spare, you can make your own from scratch.

Most of the time out of the 3 hours is down time; waiting for dough to proof so, not much cooking involved.

If you have kids, they can participate the bun making and have fun with it. You can be creative for the fillings. I am sure that kids will be experts on this creative department.


Steamed Pork and shrimp bun…

When you cut into half…..

This is what you see.

Ebi Buta man (steamed buns with pork and shrimp meat fillings)

Ingredients for Steamed bun dough:

1.5 tsp of dry yeast

2 tbs of table white sugar

3/4 C milk

84 grams (1/2 C) unbleached bread flour

260 grams (2 C) unbleached all purpose flour

1/8 tsp table salt

1 tbs baking powder

2 tbs vegetable oil

Ingredients for filling:

1 stalk green onion chopped

1/4 sweet onion chopped

1/4C bamboo shoot chopped

 3 dehydrated shiitake mushroom hydrated and chopped

0.4 oz cellophane noodle dry, hydrated, chopped

thumb nail size ginger grated

4 oz shrimp peeled divined

 10 oz ground pork

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp table sugar

2 tsp oyster sauce

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tsp sake

1.5 tsp corn starch

<Steamed bun dough;8 buns>

1. Preheat the oven at 200F

2. To 3/4C of warm milk 110F temperature, add 1.5 tsp of dry yeast and 2 tbs of table white sugar and stir and wait til you see some bubbles coming up on top (let it stand about 5 minutes to 10 minutes)

** Take the water temperature to make sure the water is not too hot or too cold for yeast to be activated. Too hot temperature would kill the yeast and it would not proof as much as you wish it would be.

3. To other bowl, add 1/2C of unbleached bread flour, 2 C of unbleached all purpose flour, 1/8 tsp of table salt, 1 tbs baking powder, 1 tbs water and mix well.

4. When you see the bubbles on yeast-water-milk-sugar mixture after about letting it stand about 5-10 minutes, pour the mixture into flour mixture and add 2 tbs of vegetable oil and knead till surface becomes smooth (about 8-10 minutes kneading)

5. When the dough surface becomes smooth and elastic, roll the dough to ball and drizzle extra virgin olive oil in the bowl grease the inner side of the bowl and coat the rolled dough with extra virgin olive oil lightly and put the rolled dough back into the bowl and seal it with saran

6. Turn off the oven and place the sealed bowl with rolled ball of dough  in the oven and set the kitchen timer 80 minutes

7. While you are waiting on the dough to proof.. move onto filling making.

<Pork and shrimp meat filling>

8. Chop 1 stalk of green onion, 1/4C bamboo shoot  3 dehydrated shiitake mushroom hydrate them in water and set it aside

9. Chop 1/4 sweet onion and cooked to translucent in sesame oil let it cool

10. To 10 grams cellophane noodle, add boiling water enough to cover and let it soak for 15 minutes and drain the noodle and chop

11.  Put 3 oz shrimp peeled divined into food processor and make paste, and another 1 oz shrimp peeled devined for rough chopped to about 1/4″ size

12. To one bowl, add 10 oz ground pork, 4 oz shrimp (some that were made into paste and some were chopped), 1/4 C bamboo shoot, 1 stalk green onion chopped, 1/4 sweet onion chopped, 3 shiitake mushroom hydrated and chopped, hydrated and chopped cellophane noodle, thumb nail size ginger grated, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp white table sugar, 2 tsp oyster sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbs soy sauce, 2 tsp sake, and mix till it gets sticky and then add 1.5 tsp corn starch and mix well

13. Cover the filling bowl with saran, keep in the fridge till the time you need to use

14. After 80 minutes, the dough in the oven should be proofed. Divide the dough to 8 portion and roll to balls and place onto non stick foil sprinkle with all purpose flour in the cooking sheet.Then cover with saran and put it back to oven to proof again. Set the kitchen timer 15 minutes.

15. While waiting on the second proof, take out the parchment paper and cut to 3″x3″ square. You need 8 of them.

16. When you hear the beeping of kitchen timer on 15 minutes proofing, now you will fill the dough with filling. Take the filling out from fridge.

17. Take one ball out and roll out to about 4″-4.5″ diameter circle and press the 1/2″ inner side all around

** Make sure not to roll out too thin because if the dough was too thin, dough can break during the steaming process

18.  Divide filling to 8 portion and roll one portion and press some and make like mini burger pattie

19. Place the mini pattie onto the rolled circle dough, and pinch the dough together.

** To pinch the dough, take far side edge dough and nearest edge of dough, and press. Then take both (left and right) side of edge of dough and press to seal. Then, twist on top. It is helpful if you had small bowl of water to dip your finger in and help the dough to seal well.

** Make sure the twisted top is sealed well. Otherwise, during the steaming process, twisted top can open and meat juice would come out.

20. After filling the dough, place the filled dough onto cut-out parchment paper you have prepared. and put the bun with parchment paper on cookie sheet and cover it with saran again and put it back to oven and set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes to proof again

21. While you are waiting on the filled dough to proof.. set the steamer to steam the buns, and let it come to boil, and once boiled, turn down the heat to medium and set the steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes.

** One way you can steam stuff without bamboo steamer using wok, but you can steam stuff other way

 The way my mother and I steam stuff is to use big wide mouth deep pan. We out bit of water enough to touch the steamer when you place the steamer in it and then, set the vegetable steamer and put proofed bun on the steamer with parchment paper still on the bottom,and place the kitchen towel on top of pan mouth and put the lid on and fold the edge of the towel up so it won’t touch the fire (if your stove is gas) Then steam  for 15-20 minutes on medium heat.

** Kitchen towel helps suck up the steam and it prevents steam going back down to the buns. If there were no towels used, steam drops to buns and you will get soggy buns.

** With bamboo steamer, you do not need towel to prevent steam dropping to the buns because bamboo suck the steam

22.After 15 minutes of steaming, voila! you get steamed buns!


Jan 17, 2017 | Comments are off | Asian cooking 911

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