Have you ever wondered how different your life will be if you were to take a different path ? I can’t help but to wonder sometimes what would’ve happen if I’m not married to this man. These were what my husband said “Your blog probably won’t be around. These two munchkins definitely won’t be around. You probably won’t be taking so much photos of food. You probably still work as a dietitian”. Obviously isn’t it? If I went back to my childhood..my love for food and helping my mom out at the kitchen, my love for oil painting and artsy stuff, my love for drawing and writing up stories…all these when I piece them together, they seem to be preparing me for what I’m doing today. Things do happen for reasons !! Even though sometimes in the most unfathomable way. I probably wouldn’t know how to make these pan-fried pork and chives buns….or much of any other food seriously! So, every time I want to spit out curse at the kitchen, I try to remind myself all these cooking, baking, and food photography adventures give me purpose. And sometimes they are reasons why I rise very early in the morning before anyone else so I can have time to prepare the food and take photos of them !!!
I used the same recipe I used to make Momofuku style flat buns. These pan-fried pork and chives buns are actually almost similar to cooking pot-sticker dumplings and gyozas. They are pan-fried to brown the bottom of the buns and then liquid is poured in and then covered to steam the buns until cooked through. I love them because they are somehow crispy at the bottom but yet I can still enjoy the soft bouncy steamed buns at the same time.
Pan-fried pork and chives buns (About 15 small buns)
For the dough:
- 1 lbs ground/minced pork
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups chopped chives
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 2 cups chicken stock for cooking the buns later
Preparing the filling:
Palce the pork, chives, eggs, cotn starch, and pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to mix everything until you get a nice pasty like consistency. Cover with a plastic wrap and let them rest in the refrigerator while you are preparing the rest
Preparing the chili sauce:
Combine all the ingredients together and set aside
Kneading by hands:
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. You'll see it foamy
Place all purpose flour in large mixing bowl, sugar, pinch of salt, and baking powder. Stir to mix it well. Add in the yeast and the rest of the of the water. Stir to mix. It will form a rough dough and rather sticky. Work through the sticky stage and knead until the dough is smooth and silky and no longer sticky to your hand. If it's too dry, add a bit water, 1 teaspoon at a time until you get a nice dough. Continue to knead for about 15 minutes and then continue to the next step
Using stand mixer:
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water in a stand mixer bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. You'll see it foamy
Meanwhile, mix all-purpose flour in another large mixing bowl, sugar, pinch of salt, and baking powder. Set aside. Once the yeast is active and foamy, add in the rest of the water into the bowl. Turn the mixer to low speed and start adding all the flour gradually until it forms a rough dough , add a bit of water (one teaspoon at a time) if it's too dry. Continue to let it knead for another 2 minutes (on kitchenaid) until the dough comes together smooth and silky and no longer sticks to the bowl. Continue to the next step
Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Covered and place in a lightly warm place and let it rise for the next 1 hour. It will double in size.
Cut out 15 pieces of 4x4-inch square parchment paper while waiting. After the dough doubled in size, lightly dust a clean surface with some all purpose flour and place the dough on top and punch the dough down and roll the dough into a long log. Cut into 15 equal pieces. Roll them into balls again.
Wrapping and pan-frying:
Dust your working area with some flour and roll it out with a rolling pin into a thin circle (about 1/4-inch thick)
Working with one dough at a time, place about 1 Tbsp filling in the middle of the dough and bring all the edges together and slightly pinch to seal the top and let it rest while continue to work on the rest of the dough. Keep them covered with a damp clean towel
When finish with wrapping the buns, heat a large skillet with lid over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add the buns, flat sides down and let them brown for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock (it will sizzle voraciously, but don't panic) and cover the pan with the lid. Allow the bun to steam for about 10 minutes. If stock has evaporated but buns are not yet cooked, add more stock in 1/4- 1 cup increments as needed. You may need to work in batches. Don't overcrowd the skillet, as the buns will expand when being steamed. Remove from the skillet to a serving platter with the chili sauce