Steamed Buns with Pork and Vegetable

Shepherd’s purse might be considered as weed here in America.  But it is a very popular spring vegetable in Asian countries.  They sprout and grow fast when the spring is in the air.  Shepherd’s purse tastes a lot like arugula.  They are both earthy, refreshing but shepherd’s purse has a unique aromatic smell which makes it popular in Asia.

You can find the frozen shepherd’s purse in Asian grocery store.  The fresh ones are rarely seen on the market here.

Ingredients for steamed buns:

3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 whole milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons oil
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Ingredients for pork and vegetable filling

1 package of frozen shepherd’s purse, thawed
2 cups freshly ground pork
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 to 1 teaspoon rice cooking wine
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
a few drops of sesame oil
salt to taste
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup 

Directions:

Microwave the milk on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  The milk shall be warm but not too hot to touch.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk.  Let them sit for 5 to 8 minutes.

Add milk and yeast, along with bread flour, sugar, oil and salt to a stand mixer bowl.  Put on the dough hook and then set the stand mixer to knead the dough at speed 2.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.  It takes about 10 minutes.

Cover it up with plastic wrap.  Proof for 40 to 50 minutes under room temperature; and then transfer the dough to a well-dusted wooden board.  Knead gently to get rid of big air bubbles.

In the meantime, I prepare pork and vegetable filling.

I grind my own pork with a meat grinder.  It is fresher and tastes a lot better.

Drain the thawed shepherd’s purse. Squeeze a little bit if necessary.  Finely chop the shepherd’s purse. 

In a large bowl, add ground pork, soy sauce, salt, sugar, ground white pepper, oyster sauce, sesame oil and chicken stock.  Whisk hard with a pair of chopsticks  or a wooden spoon until everything comes together.

Add chopped shepherd’s purse.  Mix well again.

Equally divide the dough into 30 to 40 pieces.  If you prefer bigger size steamed buns, divide into 20 pieces.

Press down the dough with palm.  With a small rolling pin, roll the dough edge thin.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pork filling to the center.

Wrap it up.  Repeat the process until all are done.

Cut parchment paper into small squares.  Line the bamboo steamers with parchment paper.  Add the buns on top of each piece of parchment paper. 

Cover and proof for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Steamed the buns over high heat for 12 to 16 minutes; when done, wait for a couple minutes before uncovering the steamed buns.

Serve immediately.  

Dipping into vinegar and chili sauce is also a popular way to enjoy them.  O(∩_∩)O~

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Cool any extra steamed buns on a cooling rack; store in Ziploc bags; seal and freeze. 

Steam the frozen buns on high heat for 6 to 8 minutes and they are as good as freshly made!