Steamed buns have yet to slow down moving from hipster status to mainstream finding its way to Central Maine. I love these pillowy soft steamed buns great stuffed with basically anything or just munched on its own.
In Thailand, we enjoy this type of bread in a stuffed bun form called “salapao” in Thai or “baozi” in Chinese. I’ve had a bag of Red Lotus Special flour which is used to make the steamed buns for way over a year. I’ve been trying and trying to make them on my own but alas no time as usual. So I was so happy to discover they were sold at the Veranda Asian Market in Portland. They’re in the frozen section and steam in no time. It’s great to have in your freezer when you need a quick snack. This Chimei brand is nice because it’s a good size (pretty wide) and has a good thickness so it can be overstuffed and not fall apart.
I’ve filled it with duck, pork loin and pork belly. Today I had a craving for Chik-fil-A so I just had to make fried chicken. Super simple sandwich that packed a lot of flavor. I made a maple-honey mustard sauce that paired deliciously with the fried chicken, and the bread and butter pickles balanced the whole sandwich out. I think steamed buns have become so popular because though they let the sandwich ingredients stand out, the bread itself still doesn’t get overshadowed. This is a great way to enjoy the buns, and I’ll definitely be making it more often than not.
Maple-Honey Mustard Sauce – Mix all ingredients
2 T. Mayo (I used Kewpie)
3 T. Yellow Mustard (I used French’s)
2 T. Dijon Mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
1 T. Barbecue Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1/2 T. honey
1/2 T. maple syrup
Simple Fried Chicken
1 Chicken breast sliced thin, 2-3 inches in size (bun is small remember)
Dredge: Mix all ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour (This gives the chicken a nice crispy crust)
1 t. salt
1 t. white pepper
1 t. garlic powder
Batter: Mix all ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. Sriracha
Steamed Buns – steamed 5 minutes (I used a bamboo steamer)
Bread & Butter Pickles
Fry Oil (350 degrees)
1.) Make mustard sauce.
2.) Dip chicken pieces in flour dredge, then batter and then dredge again. Fry until golden.
3.) Steam buns while chicken is frying.
4.) Assemble – pickles, then chicken, and then drizzle with mustard sauce.