Kristine Vu
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Banh Bao

Vietnamese Steamed Pork Buns

Bao are kind of like dumplings but are made with fluffy dough! My mom and I don’t cook together often, but when we do, these are one of the things she loves to make with me. It’s a nice bonding time for us to chat and catch up. My mom used to make this with my grandma as well! This recipe is definitely one of the easier Vietnamese dishes to make.

<h4-tag>Dough</h4-tag><span-key>½ cup</span-key><span-value>sugar</span-value><span-key>⅛ tsp</span-key><span-value>salt</span-value><span-key>⅔ cup</span-key><span-value>room-temperature water </span-value><span-key>½ cup</span-key><span-value>milk </span-value><span-key>1 tbsp</span-key><span-value>vegetable oil </span-value><span-key>4 cups</span-key><span-value>self-rising flour </span-value><span-key>2 tsp</span-key><span-value>double-acting baking powder </span-value><span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Some extra flour for kneading (use very little, though!) </span-value><h4-tag>Filling and some prep work</h4-tag><span-key>2</span-key><span-value>minced garlic cloves</span-value><span-key>2 ½ tbsp</span-key><span-value>minced shallots </span-value><span-key>1 cup</span-key><span-value>dried shiitake mushrooms (can omit)—you will need to soak them to rehydrate (takes about 30 minutes); after, coarsely cut them into ½ inch cubes </span-value><span-key>-</span-key><span-value>Pepper (to your taste)</span-value><span-key>1 tbsp</span-key><span-value>oyster sauce </span-value><span-key>1 cup</span-key><span-value>diced onion </span-value><span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>sesame oil </span-value><span-key>2 tsp</span-key><span-value>sugar </span-value><span-key>½ tsp</span-key><span-value>salt </span-value><span-key>1 tbsp</span-key><span-value>cornstarch </span-value><span-key>3</span-key><span-value>Chinese sausages, cut vertically to quarter-inch thickness </span-value><span-key>1 ⅓ lb</span-key><span-value>ground pork</span-value><span-key>4</span-key><span-value>hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters</span-value>




Dissolve sugar, salt, and water together in a mixing bowl, then add milk and oil and stir again.
In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix in a stand mixer.
Knead the dough for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. If the dough is still sticky, use more flour. The dough should be tacky, but not wet.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then knead again quickly, and divide into lemon-size balls.
Cover until you’re ready to fill the balls.

In a pan, sauté the garlic, shallots, and mushrooms.  
Season with pepper and oyster sauce, then add in onions. Sauté until onions are soft. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
In another bowl, mix sesame oil, pepper, sugar, and salt with the ground pork until fully incorporated.
Add cornstarch; continue mixing to fully combine.
Add the mushroom mix and Chinese sausages into the pork and mix well.
Scoop 3 tbsp of the mixture into a ball.

<h4-tag>Put it all together and steam</h4-tag>
Roll each dough ball out to 5 inches in diameter with a thickness of 1 centimeter (keep the center a bit thicker and the edges a little thinner).
Add the meat filling and a quarter of an egg to the center.
Fold the wrap toward the center and seal the top (it should look like a huge dumpling).
Cut some parchment paper into squares and place them under the bao (so they don’t get stuck in the steamer).
Bring your steamer to a boil and steam the dumplings for 20 minutes.

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