Shrimp Buns…Made with a little secret!

28 Dec

Steamed stuffed Chinese buns are one of the best comfort foods around. I’ve had them filled with pork, beef, fish, seafood, you name it. It’s a lovely little fluffy pocket of goodness. I’ve never attempted to make this at home because I heard making the buns can be time-consuming and difficult. You can buy frozen buns in Chinatown of course, but I never seem to get around to that. I started reading online about a cheat method for making the buns. Every site said the same thing, that their mothers told them to do this, but they never listened and now they realize of course that mom was right!

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For my steamed buns, I decided to fill them with breaded fried shrimp, spicy Japanese mayo and sliced cucumbers. I figured if the buns experiment was a disaster, I would still be happy eating the filling components. This recipe will make 10 bun sandwiches.

Shrimp buns recipe cardLets start by prepping the filling ingredients. First, peel, butterfly and devein the shrimp. Lay them on a plate and sprinkle with some salt/pepper. Now you can set up the breading assembly line. I always line these up in order to make the process as quick as possible. Put some flour in the first bowl, put 2 beaten eggs in the second bowl, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs in the last bowl. Put a clean plate at the end to put the finished shrimp. Take each shrimp and coat with flour (shake excess off), then drench in the eggs, and then cover with bread crumbs. You can keep the shrimp in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook them. When you’re ready to cook, just fry them in some vegetable oil. Shrimp cooks really fast, so let them brown and they will literally float when they’re done. Don’t over cook them or else they will get tough.

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Now its time to make the spicy Japanese mayo. If you like spicy rolls in sushi restaurants, this is basically the sauce they use. Mix together 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1-2 teaspoons sriracha (this varies depending how spicy you like your mayo). I like to use Hellmann’s light mayonnaise because it has a more creamy texture. Your mayo will be a light orange color, if you want to kick it up a bit, then add a teaspoon of tobiko (flying fish roe).

IMG_6687Now it was time to try the bun experiment. I was a little nervous, but I had read on enough websites that this cheat method really works. Here’s the secret: use a roll of Pillsbury biscuit rolls. Yes, I know it sounds wrong, but apparently when you steam the biscuits, it changes their texture so they mimic Chinese steamed buns. Take the buns out of the cannister and roll each piece on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a long oval shape and then fold one half over, so it looks like a half-moon.

bunPut the buns into a steamer lined with parchment paper (so the buns don’t stick). Cover the top and steam for 10-12 minutes. The buns will puff up during the steaming process. My finished buns didn’t look exactly like the Chinese steamed buns, but they were pretty close.

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To assemble, take each bun and open them up and stuff with a piece of shrimp, some spicy mayo and a few sliced cucumbers. And that’s it! When I ate the buns, they were very tasty. The buns were a little buttery, but definitely were very close to a Chinese bun in taste. If you have the time and patience to make the traditional buns, go ahead, but I was pretty happy with this cheat method so I’m not gonna mess with this.

IMG_6699You can stuff these buns with anything you like. I think next time I will make a spicy pork belly bun with some of my homemade cucumber kimchi, so I can give all the restaurant pork buns out there a run for their $!

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