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Asian Steamed Buns with Kale and Bok Choy

Asian Steamed Buns with Kale and Bok Choy

Project: use up all the greens continues.

I wasn’t joking when I said we got a ton of greens.

Especially when you consider we made both these and the winter greens beignets the same week.

I’ve never had a authentic steamed bun, so making them from scratch was ambitious to the say the least. But the result was incredibly satisfying, despite the fact that traditional bao (buns) are usually filled with pork. There’s nothing about this mushroom, kale, and bok choy filling that comes up lacking. It has a heartiness and a sweetness that masks any and all of the bitterness that most winter greens tend to harbor.

If you don’t have one of these amazing bamboo steamers, I suggest you make room for one in your kitchen immediately (tip: they make great potato/onion storage when you’re not using them). We should really use ours more. And now that we’ve discovered the miracle that is steamed dough, we just might. Simply place the steamer over a pot of simmering water (or if you have a wok the steamer can be placed down inside of it, as long as it sits above the water and not in it). Fill it with whatever fish, veggies, dumplings, or buns you’d like. It’s a quick and healthy alternative to sauteing or even baking.

And I’m all for healthy.

It means I can eat more cake after dinner. :)

Asian Steamed Buns with Kale and Bok Choy

Yield: 16 buns

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

For Dough:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain almond milk or soy milk, at room temperature

For Filling:
1/2 pound trimmed kale or mustard greens
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 pound bok choy, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sweet chile sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sriracha sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the warm water, honey and yeast and let stand until foamy, 10 minutes. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the salt. Stir the almond milk into the yeast mixture, then stir in the flour. Knead the dough gently until smooth but still slightly sticky; transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, 50 minutes.

In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the greens until just tender, 1 minute. Drain well, let cool and squeeze dry, then coarsely chop.

In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and shallots and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bok choy, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the greens, chives, basil, soy sauce and sweet chile sauce and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.

Cut out sixteen 3 1/2-inch parchment paper squares. Punch down the dough and transfer to a floured work surface. Form it into a rectangle and cut into 16 equal pieces. Using floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a ball. Sprinkle the balls with flour, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

Working with 4 pieces of dough at a time, roll the balls out to 4-inch rounds, dusting with flour as needed. Fill each round with about 3 tablespoons of the filling. Bring the edge of the round up and over the filling and pinch the seam closed in pleats. Set the buns seam side down on the parchment squares and transfer to a baking sheet in the refrigerator until all of the buns are filled.

In a deep skillet or wok, bring 1 1/2 inches of water to a boil. Set a bamboo or metal steamer over the water. Arrange 4 buns parchment side down in the steamer. Cover and steam over moderately high heat until the dough is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Steam the remaining buns. Serve plain or with Sriracha.

Recipe from Food and Wine.

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35 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I love the filling! Very nice!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

    i absolutely love steamed asian buns and have been thinking about making them- however i never thought of making the dough myself (i was just going to use the pre-made ones in the freezer aisle of the asian market)! this is inspiring and your buns look lovely. i’ll be bookmarking this recipe for sure :)

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I love bao zi, and had a ton (vegetarian ones, too, they were amazing!) in China last summer. I have to say it intimidates me to try and make them myself, but they do look perfect. Yumm!

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Hmmmm – these look amazing! I don’t think I could have just one or two or three.

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Oh wow, these look delicious!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

    omg. i need to make these. i love steamed buns and these are healthy too!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:47 am

    these are SO DELICIOUS!! i love that you made these from scratch!! I’m totally craving one now, Lindsay!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Oh. My. Lord. Yes.

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I would love to try these. I have a steamer insert for my pasta pot. Think that would work?

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

    This looks delicious. My mom keeps wanting to teach me her recipe for steamed buns but I was uninspired until now :)

    Reply

    • Posted On February 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      I made them with chives. Thank you for the recipe!

  11. 11
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

    These are lovely!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Steaming is such a good (and healthy!) way to cook things, I really should do it more often – starting with these!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Right before leaving Montreal (2 days, I believe) I had the most amazing steamed Asian buns and I have been wanting to make that kind of dough myself. This makes me feel like it’s possible! Thanks so much!

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Beautiful buns, ma’am :)

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    These are absolutely beautiful! I LOVE Asian Steamed Buns.

    Reply

  16. 16
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Yay for greens!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I didn’t know steamed buns were so easy. I have a steamer. Now I just need to discover the miracle that is steamed bread, too! Fun!

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Fabulous, just fabulous. Love the flavors. Keep the greens coming!

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I love the filling, sounds great with all the greens. And any excuse for me to get to eat cake is a good one!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On January 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Oh that looks good! I never had a steamed bun, but your looks wonderful! I bet I’d love it!!

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On January 27, 2012 at 3:49 am

    Will definitely be trying this recipe. Steamed pork buns are one of my all time favourite foods, but I am always conscious that they aren’t very healthy. Here is the perfect alternative. And it looks utterly utterly utterly delicious. Great post – thank you.

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On January 27, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Very beautiful buns! And perfect for January when everyone is in need of a few fresh greens. Lovely post.

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On January 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Have you tried cake flour instead of all purpose? There is this texture. airiness, and lightness of NYC steamed buns that I cannot duplicate.

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On January 29, 2012 at 12:14 am

    These look so good! I’m always looking for new uses for greens, too; and I love steamed buns. I will have to make these for my recovering vegetarian boyfriend. Thanks!

    Reply

  25. 25
    Tara
    Posted On February 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    OMG!!! I am eating these as we speak, amazing, amazing, amazing! The only correction I have to suggest is that in the recipe it says to add the chives, but it isn’t listed in the ingredients list. EVERYONE READING THIS, stop what you are doing and steam these babies up! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On February 5, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Steamed buns are on my Top 10 Favorite Foods list, for sure.

    I’ve made them only once, and without stuffing (I like plain mantao dipped in soy or spicy sauce), but would love to try out this delicious-sounding kale and bok choy filling!

    Reply

  27. 27
    Posted On February 7, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Gosto muito, Parabéns pelo site

    Reply

  28. 28
    Posted On February 14, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Yum! I need to try this at home!!

    Reply

  29. 29
    Breanna T.
    Posted On February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    This look wonderful. I wanted to know if I could use regular milk or 2% instead of almond or soy?

    Reply

  30. 30
    Posted On June 7, 2012 at 5:32 am

    This sounds delish! I love dimsums and this is such a great vegetarian option. Yummy!

    Reply

  31. 31
    Dale
    Posted On June 7, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Hi! Great tasting recipe. I took one shortcut though…..I used Canned biscuit dough instead of going scratch. It is just so much easier/quicker. Try it sometime, I think you’ll be surprised at how good things turn out. It can kinda spoil a person…..

    Reply

  32. 32
    Beth
    Posted On June 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Thanks for posting this! Student groups at my college used to sell these all the time to raise money, but I hadn’t had one in years. I wish I’d known sooner how easy they are to make! You also inspired me to use the steamer basket that came with my rice cooker for the first time – my paranoia about scalding myself was definitely not warranted!

    Reply

  33. 33
    Posted On August 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Wow. I made these for dinner and they are amazing!
    Thank you so much! I used 2% Milk instead of soy and I was wondering what the difference is? I’ll have to try it. :)

    Reply

  34. 34
    Posted On January 16, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Now THIS is the recipe I was looking for! They look absolutely beautiful! So simple, yet so elegant. I’m excited to give these a try!

    Reply

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