Today, I will show you how to make “Steamed Pork Buns” in Japanese style.
We call it “Nikuman” in Japanese, and very popular snack for every generations.
There is a very famous “Nikuman” shop in Osaka loved by people. I like to recreate it at home! I tried so many times to make the recipe and this is it!
The most tricky part is “consistency” of the filling. The filling should not be a meatball in a dough. When you divide the Nikuman into two by hand, the filling should be divided as well.
＜dough＞makes 8 nikuman
150g Cake flour
50ｇ bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
110~120ml (1/2cup) luke warm water
1 tablespoon lard or shortning
1. Put your flour into a large bowl, and add another ingredient. For me, it’s easy to use 3 chopsticks, but you can difinately use a spatula. Stir until all the ingredients evenly combined, then sprinkle 1/3 of water. Stir with your chopsticks(or spatula) until the water distributes evenly. Add next 1/3 of water and repeat the process. Add the rest of water.
Mix all around the bowl and add a splash of water if there is dry flour remains. When the dough comes together, take out onto your working surface. Knead until smooth for 2 to 3 minutes. Add lard and knead another 2 to 3 minutes until the dough comes together again.
2. When the dough becomes smooth, put it back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave it at warm place or 30℃（86℉）oven for 30 mintes until almost double in size.
150ｇ( 1/3 pound )ground pork
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chicken soup powder
2 teaspoons sake
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon ginger juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon potato starch
1 medium onion( 200g)
3. Meanwhile, prepare the pork filling. This is a bit tricky part. If you mix the ingredients too much, the pork stick together and turn out to be a meatball in a fluffy bun. I don’t want that.
To avoid making a meatball, I use chopsticks prevent from overdoing.
Chop onion into small dices. Sautee until translucent, and set aside until comes to room temperature.
Put your ground pork into a bowl, add the seasonings. When the seasonings distribute evenly into pork, add room temperature onion. It looks too much onion, but this is just good and prevent the pork sticking each other.
Before shaping, taste the filling. Take out about a teaspoon of filling, microwave 20 sec. at 600w. If you are happy with the taste, move on to the next step. If you don’t, add seasonings.
Flatten the top and divide into 8.
4. Divide the dough into 8 by weight. Split the dough in the center, and shape into a cylinder. Mark in the center, then mark the center the right half, and left half. Then cut each portion into two. In this way, you will have approximately 8 equal portions.
However, as I am a professional chef, I weigh each piece. Google home mini calculate for me! I can’t live without her!
Shape each dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap until used.
5. Take one dough seam side up. Take your rolling pin ( I am using a thin dim sum rolling pin), push inward about 1/3 way and back, push inward and back. Keep going like so and roll out the dough about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter. The center should be thicker than the edges.
As we pull up the dough, the thickness will be even in the end.
6. Put one tablespoon of filling onto the center, then start pleating. Pull up the dough and pinch to create a pleat, and then next, pull and pinch, to the next, repeat the pleating until reach to the other end. Pinch all the pleats to seal tightly while rotating your bun.
7. Place it onto a piece of parchment paper. Line them onto the bamboo steamer and let it rise for 20 to 25 minutes until slightly bigger than the original size.
8. Steam for 15 minutes on medium-high heat.
When it’s done, do not open the lid immediately. Open the lid slightly and release the steam for a few minute. When you open the lid as soon as it cooked, the pork buns would deflate. Expanded gas in the dough will deflate when it exposed to cold air.
9. Open the lid after releasing the steam, and here you have a fluffy and tasty a perfect pork buns!
Let’s taste it!
The filling is not sticking together, soft but sits in the center nicely. The sweetness from the sautéed onion makes the filling so good! I hope you will give it a try!