Time: 2 hours
Yield: 15 servings
The Year of the Tiger calls for a dish with tigerish taste! Pan-Fried Pork Buns are filled with savory, meaty pork goodness accented by fragrant soy sauce and sesame oil. Enveloped in a crispy and toothsome dough, Pan-Fried Pork Buns are a celebration in and of themselves. The vinegar dipping sauce adds just that much more tang and savory flavors to the mix, making them truly irresistible. A tiger can't change its stripes, and these buns can't be anything but delicious!
IngredientsFor the filling: • 1/2 pound ground pork • 1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated • 2 tablespoons soy sauce • 1 teaspoon sesame oil • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing cooking wine • 1 teaspoon sugar • 1 teaspoon white pepper • 1 teaspoon black pepper, optional For the dough: • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more to flour a work surface • 1 teaspoon instant yeast • 1 teaspoon sugar • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 10 tablespoons water, plus more as needed For the frying: • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed • 1 cup water, cold, plus more as needed • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds, for garnish • 1 teaspoon spring onions, finely chopped, for garnish For the vinegar dipping sauce: • 2 tablespoons black vinegar • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce • 1 teaspoon sesame oil • 1 tablespoon green onions, finely chopped
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, 1/4 cup spring onions, ginger, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, sesame oil, cooking wine, 1 teaspoon sugar, white pepper, and black pepper, using a spatula to mix it well and evenly.
Cover the filling mixture with cling wrap and let it refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
In a separate large bowl whisk together the flour, yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, baking powder, and 10 tablespoons water, mixing until a dough forms and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Knead the dough with your hands or a stand mixer until the dough becomes smooth and soft. Add water a few drops at a time if it proves difficult to handle.
Form the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a cutting board.
Let the dough rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Knead the dough for a few minutes to remove any air bubbles.
Flour a work surface. Transfer the dough onto the prepared work surface and roll it into a log.
Divide the dough log into 15 even pieces and roll those pieces into balls.
Flatten the dough balls into 3-inch circles. The center of the balls should be thicker than the edges.
Add 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture into the center of each dough circle.
Bring the edges of the dough up, enclosing the filling, and pleating the edges together to seal the bun.
Turn the buns pleated side down and place on a parchment-lined plate or a parchment-lined tray.
Cover with a tea towel and let them rise at room temperature until risen but not doubled, about 20 minutes.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, place the buns in the oil pleated side facing down and giving each bun about 1/2-inch of space. Be prepared to work in batches if necessary.
Cook until the bottoms turn a golden brown and become crispy, for about 2 minutes.
Add the cold water to the pan, making sure the water is about 1/2-inch deep and covers about 1/2 of the buns' height.
Cover the lid and cook until almost all the water has evaporated, for about 8-10 minutes.
Remove the lid and lower the heat to medium.
Cook until all the water is absorbed and the bottom is a crispy brown, about 2 minutes.
Garnish with black sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon spring onions.
In a small bowl, combine the black vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon green onions.
Serve the buns hot with the vinegar dipping sauce.