Chinese Steamed Buns – Recipe

steamed-buns.jpgI have never really been a fan of steamed buns. The ones that I  tried in the past have always been quite stodgy and uninteresting, so I generally avoided purchasing them at restaurants or in the frozen food section at the supermarket. 

All that has changed however since we started making them from scratch. Now I can’t resist eating two or three (or maybe even four) of these dumplings as an accompaniment to a meal. And I am not just talking about eating them with Chinese food but with anything really. Tonight we had them with spare ribs.

This recipe turns out a light and fluffy steamed bun with not a bit of stodginess. Mind you, you have to ensure that the air is warm enough for these to rise properly as I made them once in the middle of winter and I pretty much could have used these as paper weights.

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Steamed Buns

(Source: Fresh Chinese)

1/2 tsp dried yeast

1 tsp sugar

175 ml (6 fl oz) warm water

275g (9oz) plain flour

1 tbs olive oil

1. Combine the yeast and sugar in a bowl and stir in the warm water. Leave in a warm place until the yeast becomes frothy.

2. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast mixture and oil. Stir to combine.

3. Using your hands, work the mixture into a dough. Use extra flour if required.

4. Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth.

5. Return the dough to a bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

6. Lightly knock back the dough for a few seconds and divide into 20 pieces.

7. Roll them into round balls and place each piece on a square of greaseproof paper. Allow to rise again for about 15 minutes.

8. Steam for approximately 10-12 minutes.

9. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Note: These can be frozen and then reheated in the steamer at a later date.

So if you haven’t been a fan of chinese buns in the past, give this recipe a go, I am sure you will soon become as addicted to them as I am. Yum – enjoy

Catching Up On Some Recipes

baileys-creme-brulee.jpgOver the past few days I have been trying out some of the recipes that I have found on various food blogs on the internet.

The first was for Baileys Creme Brulee which I found at the Berry Simple blog. I love Creme Brulee at the best of times but when I saw that this one had Baileys Irish Cream in it I had to give it a go.

This was a really easy recipe to prepare. Basically whisk the eggs and sugar and then add the warmed cream and Baileys.

The result was a beautifully creamy dessert and since we had a blow torch we were able baileys-creme-brulee-torch.jpgto recreate the hard caramelized top that is characteristic of creme brulees. This is definitely a ‘must try’ so head over to Berry Simple for the full recipe.

While you are over there you may as well try their recipe for the Cauliflower Cheese which you will find in the same blog post.

We gave this a go as well since I love the taste of Dijon mustard which I thought was an interesting addition to this recipe.

cauliflower-cheese-with-dijon-mustard.jpgThe cook in the house had to end up making double the quantity of sauce since one big cauliflower was really way too much for the amount of sauce in the recipe.

This was good though and we will be making it again. You can get the full recipe here.

The last recipe I tried was the Pumpkin Pie. Now I am a big fan of Pumpkin Pie but I wanted a really simple recipe and I found one over at Cuisine Capers.

Since I am terrible at making pie crusts I just purchased a pre-made – which is why the pie crust in the photo looks so good. My pie crusts normally fall to bits and really I just couldn’t be bothered with the effort.pumpkin-pie.jpg

I actually made this recipe twice as the pies came out so well and it was so easy to do. The first time I made it I didn’t really have the right quantities of ingredients but I just mixed what I had together and just made sure it tasted good and surprisingly enough it came out great.

To view the full recipe head on over to Cuisine Capers.

Shrimp with Brussels, Garlic and Sage Recipe

shrimp-brussels-and-sage.jpgTonight the cook in the house made a sage and garlic shrimp recipe which I found over at the marttikaarts blog. I love anything with shrimp in it so this was a must have for me.

I love the taste of sage in this and garlic always goes well with shrimp.

I really would like to try this again with fresh brussel sprouts. We had to use frozen as we couldn’t find any at our local farmers market.

This was a really simple recipe and well worth making.  To view the full recipe click here.

Is it Larb, Laap, Larp or Laab? – A Recipe for Larb

larb.jpgWhich ever way you decide to spell it, this is one tasty and ever so simple meal and one that I love. Larb is a traditional dish from Laos but is also very popular in Thailand.

My brothers girlfriend just happens to be Thai and on a recent visit she made up a batch of larb. It was the first time I tried it and I was hooked. Since then the cook in the house has made this up at least 4 times. I honestly could have this every night it is that good.

Essentially it is a mix of ground meat (chicken, beef or pork) with chilli, lime juice, mint and fish sauce. There are most likely variations on this recipe but this is how we make it.

Just be aware that this dish contains chilli so may be a little ‘hot’ for some. Just adjust to taste.

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(serves 4)

500g ground chicken, beef or pork

4 shallots or onion (diced)

1tbl Thai ground chilli  (adjust to taste)

3tbl lime juice

2tbl fish sauce

1/4 cup mint (or coriander) leaves



1. Cook enough rice for 4 people.

2. Fry mince and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice on medium heat until just cooked. Remove from heat.

3. Saute the chilli and shallots.

4. Add the mince, lime juice and fish sauce.

5. Serve topped with mint or coriander.

Cinnamon Toast and Other Things

Cinnamon Sticks and Ground CinnamonThis morning I just felt like something different for breakfast. I am not a big breakfast eater at the best of times because I just don’t feel like eating that early in the morning.  I generally have to force myself to eat something but it is usually around 10am or so that I finally get around to making something to eat.

Funnily enough, when I am on holidays and living out of a hotel, I have no problem rushing down to the buffet breakfast and eating as much as I can. Maybe it’s because someone else is preparing it for me or because the food is so much more interesting. Or maybe it’s because I have walked for miles the day before and my body is craving some food to keep the energy levels up. Who knows? What I do know though is that I just enjoy good hotel buffet breakfasts.

But let’s not get me started on travel. This is one of the things that I really love to do. And my best friend and business partner, Wanda, who works on this website with me, loves to do the same. So any excuse and we are off! But now I am getting sidetracked…

So anyway, back to today’s breakfast.

Lately I have been scouring the net looking for good cooking blogs to add to our Blog of the Week section and found a site with a nice Cinnamon Toast recipe. I love cinnamon so this really appealed to me. I have had it saved in my favorites for a while now but never got around to making it. So today was the day.

It took about a minute to put together the ingredients and another minute or two for it to toast and there I was with a nice simple and really tasty breakfast.

Now I will probably get bored with this pretty quickly if I have it every day. Not because of the recipe but because that is what I am generally like with food. I like variety and I am not one for having the same thing day after day. But I will keep this one for those occasions when I am wanting something sweet for breakfast.