How is it possible then, that this was my first experience making a steamed dumpling dough? The fact remains, and I owe my thanks to my pregnant and insatiably hungry Japanese friend for inviting me over to make these on a rainy spring afternoon.
We followed the recipe and technique illustrated clearly by Nami of Just One Cookbook (a blog I've come to revere and resource often for Japanese cookery), and were pleasantly surprised at how simple both the dough and filling were to prepare. I say "simple" because I believed none of the 1,000 steps needed to prepare these were particularly difficult. It just requires vigilant organization, and some basic cooking skills. Also helps to have the right tools. Read through Nami's blog to make sure you have what you need.
I vow to keep making (and eating) these until my crimping improves. Work, work, work.
Note: Before you embark on this adventure, make sure you have a large bamboo steamer that fits atop a large pot. If the steamer hangs over the edge of the pot, it can burn. Wetting the steamer can help prevent catching.
Once the dough has doubled in size, dust the working surface with flour and divide the dough in half and then roll each piece of dough into a log. Cut each log into 5 even pieces and then cut each piece in half. Form each piece of dough into a ball and dust the dough balls with flour to avoid sticking to each other. Space each ball apart and cover loosely with damp kitchen cloth to avoid drying out. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
Take a ball of dough and flatten it with your palm. Then roll it with a rolling pin into a round sheet. Here’s how I roll the dough. Hold the top of dough with left hand and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough with right hand. You only need to roll up and down on bottom half of the dough. After rolling 1-2 times, rotate the dough about 30 degree with left hand. Repeat this process until the dough becomes thin. The center of dough should be thicker than the edge.
|photos from Just One Cookbook|
Scoop 1½T of filling (with a 1½T cookie scoop or spoon) and place in the center of the dough.
Hold the dough with the left hand and seal the bun using the right index finger and thumb. First, pick up a corner of the dough with your right index finger and thumb and pinch together. Without moving your thumb, use your right index finger to pick up the dough and pinch it with your thumb while rotating the dough clockwise with your left hand.
Repeat this process about 10-12 times (=10-12 pleats) until you seal the last part of dough by pinching it tightly. Here are some tips: your left thumb should hold down the filling and use your left fingers to turn around the wrapper. Use your left index finger to help pleating. Also, lift up the pinched pleats slightly while you make the new pleat so the filling stays inside the dough.
Once you finish sealing the last part of dough, twist the pleats further with your right index finger and thumb to maintain a tight seal. If you’re left handed, reverse the directions.
|photo from Just One Cookbook|
Place the bun on a piece of parchment paper that fits the bun (for small size, 3” x 3”). Cover the finished buns with plastic wrap and repeat this process with the rest of dough. Let the buns rest for 20 minutes.
|don't worry about imperfect crimping. it'll be delicious either way!|
Bring water to boil and place the steamer on top of the pot. Once the water is boiling, place the buns (with the parchment) in the steamer tray leaving about 2” between each bun (buns will get larger while being steamed). Close the lid and steam over high heat for about 12 minutes.
Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce. We drizzled a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic sauce over them. Pure crack.