SEATTLE — DreamWorks Animation's new movie, Abominable, is the story of a teenager who discovers a Yeti on the rooftop of her apartment building in Shanghai. She and two friends head out on a 2,000-mile journey to get the Yeti they name Everest back home to his family in the Himalayas. 

Dumplings play a role in their epic adventure, and guess what?  It's National Dumpling Day!  To celebrate these epic events, we've asked Cooking Dolls' Olive Huang to show us how to make Steamed Pork Bao, a delicious Chinese dumpling. 

Olive is a Seattle-based personal chef with Cooking Dolls, Asian food cooking instructor, and boutique caterer.  She hosts Dim Sum and Dumpling cooking classes at the venue of your choice and guides Asian food tours through the Wing Luke Museum in the Chinatown-International District. 

Cooking Dolls' Steamed Pork Bao

Tools

  • Stand Mixer, paddle attachment
  • Stock pot 10"
  • Bamboo steamers, 10"
  • Rolling pins
  • Mixing bowls
  • Parchment papers/Napa cabbage leaves
  • Two kitchen towels
  • long chopsticks (optional)

Baozi Dough/Wrappers Ingredients:

  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 125g (1/2 cup) room temp. water
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 10g sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Pork Filling Ingredients:

  • 220g (1/2 lb) fatty ground pork
  • 1/2 cup water chestnut
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped

Spices/Aromatics for the water:

  • 60g (1/4 cup) hot boiled water
  • 1/2 inch of ginger, smashed
  • 1 spring onion, smashed
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns

Season for filling:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Make the dough:

  • Add the yeast and sugar to room temperature water and mix well.
  • In an electric stand mixer, add the water yeast mixture into flour slowly. Use the dough paddle to knead the dough in low speed for 8 minutes until the surface is very smooth. Do not under knead it.
  • Shape the dough into a ball in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth or clear wrap and let it rest and rise for 90 min or until doubles in size.

Make the filling:

  • Add the spices to the hot, boiled water and let it infuse at least 30 min until cooled. Make sure to smash your ginger and spring onion before infused.
  • Add the seasoning to the minced or ground pork and start to stir in one direction only.
  • Strain the now-cooled-down spice water, and add it in a tbsp at a time, stirring. After adding it all, continue to stir for 4 min. 
  • Chill pork filling in the fridge until you're ready to wrap. Pop it in the freezer for 20 min to ease the handling while wrapping.

Line each tray of a bamboo steamer with Napa cabbage or parchment paper. Poke holes using a fork throughout all surfaces or use individual parchment paper.

Shape the wrappers:

  • Bring the dough wrapper out to a well-floured surface. Punch down to eliminate air pockets.
  • Roll the dough out to a long log, and cut into 12 pieces. Each wrapper will be about 32g.
  • Shape each wrapper into a round ball. Press ball-shaped dough down with the palms of your hands. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 10 min.
  • Roll out each ball with a rolling pin into a round disk shape (3 in. diameter). 

Wrap the Baozi and steam:

  • Add 25g of pork filling to Baozi wrapper, then start to pleat. Pinch down on side, and then hold first pleat with your thumb. As you pleat, periodically press filling down and in using your other thumb if needed.
  • Close it up and twist it up towards the very top of the Baozi. Shape in between your palms and gently clasp a few times to push the Baozi taller.
  • Place steamer in warm place covered with lid and proof for 30 min. Space out at least 1 in. between Baozi.
  • Bring a pot of water (at least 4 cups) up to boil. Lower the flame to medium and place bamboo steamer onto stockpot to steam for 15 min.
  • Turn off the heat and wait at least 3 min to open the lid.

Note: Do not open lid hastily once cooking or open the lid during steaming.

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