I first saw these buns in China Town, when I went to the Chinese New Year Celebrations. They are a steamed bread bun, stuffed with all kinds of Thai meats and salty egg till they're bursting out.
There's two versions of this I've seen, one has an extra layer of pork mince and corn flour in the middle to hold the roll together. If you want to make that version, mix a couple of tablespoons of corn flour, with pork mince and seasoning. Add this at the filling stage along the center of the bun then stick the other ingredients into this. I preferred to keep the bun dry, so I could drizzle some dim-sum sauce on it, and this variation tends to soak up fat from the pork mince.
Ingredients for 4 Buns
220 gms Flour (all purpose flour)
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
230 mls Water
2 Tablespoons Oil
Ingredients For Filling
2 Hot Dogs
5-10 Sliced Cooked Sweet Sausage
1 Hard Boiled Salty Egg
4 Shitake Mushrooms
1. If your shitake mushrooms are dried, leave them to soak them for 10 minutes in warm water.
2. Mix flour and dried yeast.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the water, oil, sugar and salt together until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Add the water mix to the flour mix. You want to make a firm dough here, so adjust the amount of liquid and flour to achieve this. Too dry, a little more water, too wet, a little more flour.
5. You need to work this dough for a good 2-3 minutes. Pushing and folding (kneading action) to make it more elastic. It's not going to be baked, so it doesn't need the full working that you'd use for making bread, on the other hand it isn't a cake, it does need kneading.
6. Place dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes to rise.
7. After 30 minutes, knock it down again and work it again for a couple of minutes more
8. Again cover with a damp cloth, let it rise again for 10-15 minutes.
9. Cut it into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a finger bun shape.
10. Place on greaseproof paper squares in the steamer. Space them well apart they will expand.
11. At baking school, they had a steam room to let doughs rise, at home I put a little water in the steamer, and just warm it up so there is a little warmth and moister inside the steamer. Then leave the dough in that state for another 10-15 minutes so the buns puff up again.
12. Turn the steamer on full, steam them till they're cooked through, 10 minutes is usually enough for my steamer. You can check they are cooked by sticking a toothpick in and seeing if it comes out clean. If it's not cooked it comes out with some dough mixture on it.
13. Cut the ends of the hotdog sausages in a cross pattern. Then cut them in half.
14. Slice open the bun, stick slices of the pork, half a hotdog, a slice of salty egg, slices of shitake mushroom and some pork hair, all sticking out of the bun for the bursting effect.
15. Put the bun back to steam for another 5 minutes, the hot dog sausage will open up, and although Thai sausages are already cooked, its safer in a hot country just to steam them again like this.
16. This is nice with a little dim-sum sauce drizzled over it (half white vinegar, half light soy), or even a little fish sauce or Maggi sauce.