Buns & Dumplings – Pan Fried Buns

Kimchi Pork Rib Pan Fried Buns, by Reggie Soang

Pan-fried buns are one of the most popular street foods in Asia. The buns are fried in a thin layer of oil until crispy, and then steamed with water until the buns are soft, pillow and juicy in the center. Dip the buns in vinegary, sweet, salty, and spicy sauce and indulge in these buns!

For Chef Reggie’s Cooking Series:

Kimchi Pork Rib Pan Fried Buns
Serves: 2 people

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes (not including inactive time)

For the dough
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (3g) yeast
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) water
1 tablespoon oil (13g)

For the filling:
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped, about 1 + 1/2 cup
1 cup chopped kimchi, liquid strained
2 cups chopped cooked ribs**
1/4 cup chopped scallions

**any cooked meats would do, and if no leftover proteins are available, cook one pound of ground pork with onions and kimchi. Season the filling with salt, soy sauce, and ground black pepper to taste.

For the dipping sauce:
4 pieces B&G hot pickled cherry peppers, finely chopped
5 tablespoons (50g) rice wine vinegar
2 + 1/2 tablespoons (26g) Chinese Black Vinegar (Chinkiang Vinegar)
2 + 1/2 teaspoons (16g) soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon (1g) MSG
2 teaspoons (7g) sugar

For cooking:
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon corn starch

  1. Make the dough first by dissolving the yeast into the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add oil to the water and then add to the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Knead the dough until nice and smooth on the surface and let it proof at room temperature for 1 hour until the dough doubles in size. 
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat up a skillet with oil on medium-high heat, sauté onions until nicely colored, and then add chopped kimchi. Cook onions and kimchi until liquid from the veggies is evaporated. Turn off the heat and add chopped ribs and scallions. Chill the filling in the fridge.
  4. While waiting for both the dough and filling to be ready, make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients together.
  5. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down and knead it a few times, and then roll it out to a log that is about 1 inch thick. Divide the dough into 30-gram portions and roll each one into a ball. This recipe should produce 15 portions. 
  6. Working one dough ball at a time, flatten it with the palm, and then roll it out to a disk about 1/16-inch thick with a rolling pin. 
  7. Using one hand to turn the dumpling wrapper in a circular motion, and use the other hand and the rolling pin to roll the edges out until the entire wrapper is about 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter.
  8. Put a heaping spoon of the filling in the middle and make pleats along the edges while lifting the wrapper towards the middle to form a pouch. Pinch tight on the top and repeat. 
  9. Rest the buns at room temperature for 10 minutes before cooking.
  10. To pan-fry the buns, heat up the oil on medium-low heat and place the buns close to one another inside the skillet. Once the bottom starts to sizzle and turns golden brown, pour in corn starch slurry, made out of 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 1 cup of water. Bring the liquid to a boil and turn down to simmer. Put a lid on the skillet and cook until the bottom of the skillet is nice and crispy, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  11. Invert each buns onto a serving plate, and serve hot with the dipping sauce. Bon appétit! 

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