recipe

Gua Bao: the recipe for soft and tasty oriental Taiwanese steamed buns

Total time: 2H30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist
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Gua bao are soft steamed buns typical of Chinese cuisine, a classic Taiwanese dim sum now popular all over the world. Also known as bao buns, gua bao are characterized by a fluffy semi-circular shape similar to a duck's beak, ideal for holding any type of filling. The dough is light, free of fats and animal derivatives, a feature that makes them suitable for everyone and for any type of diet.

The basic ingredients are common and easy to find, you just need flour, water and brewer’s yeast which. Simply mix them and they are ready in just over a couple of hours. The gua bao is steamed, you can use the traditional oriental bamboo steamer, a pot with a steel steamer, or even the oven if it is equipped with this specific cooking mode.

Gua bao are traditionally stuffed with a tender, slowly braised pork belly filling. You can serve gua bao as an appetizer at a fusion-themed dinner, for an aperitif or a party buffet. Fluffy and delicious, everyone will love these Taiwanese pork belly buns.

So let’s find out how to make gua bao by following our step by step procedure and tips.

Tips for making Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns

You can customize the filling by choosing your favorite ingredients and replacing pork belly with salmon, chicken, or roast beef.

You can even use a vegetarian or vegan filling such as tofu or a mix of vegetables.

If you love sweet flavors, also try them with a cocoa and hazelnut spreadable cream.

How to store Gua Bao

Gua bao can be stored at room temperature, in special food bags, for 1-2 days. Once filled, it is recommended to consume them within a few hours.

Ingredients
for the dough
Flour type 0
400 g
Water
240 ml
Fresh brewer’s yeast
10 g
Granulated sugar
1 tsp
for the filling
pork belly
150 g
hard-boiled eggs
3
ripe avocado
1
Chinese cabbage
1 head
Carrot
1
Spring onion
1
Fresh ginger
1
spicy sweet and sour sauce
Sesame seeds
Soy sauce
Peanut seed oil
Fine salt

How to make Gua Bao

Dissolve the brewer’s yeast in water at room temperature along with the granulated sugar. Then add the mixture to the flour.

Mix and then knead with your hands, until you get an elastic and homogeneous mixture.

Form a loaf and put it in a bowl, then cover with cling film and let rise in a sheltered place for about 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled in volume, gently remove the cling film and turn it over on a work surface.

Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1 or 2 centimeters. Then with a pastry cutter or an 8-10 centimeters diameter glass cut out circles.

Stretch each circle slightly into ovals.

Then fold each oval back on itself, thus forming the "duck's beak", place a sheet of parchment paper in the center so that the dough does not stick.

Transfer the buns directly to the steaming baskets, lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Cover them and let them rise for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the vegetables and sauté them over high heat in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh ginger. Deglaze with a drop of soy sauce, add fine salt if necessary and turn off when the vegetables are still crunchy.

Cook the buns by placing them on a boiling water base for about 20 minutes. Then remove the baskets without uncovering them and let them rest for another 10 minutes, before opening.

Stuff half gua bao with the vegetables and sliced ​​hard-boiled eggs, while the other half with avocado slices, slow cooked pork belly, sweet and sour sauce and sesame seeds. Serve and enjoy!

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