These steamed piglet buns, with a barbecue pork filling, are such a cute surprise emerging from your bamboo steamer basket!
The hardest part for me was incorporating the food coloring into the dough for the ears and noses, plus, I ended up with pink hands for a day. I ran out of time so, exasperated, I ended up going with the “marbled” look, which actually I don’t mind too much! These piggies might just be heavy drinkers…
You could also just skip the color altogether and I think they’d still be pretty cute.
I tried to do floppy ears by folding one edge under, and a few of them developed a mind of their own, which I don’t mind either. If you’d like more precision, just flatten the dough and cut triangles with a knife and place them flat on the piggies.
Just remember that the noses and ears will grow quite a bit in the steamer.
You can use your favorite Chinese dumpling filling for these buns, or make them without filling by forming them into balls (they will be smaller) and dip them in sauce.
I filled these with a cabbage, pork, and barbecue sauce mixture, and also dipped the buns in some of the sauce.
Equipment you will need:
Both the steamer and the wok are relatively inexpensive. I love mine.
How do these piggy buns taste?
They are an absolute treat! The dough is soft and slightly sweet and pairs so well with the tangy and spicy pork. They’re perfect for a dim sum party!
After steaming these piggy buns, let them cool. Then individually wrap them and place them in a freezer bag and freeze them. You can then re-steam them for 5 minutes straight from the freezer.
Good Luck Breads:
Did you know that pigs represent good luck and wealth in many cultures? On top of that, the Chinese New Year is February 5, ushering in the year of the pig!
And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~
steamed buns, Asian buns, steamed piggy buns, bread, pork, dim sum
Steamed Piglet Buns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 385 grams (2 3/4 cups) bleached or unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 180 grams (3/4 cup) water, plus more as needed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups of pork filling or filling of your choice
- Food coloring
- Black sesame seeds
- Barbecue sauce for serving
- 8 ounces (225 grams) red cabbage, finely chopped
- 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 pound fatty (80/20) ground pork
- 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white (preferably) or black pepper
- 1/2 cup thick Asian barbecue sauce (see note above)
- Add the yeast, flour, sugar, and baking powder to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
- Mix the water and oil in a measuring cup. Using the dough hook, begin mixing the dough while slowly pouring in the water and oil. Mix on low until you have a shaggy dough, adjusting the water as necessary.
- Mix the dough on second speed for about 6 to 8 minutes until you have a springy dough. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour. In the meantime, cut 16 three-inch squares of parchment paper.
- Divide dough into 17 equal pieces and form 16 of them into 1 inch thick round disks. Cover the dough you are not shaping with oiled plastic wrap.
- Roll a piece of dough out into a 5 inch round and place 2 tablespoons o the filling in the center. Fold the dough over the filling, forming a ball, and seal with a bit of water. Place the ball, seam side down, on one of the parchment squares. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the other 15 pieces of dough.
- Knead the food coloring into the 17th piece of dough and form small pieces into 16 noses and 32 ears. With a bit of water, stick the noses and ears on the balls. Use a toothpick to poke the holes in the noses for nostrils. Add the sesame seeds for eyes as pictured.
- Cover the piglets with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Place the buns with their parchment in the steamer, 2 inches apart. Bring about 3 inches of water to a boil in the wok. Just before steaming, use the toothpick to redefine the nostrils. Place the steamer over the water (the water should not touch the bottom of the steamer, but be just below). Steam for about 13 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the buns sit for about 2 minutes. The dough should be shiny. Serve immediately with barbecue sauce.
- Place the cabbage into a colander and mix with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from the cabbage with your hands. Roll the cabbage up in paper towels to remove as much remaining liquid as possible.
- In the bowl, mix the cabbage, pork, bacon fat, pepper, barbecue sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt with your hands. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Use to fill the buns.
Karen’s Kitchen Stories
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