What is it about cold and rainy weather that makes me want to make all of my old childhood favorites? I had a serious craving for steamed pork buns, the kind I used to eat growing up. We would get a huge order of these from the local ajuma who churned them out by the dozen, flash freeze them, and enjoy them all winter. We would have regular steamed and fried mandoos on a regular basis, but the jjimbbang mandoo was always a special treat. These mandoo differ from the traditional dumplings because they use a yeast-based dough. They are fluffier and more filling than the normal dumplings you make using wanton wrappers.
3 c AP flour
1 c warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive or other vegetable oil
2 tsp active dry yeast (about one packet)
1/2 tsp salt
- Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well
- Knead gently and then set aside in a warm place to rise
- When dough has doubled in volume, punch down and then knead again gently
- Allow dough to rise for another half hour
1 lb ground pork
1 tsp soy sauce or fish sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 c finely chopped green onion
- Saute vegetables for a few minutes, until just starting to get soft (they will cook longer while you steam the filled buns, so be careful not to overcook the veggies at this point). Set aside
- Cook the pork with sesame oil, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and garlic.
- Add the cooked pork to the vegetables and stir to combine. If there is a lot of liquid, drain carefully.
- Roll out dough on generously floured surface
- Divide dough into 16 equal pieces
- Roll into discs about 5-6 inches across. If possible, make the edges thinner than the middle
- Fill dumplings with about 2-3 tbsp of ground pork /vegetable filling
- Bring edges to center, and crimp while going around
- Put filled pork bun onto a pre-cut disc of parchment paper. Or if you’re lazy like me, you can use cupcake liners
- Allow buns to rest for 30 minutes
- Place buns into steamer, and cook for 20 minutes
While the pork filling is traditional, this is an easy recipe to make vegetarian. You can substitute or add in almost any vegetable, including squash, zucchini, potatoes, or mushrooms. It would also be great with tofu and kimchi. Normally, I would add some red pepper flakes, but I was sharing these with a friend who doesn’t like spicy food.