i have been craving some manapua (barbecue pork puns). they are all over hawaii. you can even get them at 7-11. but since you can’t really get manapua here except at dim dum places, i decided to try to make some myself. the recipe didn’t make it sound too difficult so this afternoon, i made some char sui chicken and made the dough. started forming the buns and it seemed to be going well… and then when i left them to rise a second time, they started blowing up. the char sui started peeping out of the top of the buns. i should have known then that it was not going to work out. but i put them in the oven (we don’t have a steamer) and hoped for the best. this is what i was hoping they would come out of the oven looking like:
well as you can see from the pictures above, they looked nothing like this and it was an absolute mess!!! hahaha. it’s pretty comical. oh well, i guess this is a lesson learned: if you want some manapua just go and get some dim sum.
- 1 package dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
- 2 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil or shortening
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups sifted flour
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound char siu, diced
- Few drops red food coloring, optional
- To prepare bun dough:
- Sprinkle yeast over 3 tablespoons water and allow to stand until yeast softens.
- To remaining water, add oil or shortening, sugar and salt, stirring until melted or dissolved.
- Cool. Add yeast mixture.
- Place flour in a large mixing bowl or a heavy-duty mixer and add most of the liquid.
- Begin kneading.
- Add remaining liquid to make a very heavy dough.
- Continue kneading or mixing until you have a smooth ball that is beginning to show signs of long strands on the outside, indicating that the gluten has fully developed.
- Remove dough from bowl and rinse out bowl.
- Pour sesame oil into bowl, return dough and turn it around until covered with a thin layer of the oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in bulk — about an hour in a warm room.
- Placing the dough in the refrigerator and allowing it to rise there, 3-6 hours, develops the flavor.
- Proceed with the filling or gently deflate the dough and allow it to rise for a second time, which will further enhance the flavor.
- To prepare filling: In a pot, stir cornstarch, sugar and salt in water until dissolved.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add char siu and, if desired, red food coloring.
- To stuff and steam buns:
- Heat a steamer with plenty of water.
- Cut 12 (3-inch) squares of waxed paper and coat 1 side with 1/2 second coat of nonstick cooking spray.
- Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.
- Roll each into a ball.
- Flatten into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
- Make the dough as thin as you can and try to keep the edges thinner than the center.
- Place the circle of dough in the palm of your hand.
- Spoon in a couple of tablespoons of filling, cupping the dough around it.
- Then, with the thumb and finger of the other hand, pinch the edges of the dough as if you were making a fluted edging on a pie crust. Pinch the folds together, twisting them as you do so.
- Place the completed manapua on a square of greased waxed paper.
- Allow to plump up into a globe with a taut exterior.
- To bake manapua, brush top of buns with a little canola oil and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.