The Jew And The Carrot

Homemade Dumplings for a Merry Jewish Christmas

By Molly Yeh

  • Print
  • Share Share
Molly Yeh

Christmas in my family means one thing — our annual Dumplings of the World Party. All of our friends come over and spend the evening sitting at little tables around our house shaping potstickers, pierogies, empanadas… the offerings change from year to year, but there are a few favorites that would never be left out — including everyone’s favorite, pillow-y soft barbecue chicken buns.

A kosher answer to the dim sum star, cha siu bao, from the Guangdong region of China, these sweet steamed rolls that house juicy, tender chicken in the center, have been my kryptonite since the day I could chew.

While the meat and dough are a bit time consuming to make, shaping them is less stressful than shaping a soup dumpling, which I showed you how to make last year (check out the video here). The only thing you have to worry about with these petite buns is sealing the dough well enough so that chicken doesn’t get all over your steamer.

If you’re going to throw your own dumpling party, I suggest making the filling far enough in advance for it to cool, and then letting your younger guests shape these, as you won’t have any raw meat in the filling to worry about.

I’ll also admit to really enjoying eating this dough raw. It’s almost worth the tummy ache when a mini bao starts rising in your belly.

BBQ Chicken Buns
Adapted from Grace Wiertz Young’s recipe for BBQ pork buns

Dough
1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup warm soy milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, crisco

Filling
1/2 pound roasted chicken (recipe below), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup minced scallions
1 Tablespoon vegetarian oyster sauce (available here)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Dough: In a small bowl or measuring cup, proof the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water with a teaspoon of sugar. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of flour, the yeast mixture, remaining water, remaining sugar, milk, and shortening. Mix with a spoon until combined, gradually knead in remaining cup of flour by hand, until dough is no longer sticky. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Filling: Make this while the dough is rising. Combine barbecued chicken, 1/4 cup of broth, scallions, vegetarian oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining 1/4 cup of broth, and then add this to the boiling mixture. Cook, stirring, until thickened, for a few minutes. Let cool, refrigerate until ready to use.

Shaping: After dough has risen, divide it into 12 equal pieces. Flatten each piece out into 6-inch circles and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center, gather edges and seal at the top. Place each bun (sealed-side down) on a 4-inch square of wax paper, and then let rise for another half an hour.

Place buns (still on their wax paper) in a steamer 1 1/2 inches apart and steam over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes, or until buns have cooked through.

Serve hot with soy sauce or a little side salad of shaved carrots, cucumber, and ginger tossed with sesame oil and olive oil. (Try this one.)

Chinese Barbecued Chicken

This recipe makes more chicken than the bun recipe calls for. You can either adjust ratios accordingly to make less chicken or more buns, or you can use this chicken in other recipes.

3 pounds boneless thigh meat

Marinade
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
2 teaspoons salt
2 cloves of minced garlic

Glaze
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons sesame oil

Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow baking dish and marinate over night. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drip off excess sauce from chicken. Place on a roasting pan. Cook uncovered at 450 for about 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and cook for another 15 minutes, until it is nicely crusted and caramelized. Remove from oven for about 15 minutes (keep oven on), brush with glaze and return to oven for 5 minutes.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: jewish christmas, dumplings, dumpling recipe, christmas, chinese food

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.