Recipe for Little Szechuan Chicken Steamed Buns


40 minutes to make
40 minutes to cook

4 chicken thighs, bone in

3 tablespoons dark soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Shao Hsing (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry

1 to 2 tablespoons hot chili sauce

2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, crushed (see note)

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

3 tablespoons peanut oil

24 squares of parchment paper, 2-by-2 inches


Put chicken in baking dish.

Put soy sauce in bowl; mix in the honey, Shao Hsing or sherry, chili sauce, garlic and peppercorns; add to chicken and turn to coat.

Cover with foil or lid and marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roast chicken, still covered, for 20 minutes, then uncover and cook a further 20 minutes.

Let cool, remove the meat from the bones, shred finely and mix with any marinade and juices left in the dish.

To make dough, put flour in large bowl and mix in baking powder, sugar and salt.

Stir in milk, oil and 6 tablespoons of water to form a dough.

Turn dough onto floured board and knead for 5 minutes until it becomes elastic.

Cover and let it rest at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Divide dough into 24 pieces and cover with damp cloth.

Take one piece of dough and, using your fingers, shape into 2 1/2-inch wide disk.

Put 1 teaspoon of chicken filling in center and gather up the dough around it.

Pinch the edges together and twist to seal.

Put, sealed edges up, on a square of parchment paper, cover the finished bun with wax paper to keep from drying out, and repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Put the buns in steamer, 1 inch apart, and steam for 15 to 20 minutes. (See note.)

Makes 24.

Note: If you canít find Szechuan peppercorns, omit them.

Steam the buns with parchment attached and remove the paper to serve.

If youíre using a bamboo steamer, the parchment prevents the bamboo from imparting an undesirable flavor on the bun.

You can steam the buns the day before, keeping them well wrapped and chilled.

Resteam them for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 85 calories; 3 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 32 percent calories from fat); 9 g carbohydrates; 10 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium; 4 g protein; 0.3 g fiber.

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