While I've got the bug, I thought I'd try another Boa, or Bing in this case. What's the difference? Well Bao Tse and Hum Bao are the same thing, but a Bing is more like a flattened filled pancake which is fried and crispy. I started out thinking I'd make beef boa tse, but then decided I'd try a bing instead. I'm not sure if this dough will work for the bing, but I'm going to give it a try.
For the filling:
1.75 lbs ground beef
One 8 oz can water chestnuts, finely chopped
5 Dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water until softened, finely chopped, liquid reserved
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
2 Garlic cloves, finely minced
6 Scallions, finely sliced
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 Cup liquid from shiitake mushrooms
1/2 Cup beef stock
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 Tbsp corn starch
Combine all ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so to let everything gel and meld together.
For the dough, I used the same recipe as the shiitake mushroom hum boa I posted last week, except I did not do the second dough rising using the baking powder.
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 1/4 Cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp grape seed oil
Dissolve the sugar in the water then add the yeast and stir gently. Let sit for about 10 minutes until the top is frothy. In a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour and the salt. Stir to combine, then with the mixer on low, add the water mixture in a steady stream along with the oil. Knead the dough on low for about 5-6 minutes until the dough is well combined and smooth. If the dough does not come together well, you may need to add a bit more water. If the dough is too wet, add more flour. It should be wet to the touch, but not too sticky.
Take the dough out and knead with your hands until smooth. It should only take a minute or two. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with a damp towel and let sit to rise for about 3 hours.
If you are not yet ready to use the dough, cover and refrigerate it, and take out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using.
Divide the dough into 12 to 24 rounds, depending on how big you want your bings. I made 22.
Cover the dough with a towel while you are wrapping the bings as you will be doing these one at a time.
To make each bing, flatten one piece of dough with the palm of your hand. Use a small rolling pin make the dough into a round. I roll the edges out while keeping the center thicker. This way, you have enough girth in the center without having a thick ball at the top of the bun. Place a round of the filling onto the center. Bring up the sides and pinch together tightly, making sure the filling is completely incased. Flatten the bing with the palm of your hand into a round disk, about 1" thick.
The first method I took for cooking these was the same as what I do for pot stickers, or kuo tien. But the dough broke apart in one area, releasing the juices inside.
Next time around, I filled my cast iron skillet with enough oil to just coat the bottom of the skillet. Over medium high heat, I fried both sides of the bing, then placed about 3/4 cup of hot water into the skillet. The water went about half way up the side of the bing. Place the bings into the pan, being careful not to over crowd. Allow enough room for the bing to expand and not touch each other.
Cover and let cook until water has completely evaporated. I usually gauge this by sound. As the water evaporates, you hear sizzling of the oil. When water has evaporated, remove lid, and flip the bing over once more to re-crisp the other side.
This cooking method worked out well. Juices captured, crispy bun, and as Stella put it, "that's a drop of sunshine on my plate!"