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Why is this recipe interesting?
- Kimchi buns are soft and fluffy steamed buns that have an inherent umami flavour. They can be served as appetizers or as a delicious side dish.
- This recipe uses only a few pantry staples to make the buns. The process of making the buns might seem daunting but is actually pretty simple once you practice a bit and get a hang of it.
- 250 g All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150 ml lukewarm water might need more
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Kimchi drained
- In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients like flour, yeast, baking powder and salt.
- Then, start adding lukewarm water slowly and mix it using a spoon or chopsticks. Dust your hands with flour and start kneading to form a sticky dough that clumps together.
- Dust a flat surface (clean kitchen counter or a big chopping board) with flour and transfer the dough. Keep kneading the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth.
- Dust the bottom of a large bowl with flour and transfer the dough in it. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let it rest for 3 hours or until its size doubles.
- In a large pot or steamer, add water and a steamer rack. The water should be at least 3-4cm below the steamer rack. Let the water heat and boil while you’re making the buns.
- To make the bun wrapper, dust a surface and roll the dough a few times to make a ball. Divide it into two halves shaping each one into a long log shape. Cut into 5-7 pieces of dough. Roll these pieces in between your palms to make small bowls.
- Then, one at a time, press the bowl into a round disc and using a rolling pin roll into a flat round sheet of 10cm diameter. Roll in such a way that edges are thinner than the center.
- Drop a heaping tbsp of kimchi in the center of the rolled sheet. Start making the bun by lifting the edge on the side and keep on folding pr pleating it in between your thumb and forefinger until you reach the starting point. Seal the bun by twisting and pinching the folds in the center. Make sure it is secure and the filling isn’t leaking. Make rest of the buns in a similar manner.
- Place a damp kitchen towel on the steaming rack and carefully transfer the buns there.
- Maintain some distance between the buns because their size will increase a bit after steaming and they might stick.
- Steam on high heat for 10-12 minutes.
- Take the steamer rack out and transfer the bun out of the rack. Let them cool for 5 minutes.
- Serve warm with soy sauce if desired.
Substitutions & Shortcuts
- The filling is a simple premade kimchi but can be replaced with sauteed diced veggies or meat.
- You can also add a bit of sugar to the dough to balance out the flavours.
Lessons learned while making this dish
- The dough can be rested for 2 hours in summer to double its size but might need more time in winter.
- These buns can be refrigerated for 4-5 days. Steam again for 5 minutes or microwave them before serving.
- These buns can be frozen for up to a month.