In my previous post on purple mantou, I talked about how obsessed I was with steamed buns, and that obsession really stemmed from a favorite breakfast street food from Shanghai: pork baozi! Giant fluffy pork baozi. When I worked in Shanghai for a summer, I stopped by a little breakfast stand and got pork baozi (and possibly shaomai too, hehe). Since then I love everything stuffed in fluffy mantou. I’ve been meaning to make this for awhile, and I’m so happy to finally share this with you. Tender, braised oxtail (in the red-braise method) and succulent mushrooms, all stuffed in soft fluffy mantou dough. If I’m honest, this does take awhile to make, with the braise and the dough and the assembly and finally steaming, but it’s so worth it. Trust me. And you can freeze any leftovers and ta-da! Easy, convenient and delicious breakfast awaits next week.
See GIF below for wrapping technique. I definitely have to work on my wrapping technique – you ca see how messy they are :).
Also, I’m so obsessed with this waxed canvas apron from Rehouse VT! What I’m wearing is a full coverage Pinafore. You can’t see it here but its tied with gorgeous leather straps. It fits my aesthetic perfectly and I can’t wait to do more with it. Many thanks to Matt and Britt
RECIPE: Braised Oxtail Baozi 包子
2-3 lb oxtails
1 tbsp oil
2 slices ginger
4-6 cloves garlic
2 whole star anise
2 bay leaves
3 stalks scallion, roughly chopped (to be removed later)
2-3 sichuan peppercorns
1/4 cup shaoxing wine
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar (rock s sugar if you have it)
1.5 cups stock
1 cup mushrooms (I like beech, but sliced shiitake works well here too)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
Rinse oxtail and pat dry. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown all sides until golden brown.
Remove oxtails from pot, set aside. Add in ginger, scallions, garlic, star anise, bay leaves, peppercorns. Cook until aromatic, around 2 minutes.
Add in shaoxing wine, soy sauces, sugar, water and deglaze pot. Place oxtails back in, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 2-3 hours, until meat is fork-tender and falls off the bone. Add more water if necessary!
When oxtail is fork-tender, remove from pot. Use a fork to remove and shred meat. Set aside. Reserve a few tablespoons of braising fluid. Cook mushrooms over oil and then melt butter. Add in flour and whisk until thick. Thicken with braising fluid until you obtain the consistency you want. Toss oxtail shreds with mushroom gravy mixture and let cool completely.
220g milk, lukewarm
1.5 tbsp active dry yeast
Mix warm milk with yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, until foamy. In a separate bowl, add flour. Make a well in the center and add milk/yeast mixture. Stir with chopsticks until a dough starts to form.
Knead until the dough, bowl, and hands are clean and shiny. (10 minutes – ps, this is an old Chinese saying to indicate when the dough is ready to rise!)
Cover and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
Punch dough down and knead a few times, then get ready to make baozi.
Roll into a log, divide into 6 pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll around the edges, so that the edges are thinner than the middle. Spoon cooled oxtail-mushroom mixture. Pleat and seal (see GIF above for illustration).
Bring cold water to a boil. Put steamer on, place lid on, steam for 15-17 minutes, then turn off heat and let sit for 2 more minutes.