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Breads and Desserts, Cuppylicious!, Ethnic Foods, Meat, Poultry, The Daring Cooks' Challenge

Kaliji Bao (Curried Chicken Bun)

Banh Bao and Kaliji Bao

Banh bao are the larger ones, and the kaliji bao are the smaller ones.

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

Total time: 3 hours.
Makes 20.

Filling Ingredients
1 pound of chicken meat, cooked, diced
2 T curry powder
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cm ginger, minced
2 T oyster sauce
2 T oil
1 T cornstarch
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 tsp 5 spice
1/2 c finely chopped cilantro (optional)
3 Tbsp coconut milk (optional)

Bun Ingredients
1 cup milk, scalded
¼ cup (60 gm/2 oz) sugar
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon (2 gm) salt
2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast
3 cups (420 gm/15 oz) plain flour

Filling Directions:

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan. Sauté the onions for one or two minutes until soft. Add garlic and ginger to the wok/pan and cook another 2 minutes.
2. Add diced chicken to the wok/pan and stir. If using coconut milk, add it here and completely coat the chicken.
3. Add oyster sauce, curry powder and 5 spice to the chicken mixture, stir fry for one minute.
4. Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the chicken mixture.
5. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool completely before using. The filling can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.

Kaliji Bao

Probably should have used more filling for this batch.

Bun Directions:
1. Scald milk and then stir in sugar, oil and salt, leave to cool until it is lukewarm. Once it is the right temperature add yeast, leave until yeast is activated and it becomes frothy, about 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Sift flour in to a large bowl.
3. Add milk/yeast mixture to the flour. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 – 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
6. Punch down dough and divide in to 20 equal portions.
7. Roll each dough portion in to a 7 – 8cm (2¾ – 3 ¼ inches) round.
8. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the centre of the round, gather the edges together at the top and place on a 8cm (3 inch) square of baking paper. Repeat until all dough has been used.
9. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
10. Place buns in bamboo steamer, leaving space between the buns.
11. Heat water in a wok until it is simmering and place steamers one on top of each other in the wok.
12. Place lid on top bamboo steamer and steam for approximately 12 minutes.

I have not tried these with coconut milk, since I liked it just fine without it. I’ve done them with and without cilantro, and I’ve tried it with both chicken and pork (pork filling was a little more substantial than the pictured chicken filling that seemed sort of flat). Chicken with cilantro, sans coconut milk, is by far the best route.

I originally found this on the LA Times archived recipes as “Gali Ji Bao”, and I said “hah! Golly Jee Bow”, so I had to make it. Glad I did, too; these were the boy’s favorite out of the bunch.

3 comments to Kaliji Bao (Curried Chicken Bun)

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