CHINESE SAUSAGE BUNS
If you’re looking for a delectable treat from the past, go no further than these Chinese Sausage Buns (Lop Cheung Bao). Mantou dough is steamed and stuffed with a savory and salty Chinese sausage link at the center of each bun. It’s the Chinese Hot Dog Bun’s relative, and it’s tasty and authentically Chinese.
This is a RARE FIND.
Old-school classics like Chinese Sausage Buns have fallen out of favor, making a rare appearance in dim sum establishments and Chinese bakeries these days because I don’t understand why this is the case. Rich and fatty in excess? Is it challenging to keep them fresh in restaurants and bakeries? Is the profit margin too low for your product? What happened to the appeal of lop Cheung Chinese sausages?
Whatever the cause, I don’t recall ever having one of these buns since my boyhood in upstate New York, when I was growing up.
As a result of your kind words and the numerous recipe requests we have received, we’d like to thank all of you readers and home cooks who have contributed to the discovery of long-lost family favorites through your requests for our recipes. Despite my passion for Chinese sausage, if it weren’t for this blog and all of its loyal followers, I never would have thought to cook these Lop Cheung Bao!
I’m baffled as to why these Chinese sausage buns aren’t more widely available now that the weather is colder. As an afternoon snack, it’s the kind of thing you’d eat while watching football on a rainy Sunday or after raking leaves in the fall, or even after shoveling snow.
The convenience of freezing and reheating Chinese Sausage Buns makes them a must-have for anyone who likes to consume their food on the go. For an anytime snack or after-school meal for kids, simply cool down the steamed buns entirely after preparation and put them in the freezer. After removing them from the freezer, simply set them on the steamer rack and steam for 10 minutes.
We had no idea why it had taken us so long to resurrect this old favorite when we tasted these just out of the steamer. Make these! It isn’t anything you’ll regret if you grew up around them.
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp. of instant yeast (3g)
- 1 tbsp. of granulated sugar (12g)
- 1 tbsp. of canola oil (plus 1 teaspoon)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour (you can use bleached flour if you like, 272g)
- 2 tbsp. of cornstarch (20g)
- ¼ tsp. of salt (3g)
- 1/8 tsp. of baking soda (1g)
- 10 Chinese sausages (lap Cheung)
- Whisk together the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl until the yeast dissolves. When the yeast “blooms” and “foams” in the mixture, it is ready (about 15 minutes). Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
- In a larger basin, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda; add the yeast mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined. With your hands or in your mixer, knead the dough until bread is smooth and elastic, then shape it into a loaf. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and soft, adding flour by the tablespoon if it appears sticky. While the dough should not be sticky, it should be supple enough to roll out easily.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough and drizzle with the remaining 1/4 tsp of oil. When the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to be baked (about 1 hour).
- Prepare your steaming device/setup of choice while the dough is proving. Using a wok steamer rack or a multi-tiered metal steamer, which we frequently use in our kitchen, is one alternative for setting up a steamer. Ten minutes of steaming the lop Cheung (Chinese sausages) is all that is needed to cook them to perfection. Allow for cooling.
- If you don’t like using a whole lop Cheung in each bun, you can cut it in half and use half a Chinese sausage in each bun instead!
- Puncture and knead the dough once it has finished, removing any remaining air bubbles. Divide the dough into ten equal pieces and roll each piece into a 10-inch-long strip. To get the dough to overlap, wrap each piece of dough around a lop-Cheung. Tighten up the slack. Chinese Hot Dog Buns are made using this approach.
- Make sure each bun is on one of your prepared parchment paper rectangles, and then put the buns in the steamer to cook. Wait 20 minutes with a damp kitchen towel covering the dough, so it doesn’t dry out.
- Add 1 1/2 inches of cold water to the steamer and put the heat up to high. Turn to reduce the heat to medium and steam the buns for another 10 minutes until they’ve risen to their full size.
- It’s time to remove your steamer. Do not remove the cover from the steamer for the next 5 minutes. Because the buns will collapse and lose their fluffy structure if you remove the lid too early, this is a critical step!
- Transfer the buns to a serving plate and serve them hot once they’ve cooled for five minutes.
- Frozen and reheated, these Chinese sausage buns are excellent. Before freezing the buns, ensure they have been thoroughly steamed and cooled. Steam the frozen buns for around 10 minutes to thaw them out.