Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Cheater Chicken Pau (Bao)

I was recently self-engaged in the Pau (or Bao) Project. WHAaat?

Well, since I am not one who bakes - I decided... the "flour" (and measurement) thing was out for me. As a result, I turned a cheater and scavenger for cheater Pau (Bao)-dough/skin.

Lucky for my memory, I remembered those Cheater Baos from Foodgal.com. But I had to confirm the brand of the product. Came these Cheater Donuts from Rasamalaysia.com that register this brand "Pillsbury" in my mind, again. Yes, I need to buy that.

But alas, I bought the wrong product. Hmmm, maybe I was half-right. I got the Pilsbury Buttermilk Biscuits for my Chinese Pau(Bao)-Dough/Skin but it was the jumbo version. Bleh heh heh. It was the only version on the shelf - how on earth was I supposed to know if it was Jumbo or Regular if I had no benchmark for comparison? I was not even given a choice! Anyway, a person who does not bake AND who does not know processed product well is bound to make mistakes when it comes to area of non-expertise.

It may be a blessing in disguise in some way. The Pau (Bao) I was craving for and was stuck in my head was the Chicken Pau from Anncoo Journal. In Singapore, Chicken Pau is usually a large Pau (Bao) - 大鸡包. So maybe...I can use jumbo biscuits to make jumbo Chicken Pau (Bao) - 大鸡包!

Chicken Pau (Bao)- 大鸡包

Pau Dough/Skin: No recipe and measurement required. Simply open the "bomb" of dough and use it as if you made the dough.

Pau Filling (adapted from Anncoo Journal)
Ingredients: 1/2 lb organic chicken (1/4 lb of thigh meat, sliced to bite-size chunks+ 1/4 lb ground thigh meat); 1 tsp light soy sauce; 1/2 tsp sesame oil; 1 tsp grated ginger + juice; 1 tsp cooking wine; 1tbsp water; 1/2 tsp brown sugar; pinch of salt; pinch of ground white pepper; 1 tbsp finely chopped green onions; 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro; 1/2 tsp cornflour/tapioca starch; 1 large hard-boiled egg(or 2 smaller hard-boiled eggs), sliced into smaller pieces (about 6-8)

Directions: Mix all the filling ingredients (except the cornflour/tapioca starch and cooked eggs) in a mixing bowl. "Massage" and marinade the chicken with the seasonings. Then, add the cornflour/tapioca starch and mix well with the marinated chicken. (Note: The purpose to add the cornflour/tapioca starch last in the process of mixing is for all the other seasonings to "bind" with the chicken first before the cornflour/tapioca starch does the final binding. If you add the cornflour/tapioca starch in the initial stages, the marinade may not come out as well-flavored as the starch(flour) becomes the barrier between the seasoning and chicken.) Marinate overnight (preferred) or at least half a day. (Note1: I began work in the morning and starting the pau-making process around noon).

Set the steamer ready (I am using a wok to steam). Start making the Pau (Bao): Unwrap the dough from the package. The dough already comes separated into 8 "biscuit" pieces in the package. Grab one dough, gently flatten the dough using pressure from your palm. With the dough flattened, scoop about 1tsp chicken filling, place at center of the dough, add a small piece of egg, then add another 1/2 tsp of chicken filling. Wrap it up using center of the dough and Pau filling as the reference. You can pleat the Pau if you wish. Place the Pau on grease-proof parchment paper. Steam for about 12-15 minutes.

The Pau was delicious. Success to the filling (thanks, Ann) and success to the cheater Pau-skin (thanks, Foodgal...or maybe Pillsbury?). Of course, the Pau (Bao) could have been perfect with homemade dough-skin.

And I know they do not look aesthetically beautiful. I am not trying to brag (and simultaneously to console myself) but who cares as long as it taste delicious.

With that, I declare this my cheater Chicken Pau (Bao)!

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