Pan-fried pork and scallion mini buns (Sheng jian baozi)

  (Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)


Pan-fried pork and scallion mini buns (Sheng jian baozi)

Total Time: 45 minutes plus rising time

Servings: Makes 32 mini buns

Note: You can find ground pork with a higher fat content at many Asian markets, or ask your butcher to grind fat into regular ground pork (you want about 20% fat). Or substitute regular ground pork. Ground beef chuck or chicken thigh may be substituted for the pork in this recipe. Regardless, fatty, rich ground meat makes for better, succulent buns. Shaoxing rice wine and Chinkiang vinegar are available at Chinese and most Asian markets. Recipe by Andrea Nguyen.

10 ounces fatty ground pork, coarsely chopped to loosen

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/4 cup finely chopped Chinese chives or scallions (white and green parts)

1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce, plus additional (optional) for dipping

2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon water

1 1/4 pounds basic yeast dough (recipe above), preferably made with unbleached flour

1 tablespoon finely julienned fresh ginger

1/4 cup Chinkiang vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Chile oil, optional