Sticky steamed buns
These steamed buns are brilliant for a light snack or starter. Rich Harris shows you how to make them.
Recipe - Makes: 8 Serves: 4 as a light snack or starter
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 fennel bulbs
500ml pack Cooks' Ingredients Vegetable Stock
1 large orange
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus extra to taste
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
250g self-raising flour
1⁄2 x 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk, well shaken
1.Warm a large wok over a high heat. Add the sesame seeds and cook, shaking the pan often, for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Remove the green fronds from the fennel and set aside. Dice the rest of the bulbs into 1cm pieces and add to the wok with the stock, finely grated zest and juice from the orange, soy, sesame oil and five-spice powder. Bring to the boil over a high heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all the stock has evaporated. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until the fennel is sticky and soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the reserved fronds and half of the sesame seeds then leave to cool completely.
3. Put the flour and coconut milk into a large bowl with a generous pinch of salt and mix with a fork to make a soft dough. Divide into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Flatten each one into a 5mm-thick circle. Place a generous dessertspoon of the fennel mixture into the centre of each round, then fold the edges over the filling like a money bag and pinch together to seal well. Place each one seal-side down onto a square of baking parchment
or into a double-layered muffin case and place in a bamboo steamer. Fit in as many buns as you can without squashing them — in batches if necessary.
4. Return the wok to the heat and add 2-3cm boiling water. Place the steamer on top and cover with its lid. Cook for 10-12 minutes, adding a little more boiling water as required, until the buns are fluffy and risen (but not coloured). Scatter immediately with the remaining sesame seeds. Repeat to cook all the buns if necessary. Serve straight away with sweet
chilli sauce for dipping.
Typical values per serving: