These cute buns filled with fragrant chicken curry are perfect for entertaining. You can tailor the size of them to the number of people you're catering for, or the size of the meal you want to serve.
- 500 g boned skinned chicken thighs cut into small cubes
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 12-15 curry leaves
- 1 stick lemongrass finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
- 3 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 425 g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 200 ml lukewarm milk
- 2 tsp fast-acting yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 75 g soft butter
- 1 large egg
- 9 pandan leaves (if making large buns)
- sesame seeds, white and black
- beaten egg, for glazing
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Makes 9 large or 15 small buns
Proving time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. In a medium to large non-stick frying pan add a couple of tablespoons full of vegetable oil and sauté the onions until soft and opaque, this will take 8-10 minutes on a low heat. Once soft, turn up the heat and add the chicken and sauté until all pieces of chicken are sealed on all sides.
2. Push the chicken to one side of the pan, reduce the heat and then add the ginger, chilli, curry leaves, lemongrass, garlic and curry powder and cook for a further minute and then incorporate the diced chicken into the spices.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until the liquid becomes slightly thick and coats the pieces of chicken. This will take about 5 minutes, transfer to a clean bowl and leave to cool completely, this can be made the day before.
4. Add the flour, fast action yeast, caster sugar to a bowl and mix together. Make a well in the centre of the mix and add the softened butter, egg and the warm milk.
5. Knead the mixture using a food mixer with the dough hook attached on a medium to high speed for 10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add a pinch of salt to the dough as it is being mixed.
6. Remove the dough from the mixer and give it a quick knead by hand. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to prove for approximately 45 minutes until doubled in size.
7. Once risen knock back the dough, place on a clean lightly floured work surface and knead again for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and divide into 9 balls.
8. Take each piece of dough, dust with flour, and roll out using a rolling pin to form a flat disc. Put a spoonful of the chicken mix into the middle and carefully lift all sides to seal the seams tightly, as if making a dumpling. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, seam side down (upside down) and about 5cm apart to allow them to expand. Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to prove for a second time for about 30 minutes.
9. With the large buns cut a piece of pandan leaf a little larger than the bun, wrap around the edge and secure with string. Now brush the top of the buns with a little egg wash and a little sprinkle of sesame seeds.
10. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack, leave to cool and eat. These can be served warm or cold.
This recipe is from Donal's Asian Baking Adventures on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.