During winter season, you can see various kinds of steamed buns at every convenience store in Japan. This is known as a kind of Dim Sum in America and Europe. Japanese style buns are bigger. It is good for snacks.
Sweet red bean paste filling
- 3 ⅔ oz (110 g) Japanese red beans (azuki)
- 5 ⅓ oz (150 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons starch syrup, for shining
- a dash salt
- Wash the beans well.
- In a large sauce pan, put the beans and fill the 14 oz/400 ml water or the amount filled over the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Drain the water. Do this step two more times to get rid of harshness.
- Fill up with water again and cook over low heat after boiling for 30-40 minutes. Add more water if the beans come out from the water. Remove any scum.
- If the bean can be crushed easily by fingers, it is done; if not, cook more. Shut off the heat and steam for 10 minutes with cover.
- Drain the beans and liquid. Do NOT throw the liquid away. Set the beans aside. Place back only the liquid, and add sugar and salt in it. Heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Shut the heat.
- Transfer the beans to the pan. Let it stay until sweet taste infiltrates to the beans for 30 minutes.
- Over low heat, boil away until it becomes thick enough to be able to form it into a ball by hand. Be careful not to get burned.
- Let it cool before filling.
(Enough for 16 buns)
- 1¼ oz package active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup lukewarm water (40-45°C)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 1 tablespoon if mixing by hand)
- In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar evenly over the lukewarm water; stir until yeast dissolves. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy.
- In large bowl or in food processor, combine flour and yeast mixture and mix well, or process 1 minute. If mixing by hand, sprinkle work surface with the reserved 1 tablespoon flour; turn dough out onto work surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
- Spray large bowl with non-stick cooking spray; place dough in bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise until dough triples in volume, about 3 hours. Punch down and wrap in plastic until ready to use. Will keep 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.