This pillowy steamed bun (Mantou) is like eating a soft cloud. Filled with tender beef and tangy pickled celery, it’s unbelievably tasty, like heaven on earth.
Courtesy of Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie.
Koji Beef Belly & Assembly
This recipe will yield more buns than the amount of meat below.
Bloom yeast and sugar in the warm water.
When yeast is bloomed, in a table-top mixer, add wet & dry ingredients, mix on low speed for 10 minutes.
Remove dough from mixer and shape into a ball and place in large bowl. Seal with plastic wrap.
Let it proof for about an hour, or once it has doubled in size.
Portion into 40 g balls and roll; place on a tray to proof for about 1 hour.
Shape into a form of a “shield”; place on a tray and let proof.
Steam for 10 minutes.
Reserve for later.
Grab celery bunch and remove leaves.
Slice across the ribs.
In a pot, heat water, vinegar, salt and sugar together. Once brought to a rolling boil, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Pour brine over celery and place in fridge for 2 days.
Dry off beef bellies and liberally “season” with Koji rice. Place on a tray and let bellies dry & refrigerate for 2-3 days.
Place bellies into a vac-pack bag and add rendered beef fat and seal.
Sous vide at 74ºC for 3 hours, then switch to 60ºC for an additional 27 hours. Let cool.
Separate the cooked-off liquid and fat from the belly. Slice thinly.
Take two reserved Mantou and steam for 2 minutes.
Heat up wok and warm 40 g of sliced beef belly in the wok.
Add leeks to a wok and cook slightly. Remove mixture from the wok.
Add the fermented chili, shao xing, soy, black vinegar and sugar to the wok; cook until slightly thick.
Add meat mixture to the sauce, warm throughout and then add to a bowl.
Mix in a little shredded sawtooth.
Season with Galangal powder and add a pinch of white pepper.
Open Mantou buns and add meat mix to the bottom of the bun.
Top with pickled celery, and then plate.