Chinese Lobster and Mushroom Steamed Buns

Chinese Lobster and Mushroom Steamed Buns

Mark Murrell

Steamed lobster buns are a thing of beauty...

This is a fun and refreshing play on Chinese steamed pork buns which are typically bold and rich pork hidden within soft and warm dough. To keep with the concept we are using the same style dough but making “meaty” mushrooms that mimic the same subtle flavors of the pork that also compliments our sweet lobster meat. 

Beer/Wine Pairing: Wheat beers and light ales. Whites: Un-oaked Chardonnays, Rieslings, Viognier, and Pinot Gris. Reds: light and crisp new world reds. Malbec’s are an amazing choice.

Ingredients 

For the Maine Event

  • Cooked lobster claw or tail meat, roughly chopped: ¾ lb
  • Light soy sauce: 2 tsp
  • Sweet soy: ½ tsp
  • Hoisin sauce: as needed
  • Button mushrooms, finely chopped: 2 cups
  • Scallions, finely sliced: 2 ea
  • Steam buns: 1 Batch\
  • Wax Paper: 16 3x3” squares

For the Buns

  • Warm water:1 cup
  • Active dry yeast: ½ tsp
  • Sugar: 3 Tbsp
  • Nonfat dried milk: 2 Tbsp
  • Cake flour: 3 ½ cups
  • Baking powder: 1 ½ tsp
  • Canola oil: as needed

Preparation

For the Buns

  1. Combine ¼ cup warm water with the year and a pinch of sugar to activate it. Let it sit and once it gets foamy after 5-10 minutes whisk in dried milk and remaining ¾ cup of warm water. 
  2. In a separate bowl combine sugar and flour. 
  3. Stir in yeast with a fork until a dough forms.
  4. Using your hands knead the dough until all of the flour has been incorporated.
  5. Working on a lightly floured counter top transfer the dough from the bowl to the counter and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth. ~5 minutes. Dust with flour as you work to keep the dough from sticking.
  6. Form the dough into a bowl and put it in a oiled bowl and roll it around until it is coated.
  7. Cover with plastic and let the dough rise at room temp for 2 hours. 
  8. Punch the dough down and then transfer to a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly.
  9. Sprinkle with baking powder evenly in the center and then fold the edges to the center and pinch in to seal the powder.
  10. Knead the dough with enough flour to keep it from sticking. ~5 minutes
  11. Return to the bowl and let sit covered for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests complete the prep steps for the remaining ingredients.

  1. Cut 16 pieces of 3x3” squares of wax paper
  2. Roll the dough out into long log ~16 inches
  3. Cut 16 equal sized pieces and lightly dust each with flower and cover with plastic as you work one at a time.
  4. Roll the pieces into rounds or flatten with the palm of your hand to form a thin circle. The center should be thicker than the edges.
  5. Do this to all of the pieces of dough.
  6. Add a portion of filling to the center of each round.
  7. Sprinkle with scallions and add a tiny dollop of hoisin sauce.
  8. Wrap the dough to enclose the lobster mixture and pinch the edges together to seal the bun.
  9. Place each bun on a piece of wax and let stand for 10 minutes while we set up the steamer.

For the Maine Event

  1. Steam or grill the lobster meat as you so desire and once cooled roughly chop the meat.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add a little canola oil and then chopped mushrooms.
  3. Cook until the mushrooms begin to color and soften.
  4. Add both soy sauces and 2 tsp of hoisin sauce to the pan and stir until fully coated. Cook for 1 minute and then remove from the heat and let cool.
  5. Once cooled combine lobster meat and mushroom mixture and refrigerate until the dough is ready to use.

Once the dough has been completed

  1. Set up a large steamer rack within a large skillet or wok and add enough water to reach within ½ inch of the bottom of the rack and bring it to a boil.
  2. Carefully place in the buns without letting them touch and cook for ~10 minutes until the buns are soft and no longer sticky.