Summer entertaining, don't you just love it? Sitting outside on a balmy evening with one hand wrapped around a spicy chicken and kimchi steamed bun and the other around a chilly beer is summer in a nutshell... or mantou as the case may be.
Spicy Chicken and Kimchi Steamed Buns (Mantou)
For the Mantou:
1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 1/2 cups "00" flour (or plain flour)
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
For the Spicy Chicken:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
500g ground chicken
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon gochujang
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
Juice 1 lime
Make the Mantou:
Whisk the milk, water, oil and yeast in a mixing bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until the mixture starts to come together.
Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead with your hands for 5 minutes. The dough will become very soft and smooth. Roll it into a ball. Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 hour in a warm spot to rise.
Punch the dough down, roll it back into a ball, return it to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for another 1 hour in a warm spot to rise again.
Roll the dough into a rough rectangle, about 5mm thick. Beginning with a long edge, roll the dough up into a log shape. Cut the dough into ten even portions.
Put the buns into paper cupcake liners. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes. They will become puffy.
Get your steamer boiling over high heat. Put the mantou into the steamer basket, pop the lid on tighly and steam for 15 minutes.
Once cooked, turn the steamer off, lift the lid a little and leave it ajar for 2 - 3 minutes. This will prevent the buns from deflating. Serve hot.
Heat a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the peanut oil and swirl to coat the sides of the wok. Add the ground chicken and stir fry it until it's cooked though, breaking it up with a wok spoon as you go.
Add the honey, gochujang, soy sauce and toss and stir until the chicken starts to caramelise. Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and lime juice. Toss to mix. Serve hot.
Cut the mantou down through the middle almost to the bottom, without cutting through the bun entirely. Stuff with spoonfuls of the spicy chicken mixture and top with kimchi to taste. Spritz with a little lime juice. Great as a nibble with icy cold beers.