When you think “Asian food,” you probably don’t expect butter to enter the recipe. But crab meat undoubtedly pairs well both with butter and the light, foamy texture of Chinese bao rolls. These decadent bao buns are perfect for bringing to a potluck or for treating your sweetheart to a romantic dinner at home. If you’re looking to save yourself a trip to the store by ordering fresh seafood online, Francesca’s Favorites has plenty of options to choose from. Try pairing this indulgent treat with dry champagne for those extra special occasions.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
4 lbs uncooked crab claws
3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp sweet onion
3 tbsp Sriracha
Black pepper to taste
Prepare the buns:
1. The bao buns are going to take quite some time to make, so you should prepare these first. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar. After about five minutes, you’ll see the yeast start to foam as it activates. Once this happens, stir in your vegetable oil, water, and cream.
2. Combine your flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Once they are thoroughly sifted together, mix these dry ingredients with your wet ingredients. Mix with a spatula until your dough becomes tacky.
3. Add a little bit of flour to your dough and knead it until it’s nice and smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and allow it to sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. It’s ready to work with once it appears to be twice the size of the dough ball you started with.
4. Once your dough is ready to work with, separate it into equally-sized ovals that are about 3 inches across.
Cook the filling:
1. Steam the crab in a large pot for 5 minutes.
2. Transfer crab claws to a separate dish so they can cool. Once they’re ready to handle, you can remove the meat from the shells and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
3. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the lemon and Sriracha sauce. Stir together, then add the crab meat. Cook this for about three minutes.
Steam the buns:
1. Flatten the dough ovals you made before and distribute the filling evenly between each of them. Gather the edges together and give them a good twist and pinch at the top to seal.
2. Line a steam basket with perforated parchment paper and steam the buns for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately.