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Turnip Hong Bao


This delicious recipe violates my personal culinary principle of avoiding white flour and white sugar. But rules are made to be broken, and you don't really consume a huge amount of white flour if you can limit yourself to two or three. Moderation in all things, including moderation! The dough is from Allrecipes; the filling is my own invention.

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  • Dough:
  • 1 Tbsp (1 packet) dried active baking yeast
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 Tbsp plain flour
  • 4 Tbsp warm water
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 220 g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Filling:
  • 2 med turnips, peeled & grated
  • 1 med carrot, peeled & grated
  • 2 inch chunk zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 small red hot chile, minced
  • Sauce:
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp sweet Thai chili sauce


Servings 12
Adapted from


Step 1

Mix together yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 4 Tbsp flour and 4 Tbsp warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
While dough is raising, prepare the filling and set aside.
Mix the remaining warm water, flour, salt, 2 Tbsp sugar and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Flatten each blob into a patty about 1/4" thick; place about 1 1/2 tsp of filling in the middle; bring the edges up and twist closed at the top. Put each ball on greased tray. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in wok or steamer, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place greased steam plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate, leaving 2 to 5cm between the buns. At least 5cm space also should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes. Ensure that water does not come in contact with the buns.
REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto the bun surface and produce yellowish "blisters". Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.
Mix up the sauce, serve and enjoy.


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