Turtle Bao (Steamed buns)
A few months back, I read a post from Food Gal, where she wrote about being able to make chinese steamed buns with Pillsbury biscuit dough. I was of course, very intrigued by this idea. It's a shortcut way of making chinese steamed buns. And while they don't taste exactly the same as chinese steamed buns, they taste very similar (but with a buttery taste).
Chinese steamed buns are eaten many ways. Plain white buns are often served on their own for breakfast, eaten with porridge. Sometimes people will stuff them with dried pork. Sometimes they are made with either a sweet or savory filling, such as red bean paste, bbq red pork, ground pork and vegetables. Chinese steamed buns are also often served in restaurants to accompany dishes like peking duck. These steamed buns are flattened and folded in half, so that you can put meat inside. You can see a picture of what I'm referring to in Food Gal's post.
So last week, I tried to make them. And sure enough the biscuit dough, once steamed, does taste a lot like chinese steamed buns. I wasn't able to find any regular sized dough in my supermarket. Only the Pillsbury Grand. My first set of biscuits were humongous after I steamed them. For my next set, I halved each biscuit to make more normal sized ones. We ate the buns with chinese sausages.
Since I already had pre-made dough, I thought it'd be fun to play around with it. I've always wanted to create cute shapes. Especially turtles. I love turtles. So I set out to make some turtle shaped buns. First, I divided each pre-cut biscuit dough in half because I bought the Pillsbury Grands, and each pre-cut dough is really enough for two normal sized chinese buns.
With each half piece of dough, I then took about 2/3 of it and use it for the turtle shell. The rest of the dough I used to form a head, the feet, and a pointy tale. I stuck black sesame seeds in for the eyes. And then I used a sharp knife to draw some crosses on the shell. I steamed them for ten minutes, and out came something that looked a bit like turtles. (I forgot to take pictures of my uncooked ones.)
I've experimented with a couple kinds of the pillsbury doughs. You can use flaky or not flaky, but not flaky is probably better if you want to play around with it. While chinese grocery stores sell frozen premade buns you can simply steam, pillsbury dough version is pretty interesting as well. The added buttery taste goes especially well with if you are going to serve it as a platform with meat slices.