Though it is prepared many different ways, you can find bread of some variety in just about every culture across the globe. I think of bread as a unifying element in food culture. And it was also one of the first things I learned to make in the kitchen, so it should come as no surprise that it is also one of my favorite things to prepare during the holiday season. These steamed Chinese buns fall right into that category of holiday breads that I love to serve at breakfast or at tea. Green on the outside and red on the inside, it couldn’t be more perfect for the season. The bread of each soft and spongy steamed bun is flavored with a hint of green cardamom and matcha which wraps around a delicious filling of sweet red bean paste.
Cardamom, Matcha & Red bean Chinese steamed buns
Yields: 24 individual buns
Note: The freshly cooked buns can be frozen and stored for up to 3-4 weeks. As soon as the buns are frozen, allow them to cool to room temperature. Place them in an airtight freezer proof ziplock bag and freeze. To reheat, microwave each frozen bun wrapped in paper for about 30 seconds.
Sweet Red Bean Paste
You can use commercial canned red bean paste from any Asian market or make it at home. I used this easy recipe from my friend Nami, of Just One Cookbook. The only substitution I made to her recipe was the sugar, I halved the quantity of the ingredients listed and I used 3.5 ounces of light brown sugar instead of regular sugar to give the filling a deeper flavor. Once the paste is cooled, I pulsed it a few times using an immersion blender to make it completely smooth. You won’t end up using all of the red bean paste to fill the buns but you can save the extra and use it later in another recipe of your choosing.