• 1 tablespoon dried yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Crisco shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil

Tonight is the night. The Patriots play the Houston Texans in the playoffs. If they win they will go to the AFC game! This is a big deal for us die-hard Pats fans!

I decided to make the Asian pork tenderloin pockets recipe that I saw on my friend Cindy Jen’s website Weeknite Meals. It looked amazing! This was the perfect recipe for a football game. Cindy is a Graphics/Web Designer by trade and a Mom/Wife 24/7.  Cindy had been known as a terrible cook for years, in fact her hubby refused to eat her cooking so they resorted to eating out every single night. With the economy down turn in the beginning of 2009, Cindy decided to start cooking at home to save money. What a great wife! With good online recipe searching skills and determination, the Jen family really enjoyed what Cindy came up with. Cindy started to create her blog in 2010 to keep track of weeknight dishes and recipes, and also to share photos of the food they enjoy.

I am so very proud of Cindy and have tried many of her delicious recipes. Be sure to check out Cindy’s website for delicious Asian-inspired recipes!

I decided to try my hand at Steamed Buns. Our family first enjoyed these buns when we visited The Duck and Dumpling in Raleigh. My friend James Boyle was the executive chef at The Duck and Dumpling.

These buns are steamed rather than baked. They are a beautiful in color. Steamed Buns can be purchased frozen at Asian markets, but I love baking. When researching successful recipes for this Asian favorite, I found this recipe from “Madame Wong’s Long-Life Chinese Cookbook.”

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add 1 cup of flour. Mix thoroughly. Cover with cloth. Let rise 1 hour, until bubbles appear.

Dissolve sugar and vegetable oil in 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir well. Cool until lukewarm. Pour into yeast mixture. Add 3 1/2 cups flour.

Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth. Put into extra large, greased bowl in a warm place. Cover with damp cloth.

Let rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.

Divide into 2 portions. Remove first portion and knead 2 minutes. Repeat with second.

Roll each into roll 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Cut into 12 pieces (24 total).

To be sure all pieces are the same size I begin by cutting in half

then in quarters and then I cut the quarters into thirds – 24 perfectly-sized pieces of dough in total!

Flatten each piece with palm of hand. Roll with rolling pin into 3 inch circles.

Brush with sesame seed oil.

Indent middle of circle with chopstick.

Fold circle in half so that it becomes a half moon. Crimp edges tightly with fork.

Place each roll on separate square piece of foil on steamer tray. Cover tray with towel.

Let buns rise to double in bulk, about 30 minutes. Remove towel these make 24 buns and so I place what I can in my steamer to rise and then the rest on a greased pieces of foil on my island. I simply lift the foil as not to disturb the dough and place in the steamer.

Steam, tightly covered, over briskly boiling water for 10 minutes.

Serve with Cindy Jen’s Asian Pulled Pork Tenderloin!

Steamed Buns may be prepared in advance. They may be frozen. Simply thaw out in plastic bag and re-steam 10 minutes.