Hello Kitty and Panda Steamed Buns
I've been seeing all over the internet adorable animal and cartoon shaped steamed buns for quite some time now, but it was mostly photos of shops that made these. I thought it would be difficult to make these since I couldn't find much information on how to do these online and that there might be some super secret way to make these cute buns. To my surprise it is actually a lot more easy and forgiving that I expected. All I needed was my trusty to go to steamed bun recipe and some food dye. I expected the food dye color to fade or change colors after steaming, but it actually kept its vibrant pink and yellow colors. I think only if you over cook these buns the colors would change. I did go through some trial and error and found that after glueing on the pieces with water you would need to wait a bit for it to dry or the colors will bleed while steaming.
I finally got my hands on some proper red beans to make some red bean paste! It's really delicious when you strain the bean paste out, but it takes quite some labor to do it, and you'd only get so much bean paste. Red bean paste could also be bought premade to get that part out of way, in fact I do recommend just getting it premade. I don't think I'll ever make red bean paste ever again because. I decided to go with my Char Siu filling for the Hello Kitty's and bean paste filling for the pandas.
In the end I made only 11 buns, but it was a ridiculous amount of work that went into these (Probably because of the fillings). I think the most simplest and easiest design was the panda's face, it only required a few pieces and one color. Hello Kitty required 12 pieces and three different colors, and just multiply that by the number of Hello Kitty Buns. Be sure to tune in to your favorite kdrama show while decorating things because it can take a while. In the end I felt like all the effort was worth it to see these really adorable cute buns come out of the steamer. I am looking forward to trying other characters and designs using steamed buns in the future~
I tried to be as detailed as I could in this recipe, along with it I have a video tutorial. But feel free to ask me any questions if you're stuck on any parts of the recipe. It would also be good to ask me questions before starting the recipe. I will do my best to respond as soon as I see the question. I can be contacted anywhere on my social media sites, or through this blog. I can be reached the soonest through Instagram or Facebook.
Hello Kitty and Panda Steamed Buns Video Tutorial
Steamed Buns Recipe
Yield: 11 Buns
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup corn starch
- 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- red yellow, and black food coloring
Red Bean Paste
Recipe can be found here on thewokslife.com (but I made changes to mine):
- 12 oz Red Beans
- 1 Cup sugar
- In a bowl soak 12 oz of red beans in water overnight. The very next day rinse the beans 4 times. Pour the beans into a pot and fill it with water enough to leave 1 inch of water above the beans. Cook the beans for 30 minutes on medium heat covered until the beans soften (check by pressing the beans together with your fingers and if they easily mush its done) If it takes longer the water may evaporate and you can add more water to the pot. Strain the beans and place the beans back into the pot or another bowl. Sweeten with sugar to taste, or with a cup of sugar. Depending on how you want the beans, you can either mash it with a rolling pin, blend it, or blending it and straining it (*I prefer the taste of it blended and strained but that takes a lot of work, and you won't get a lot of paste out of it.) Using a tablespoon portion out the bean paste and using it to mold the paste into a half dome and push it out from the tablespoon, using your thumb. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate till needed.
- In a bowl add 1 teaspoon of yeast, a handful of the 2 cups of flour to feed the yeast, and some of the 3/4 cup of warm water to dissolve it. Whisk this together till its dissolved. Add in the rest of the flour, 1 cup of cornstarch, 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup oil, 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder, stirring and kneading until it forms a ball. If it has not yet formed a bowl, add a little bit of more water at a time until the ball forms. Remove it from the bowl and knead for 4-5 minutes until smooth.
- Place the dough in a large clean bowl, cover the lid/top of the bowl with saran wrap, and leave it in a warm area until it doubles in size. This may take around 1-2 hours depending on how warm it is, the weather, humidity, etc, the yeast, everything.
- Deflate dough by gently pushing it down with your knuckles. Remove it from the bowl and knead it for 4-5 seconds. Roll it into a log and weigh the dough out. Divide the weight of the dough by 12 and portion them into 12 equal pieces. Roll the ball into 12 smooth balls. Taking one of the balls divide it into two, and taking a small piece from one of the ball. Color the two big pieces black and the other piece pink, and the small piece yellow with food dye. Work with black food dye last because it is the messiest. Throughly knead the the colors well, and add more colors to achieve desired colors. The colors can bleed if you steam these while they're wet. So keep that in mind.
- Flatten the 11 doughs into a small disk. Fill with red bean paste that you've shaped earlier. (I made mine half red bean, the other half bbq pork buns) Pinch the disc closed like a taco and gather it together. Place the dough with seam side down onto a piece of square paper or parchment paper. Pushing it flat into a thick disk, and shaping the sides for an even circle. For the dough for Hello Kitty's head you can make it slightly oval-round.
Colors needed: black
- Roll out small black balls for the ears. Flatten it with your thumb, and cut it in half with a bench scraper or knife.
- Roll out a jelly bean shaped black ball, and flatten it into a thin oval for the eyes
- Roll out a small black ball for the mouth.
- Using a light brush of water glue together the pieces onto the buns. The smaller pieces like the mouth only needs the smallest amount of water. The brush and your fingers may give off too much water. So lightly brush your palm with some water and roll and swipe some of the dough onto it and rolling the dough onto the dry part of your hand. This goes for any other tinier pieces for Hello Kitty also. Before steaming any of these, let the dough dry up a bit from the water-glue. Wet dyed dough will have bleeding colors in the steamer.
Hello Kitty Face
Colors needed: black, pink, yellow
- Roll out two pink balls flatten it into a small oval, and using a bench scraper or knife give it some bow like features by pressing it halfway in the center horizontally. Piece the two bow pieces together glue it on the head with water. Taking a smaller pink ball flatten it gently and glue it onto the center where the two bow pieces meet.
- Roll out two small black balls for eyes.
- Roll out a small yellow ball for the nose.
- Roll out six black lines for the whiskers.
- Attach the pieces onto the dough with a small touch of water, keeping in mind the small pieces can not have too much contact in water again. And the pieces must dry for a few minutes before being placed in the steamer, or the colors will bleed out.
- Steam for 12 minutes covered, never opening the lid. Once the timer is up turn off the heat, and waiting 2-3 minutes before removing the lid. Removing the lid immediately while the steamer is still on can leave drip marks from the lid onto the buns.
Alternative filling: Char Siu Pork Filling http://hungrymoomoocow.blogspot.com/2015/10/steamed-chinese-bbq-pork-buns-char-siu.html
Recipe can be found here on thewokslife.com (but I made changes to mine):
|Presteamed Hello Kitty Buns|
|Steamed Hello Kitty Buns (After)|
|Presteamed Panda Buns|
|Panda buns steamed (after)|
|Panda steamed buns just finished steaming|