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Prawn Cocktail Bao Buns

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These burger-bun-inspired baos are so fluffy and pillowy, making them the ideal companion to sweet and delicate prawns in a tangy, spicy sauce and crisp, fresh lettuce. It’s your standard prawn cocktail, with my little Asian twist! Homemade baos also freeze really well, just in case you have extra on your hands.

WATCH THIS RECIPE

PRAWN COCKTAIL BAO BUNS

PREP TIME

10 minutes
COOK TIME

50 minutes + rising time
SERVES

Makes about 14
Ingredients

28 small cooked & peeled prawns

finely shredded iceberg lettuce

coriander sprigs, to serve

crispy fried shallots, to serve

 

Bao buns:

360g all-purpose plain flour, plus extra for dusting

4g baking powder

5g instant dry yeast

35g white sugar

35g vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the dough

180g warm water

20ml milk

 

Spicy cocktail sauce:

½ cup Kewpie mayonnaise* (or whole-egg mayonnaise)

2 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)

1 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce*

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp lime juice

Steps
Step 1

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, yeast and sugar. In a separate bowl mix the vegetable oil, water and milk. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the oil mixture. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to knead until the dough comes together. Empty out onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, adding extra flour if the dough sticks to the palm of your hand. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover and rest in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 2

Once risen, transfer the dough to a work surface and dust with flour. ‘Punch down’ the dough by kneading it for 5 to 10 minutes. The aim here is to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Roll into a large cylinder and cut it in half. Reserve one piece under a tea towel to stop it from drying out.

Step 3

Take the other piece of dough and roll it into a long cylinder. Divide into 8 pieces. Moisten your hands with extra vegetable oil and roll each piece into a round shape. Place each on a square of baking paper. Repeat with remaining reserved piece of dough. Cover all the dough balls with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Step 4

Fill a wok one-third full with water and place over high heat. When the water is boiling, steam the buns in batches in a bamboo steamer for 12 minutes or until fluffy and cooked through. Then turn off the heat (don’t lift the lid) and allow the buns to rest over the hot water for 5 minutes before transferring to a plate or tray. Buns can be made up to a day in advance and steamed to re-heat before serving. They can also be frozen at this point and reheated from frozen in the steamer before serving.

Step 5

To make the spicy cocktail sauce, place the ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined.

Step 6

To assemble, use a serrated knife to cut each bun in half. Spread the bottom of the bun with cocktail sauce. Top with lettuce, 2 prawns, crispy shallots and coriander. Spread the top of the bun with cocktail sauce and place on top. Serve.

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