Sunday, February 28, 2021

Japanese Steamed Curry Buns #FoodnFlix

These buns are soft and delicious. They are like soft pillows. Steamed buns are fun and yum to have. I tried the steamed Japanese curry bun or kare bun for #foodnflix. The movie for this month is "Spirited Away". My kids love watching anime and we were excited to watch the movie. I had checked out the movie in our library,  but all of us had a crazy weekends this month but somehow we managed to watch it together and enjoyed the time. These buns are equally tasty like the Tainan Pan-fried Cabbage and Noodle Buns. I adapted parts of the recipe from Lisa. I steamed instead of pan-frying and didn't use ketchup. These buns can be steamed, pan-fried or baked and they are tasty in all the three forms. I used the same recipe for the buns as in Pan-fried Cabbage and Noodle Buns.  When I read about the curry powder, I saw that Indian and Japanese curry powder to be similar but latter being milder. You can make your own curry powder or use store-bought ones.

Food'nFlix is a fun little group that gets together each month and watches the same movie at their leisure.  Once we watch, we create a dish that was inspired by the chosen film. Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting this month. If you want to participate in Food 'n Flix, Check out this month's announcement post at Culinary Adventures with Camilla, and drop by the Food 'n Flix site to learn more! Thanks, Camilla!

This is a beautiful movie by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. In this animated film, a 10-year-old Chihiro  and her parents, who were on the way to their new home they were moving to, stumble upon a abandoned amusement park. Her parents were turned into giant pigs after they ate the food there, which were for spirits who visit the bath house. Chihiro meets the mysterious Haku, who explains to her that the park is a resort for supernatural beings who spend their time there, and that she must work there to free herself and her parents. Finally, she frees her parents from there. 

I was so impressed by the character, Chihiro. What amazing qualities she has! She has the dedication and determination to the fullest to get back her parents though she was scared. At the same tome, she was nice to everyone and showed compassion. She worked hard in Yubaba's bathhouse. She cared for the stinking spirit which was a harder job for a 10 year old. She had the qualities to care for others and refused gold when others were running for it. She was not greedy and was the most lovable child. For a 10 year old, having these qualities consistent, really moved me and I loved the movie and Chihiro.

There were so many food inspirations. My daughter loves Asian food and in fact she was the guide for me in identifying the foods from the movie. I wanted to make the sponge cake they had when they had a high tea with Zeniba. In fact, wanted to make the same kind of high tea experience since we loved it in London. May be sometime. I wanted to make vegan onigiri and steamed buns. Chihiro had when she was talking to Lin and they were enjoying the buns. I am not sure what the filling was. I wanted to try the red bean stuffed buns as well as the curry buns.  I was happy that at least I tried the curry buns, because of time crunch. They were delicious and would soon try the bean paste buns too. 


Makes 8

Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Proving time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Cooling time : 10 minutes

For the dough:

All-purpose flour -3 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Oil - 1-2 tbsp
Water - 1 and 1/4 cup

For the curry:

Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Carrots - 2/3 cup, chopped
Beans - 1/4 cup, chopped
Potatoes - 1 cup, chopped
Garlic- 3 cloves, finely chopped
Curry powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - 2/3 tsp
Water - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Green onion - 1, chopped


Activate the yeast if you are using active dry yeast in warm sugar water. This can be skipped if you are using instant yeast. Add salt to the flour, make a well, add the yeast mixture and 1 tbsp oil. Knead to a soft dough. Apply a little oil on the dough and the bowl and leave it covered for an hour for it to double in size.

In the meantime, chop the veggies. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, carrots, and beans. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the bell peppers, potatoes, salt, and curry powder. Sauté for a minute. Add a cup of water. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes till the veggies are cooked. Make a slurry with 1 tsp rice flour and 2 tbsp water. Add chopped green onions, soy sauce and rice flour slurry, cook for a minute  to thicken. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.

After the dough has doubled, punch down and roll. Make it into 8 portions. Roll each into a ball. Flatten them to 7-9 inch and fill in 2 tbsp of curry. Gently gather the edges and fold into pleats and close the buns. Repeat with all the dough balls. 

Heat water in a pan and bring to a boil. Smear oil generously if you are using a steel plate to steam. Keep the seam side of the bun facing down on the plate, cover and steam for 12 minutes. Depending on the size of the pan or steamer, steam in one or couple of batches.

Cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serve with sweet and spicy sesame - soy sauce or sweet red chili sauce.