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Chinese Thanksgiving

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Pumpkin Bao  

Coconut Fried Yams  

Coconut Fried Yams
3 pounds yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut milk
Salt and white pepper

Place the yams in a steam basket set over boiling water and cook until soft. Melt the butter in a wok over medium heat, add sugar and cinnamon, and cook for a minute. Add the yams and stir until slightly brown. Add the coconut milk and cook together for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper.



Wok-Fried Ginger String Beans  

Wok-Fried Ginger String Beans
2 pounds string beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 thin slices peeled ginger, diced
1 medium white onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch ground white pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain, and shock the beans in a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain when cool.

Heat the oil in a wok, add garlic and ginger, and stir-fry briefly. Add the onion and wine and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the string beans and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Season with sugar, salt, and white pepper. Finally, add the soy sauce and stir-fry for an additional 1–2 minutes. Remove and serve.


Pumpkin Bao
FILLING
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons cake flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut milk
8 ounces canned organic pumpkin
1/2 cup whole milk

In a bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cornstarch, and cake flour. Stir in the egg and, when combined, mix in the coconut milk.

Whisk the pumpkin purée in a small bowl until smooth. Add a third of the butter mixture to the pumpkin, then whisk the pumpkin into the butter mixture along with the milk. Pour the mixture into a double boiler and cook until the custard thickens, stirring constantly after the first 5 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

BAO
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 egg, beaten
Powdered sugar

Add the flour, yeast, milk, and sugar to the bowl of a food mixer and beat until combined. Add the butter and mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow the dough to proof for 1 hour, or until it doubles in size. On a floured surface, roll the dough into 1-inch-diameter logs and cut into pieces to form 1 1/2-inch-diameter balls. Flatten each ball of dough with a rolling pin, place about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin mixture in the middle, and wrap the dough around the pumpkin, pinching the dough together to cover the pumpkin. Set on a sheet pan seam side down, about 1 1/2 inches apart.

Let the pumpkin balls proof again for 20–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush egg over the buns. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, turning the trays after 5 minutes, until the dough is firm and golden. Sprinkle the top of each ball with powdered sugar and serve warm.


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