500 g baby squid, cleaned and quills removed (get your fishmonger to do this for you)
200 g cornflour season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 fresh red chilli (or 1 bird’s-eye chilli if you like it hot)
2 spring onions, finely sliced
vegetable oil for frying
SALTED EGG & COCONUT CRUNCH
50 g desiccated coconut
1 steamed salted egg yolk mashed
2 tbsp Chinese five-spice
1 tsp salt
4 tsp granulated sugar
Sriracha / Japanese mayonnaise to drizzle
Wash the squid tubes and slice them open to lay them flat. Run the tip of your knife along the squid pieces in a diagonal criss-cross pattern (this will help the squid curl up nicely when cooking).
Place the squid tubes and tentacles in a mixing bowl and cover with the cornflour, then cover the bowl with a plate or lid. Hold the bowl and lid together firmly and shake to mix well.
After shaking, use your fingers to massage the cornflour into the squid until each piece is separate and is as dry as possible. Add more cornflour if necessary.
Finely chop the garlic and chillies. Finely slice the spring onions and chilli.
FOR YOUR SALTED EGG COCONUT CRUNCH
Steam the salted egg for 10 minutes and allow to cool, and then remove the yolk and mash well with a fork. Toast the desiccated coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for 4–5 miinutes until evenly golden brown.
Then, add to a spice grinder, coffee grinder or pestle and mortar with the remaining ingredients and grind the mixture to a fine powder.
Half-fill a large pot, wok or deep-fryer with vegetable oil and heat to 180° C, or until the tip of a wooden chopstick or skewer starts to fizz after a second or so in the oil.
Carefully add the squid pieces and deep-fry for 2–3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the squid pieces carefully with a slotted spoon and drain well on a plate covered with kitchen paper.
In a separate wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and chilli, then add the squid and toss together a few times. Transfer to your finished steamed bao (recipe below) then scatter over the spring onion and salted egg coconut crunch to finish before serving.
Serve with Japanese or sriracha mayo on the side.
Homemade Bao Dough
10 large or 16-20 mini bao
THE DRY MIX
530 g middle-gluten wheat flour (swapsies: plain flour/ all-purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
7 g or 1 sachet fast-action dried yeast
40 g caster sugar
15 g baking powder
50 ml milk
200–250 ml warm water (depending on how humid your room feels – if the air feels very dry you’ll want to add a little more water, but if it is very humid, less is required)
25 ml vegetable or sunflower oil
Put the dry mix ingredients into the bowl of a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix the liquid ingredients in a measuring jug. Then slowly pour the liquid into the mixer while kneading on a low speed for around 2 minutes, until all the water is mixed into the flour. Once combined, turn the speed up to high for a further 2 minutes, until the dough has a smooth yet tacky feel to it.
Once the dough has been well kneaded, dust it with 2 tablespoons of flour. Shape the dough into a rough ball, scraping off any additional dough on the sides of the bowl, then coat it lightly with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, put it back into the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave aside in a warm, preferably moist, draught-free location (such as inside a room-temperature oven) for 1–1 ½ hours.
Once the dough has doubled in size, you can make it into whatever shapes you wish before steaming. Steaming time will vary between 8 and 15 minutes, depending on the shape and size of your finished buns (the thinner the bun, the shorter the steaming time).
Roll the proved bao dough out until completely flat and roughly 4mm in thickness, then cut into either rectangles or circles. If cutting circles, roll them out again once cut, to make elongated oval shapes. Once all the shapes have been cut, lightly brush the top of each one with a dab of vegetable oil. Place an oiled chopstick across the centre of each piece of dough and fold one side over the top to form a ‘lip’, then remove the chopstick.
Once you have made the sandwich shapes, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest for 15–20 minutes. Once fully rested, set onto a piece greaseproof paper and then steam for 8–15 minutes (depending on the size of your bao) in a covered steam basket, inside a wok half-filled with boiling water, without opening the lid, until cooked through and risen well. Remove from basket, fill with desired filling and serve.
We suggest: NEFF Griddle Plate
Enjoy the flavours of grilling and the ease of induction cooking with this dishwasher proof Griddle. Typical grill pattern – allows oils to run down the gaps, which is great for healthy meals.Find out more