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Portable meat snacks are probably one of my favorite things to lust over… in a purely food sense, of course. Maybe it’s the secret wanderer in me, but food you can easily pack up and take on an journey has always really appealed to my sense of adventure and excitement. I mean, cut me some slack – I read a lot of the Redwall series by Brian Jacques when I was younger, and those stories were overflowing with descriptions of delectable camp food, among other things. And seriously… meat buns! You can eat them on the go, with your hands, and still have a tasty and exciting meal! That kind of stuff just makes me happy.
So, of course, when I saw this mystery bun in Kakuriyo -Bed and Breakfast for Spirits- I had to make it. I didn’t have a lot to go from, seeing as Aoi-chan doesn’t explain what it is or how she made it. But it seems like a selection of ground beef mixed with chunks of potato. Of course, I imagined, there must be some kind of spice mixed in to make it flavorful. After all, the bread itself would make the perfect vehicle for mopping up a savory gravy, right? So the filling must be juicy and luscious. RIGHT??
Having little to go on via the actual anime, I decided to make my own recipe. And, out of everything I’ve made this summer, this was definitely the best. The filling is sweet and a little spicy, juicy and fragrant without overwhelming the bread shell. The beef is spiced perfectly and works well against the creaminess of the baked potato chunks. The bread is crispy on the outside, but softer where it meets the generous amount of filling. All in all, the perfect portable snack. A great option for a packed lunch, or just to bring on a drive around town. Even just the filing by itself over some rice would be heavenly. Try it today – you won’t regret it!
Click to watch the video below to see the full process!
Ingredients for the Meat Bun
Recipe adapted from here!
-1 cup warm water -1 packet of active dry yeast -1 1/2 tbsp sugar -2 cups bread flour + more for kneading -1/2 tsp salt -2 large eggs -3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
-1 yellow onion -6 cloves garlic, grated -1 lb beef -1 large russet potato, cubed -2 tbsp oyster sauce -2 tbsp soy sauce -1 tsp paprika -1/4 tsp red pepper -Salt
-1 egg -1 tbsp water
To Make the Meat Bun
1. Add yeast and 1/2 tbsp to warm water. Stir together and let sit about 10 minutes, or until foamy.
2. In a bowl, add the flour, remaining sugar, salt, eggs, oil, and yeast mixture. Stir together until sticky dough forms.
3. Flour a surface generously and begin to work the dough. It will be very sticky at first. Keep incorporating flour until dough is no longer sticky and is instead elasticky, firm, and no longer sticks to your hands, about 10 minutes.
4. Oil the mixing bowl (clean it first), and place dough ball in. Cover with cloth, and let rise about one and a half hours, or until doubled. While waiting, get started on the filling.
5. In a medium high pan, sauté onion in some oil until translucent. Add in grated garlic, and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add in the ground beef and break it up.
6. Allow beef to become browned all over. Add in the potato and mix through. Add in the seasonings, and allow to cook together until sauce clings nicely to the beef and potatoes, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
7. At this point, preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into 10 pieces. Roll out each piece so that the edges are thin and the middle is a bit thicker. Place two heaping tablespoons of filling in the center, and pinch the edges together to close the bun.
8. Roll the bun in your hands to make a smooth circle shape, then place onto baking sheet and press away any weird lumps. Once all buns have been formed, let rise another 30 minutes, and then cut a decorative X into the top.
9. Quickly whisk together egg and water and wash the tops of each bun with the mixture. Place in oven for approximately twenty minutes, or until bottoms are nice and browned and tops are shiny. Allow to cool, and serve warm!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe. To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀