Updated post on 3-2-2017
I have decided to prepare a batch that are common in West Malaysian. Usually, it is shape round or oblong shape and sharp razor or knifes is used in the scoring of the buns. The buns will be either colour in red or pink.
This is a rather niche post, may be only a small percentage of the readers will try out this recipe as these steamed buns are usually prepared for Taoist’s deities birthday celebration. However, it is definitely a nice and healthy bun for breakfast. The name of the buns is Miku, literally translated as “rice turtle” or “rice tortoise” . Another translation is the “Flour tortoise or mian gui (面龟）“
In my hometown, it was white and shaped like a turtle and have a “longevity” chop in its body signifying long life of the deities and followers. However, in other parts of Malaysia, some like to colour it pinkish red and have various shapes such as the letter “8” shape or just round shape but on the top of the buns, it was purposely cut (like baguette) into flower petals.
What is it actually? It is no more than a steamed bun or bread. Depending on your preference, they can be with or without fillings. In this illustration, it is without filling and resembles mantou.
Usually, after offerings in the next morning, the buns are re-steamed, skin taken away and eat with a cup of hot coffee and some even pan fry it until crispy and fragrant. However, this recipe is much sweeter than the mantou and you can eat the bun on its own. Actually, it is quite a nice bun to chew on. If you like to have another simple recipe of mantou, you can refer to this post: Chinese Steamed Bread–Mantou (刀切馒头)
Preparing the buns are not difficult but timing of proofing and steaming have to be given due attention. I have prepared 3 batches, the first 2 batches were over proofed and it was only for the third batch of the buns that I am successful.
If you have like to colour the bun, you will need to colour it either before or after the steaming. Colour before the steaming do pose some technical difficulties as it may spoilt the dough and possibly lead to over proofing.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 5 medium sized steamed buns
250 grams of plain flour
4 grams of instant dry yeast
50 grams of castor sugar
120 grams of lukewarm water
30 grams of vegetable shortening
Pinches of salt
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Get ready a steamer with cold water.
Mix all ingredients and knead in a standing mixer until the dough leaves the sides of the whisking bowl. You can also manual do this until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and let it proof until double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel to prevent moisture loss during the process.
When the dough is proofed, divide the dough into 5 portions of 80 grams for the body, 5 portions of 8 grams for the head and for the remaining, cut into 25 small portions for the legs and tail.
Take a portion of the 80 grams dough, shape round as the body. Do the head, tail and legs. Attach it to the body. If preferred, put 2 black sesame seeds as eyes. Put in a cupcake cup. Once the dough reach 1.5 times of the size, transfer the steamer tray to the steamer with COLD WATER. Bring the water boil under high heat and steam for 12-15 minutes （note that the 12-15 minutes starts from cold water until the end of the steaming). If you would like to colour the turtle, you can colour before steaming or after steaming. When the buns are steamed, chop the red longevity word on top of the body while it is hot.
- Shape the dough into the design size. Colour the buns with red or pink colour as evenly as possible. Let it proof until 1.5 times.
- Use a sharp knife to score some lines into your desired pattern. It is recommended that you use men’s shaving razor for best effect.
- Once done, transfer the steamer tray to the steamer with COLD WATER. Bring the water boil under high heat and steam for 12-15 minutes （note that the 12-15 minutes starts from cold water until the end of the steaming).
This is a nice steam bun to go with a cup of coffee. It is fast and easy to prepare.. Do not ask me where I get the chop as it is a hand gift from Hong Kong. Ha-ha
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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