This is one of my absolute favourite new recipes, I've had the pleasure of eating at a wee Asian tapas place down here in Brighton call Yum Yum Ninja (Best. Name. Ever) who do not only a great non-alcoholic cocktail but also something they call the Legendary Ninja Bun! I obviously couldn't pass up a dish with a name like that and, thankfully, it turned out to be as legendary as they claimed. Obviously I then set about figuring out how to make these at home.
Now the overall time it takes to make these is long, but most of that is just spent waiting for the lamb to cook and the dough to rise, so do what I do and spend that extra time playing some more GTAV!
Crispy Lamb Buns (makes about 6 buns)
For the lamb:
- 750g cheap cut of lamb (I used a shoulder but anything with a bit of fat on it is good)
- 1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 hot chili pierced
- 8 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp Chinese 5 spice powder
- 150ml rice wine (I just chucked in some Sake I had left over from a party)
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 90ml warm water
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1.5 tbsp oil (rapeseed if you've got it but sunflower is fine)
- 150g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- glug of oil
- spring onions and peppers sliced fine vertically
- Hosin sauce! (I love hosin sauce)
- Throw all the lamb ingredients in a saucepan or casserole dish and pour in enough water to just cover the lamb. Bring to the boil and lower to a medium low heat, pop the lid on and let cook for about three hours. Do the hoovering...ha, yeah right, make yourself a gin and tonic. Keep an eye on the liquid levels.
- After the lamb is cooked and falling apart, take it off the heat and leave to cool in the liquid. You can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Be sure to skim any fat off the top.
- Now for the buns! Pop your yeast in the warm water and stir, give it 5 mins to activate before adding the oil.
- Put the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and pour in the yeast water, mixing vigorously with your hand until it comes together in a ball of dough.
- Pop the dough on a clean oiled surface and knead for about 5-8 mins it doesn't need too long just until it becomes lovely and smooth (I call this the smackable stage)
- Pop in in an oiled bowl and leave to rise for an hour or so, until it doubles in size. Pour yourself a glass of wine, you deserve it.
- Set a pan of water on a high heat (this is to steam your lovely buns) and turn on the grill to medium. Lift the lamb on to a baking tray and pop it under the grill to get nice and crispy, it's almost (ALMOST) impossible to dry it out at this point, so don't worry if the next bit takes a while. Don't chuck the cooking liquid as you can always freeze it for noodle soups or reduce it down to make stir fry sauce.
- Scoop your dough out on to a clean surface and gently roll it into a sausage shape. Take a floured knife and divide it into six equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball and then, with a rolling pin or the empty bottle of wine you drank, roll them into little flat discs about 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with oil and fold them in half with the oiled sides touching, space them evenly in your steamer and pop it on top of the now boiling water, turn the heat down to medium.
- When the lamb looks crispy on top, pull it out and shred the meat with two forks, pull out any bones and discard.
- Once the buns have puffed up (about 10 mins), take them off the pan of water.
- Now Buns! Assemble! Stuff some of the lamb in a bun, add a dollop of hoisin sauce (or chilli sauce of your choice), and top with some sliced spring onions and peppers. Now munch to your hearts content!