Steamed Otah Buns

I found 3 packs of otah paste in the freezer and it became the perfect excuse to make some steamed buns. Otah is a pâté-like spicy fish cake that is usually eaten as a snack in South-East Asia.

You can find otah bread buns at the bakery but I’ve always found them rather dry and boring. I thought it would perfect to match the otah with minced chicken and mushrooms for a really juicy and yummy filling. To offset the fishiness, I’ve also added cilantro to it. The result was fantastic! It’s the yummiest steamed buns I’ve ever had.

Steamed Otah Buns
Ingredients (makes 8 buns) :
250 grams plain flour
140 ml mushroom water *see below
25 grams sugar
1.5 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbs sesame oil
pinch of salt
1 packet of otah paste
200 grams minced chicken
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
a bunch of cilantro 
Bring 200 mls of water to a boil and add in the dried shiitake mushrooms. Simmer gently at low heat until mushrooms turn soft. Remove mushrooms and squeeze to dehydrate it slightly. Measure out 140 ml of the stock and leave to cool.
Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well with fingers. Pour in the sesame oil and cooled mushroom water. Mix well and knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes until dough is smooth. Transfer dough to a bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour. 
While dough is rising, start to prepare the filling. Dice mushrooms and cilantro. Mix together with otah paste and minced chicken. 
Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and round into balls. 
Knead dough a few times and divide into 8 equal portions. Leave it to rise for another 15 minutes.
Flatten dough and roll into 5 inch diameter circle. Place filling into centre of dough and pleat into a bun shape.

 Ensure there is plenty of space between the buns while steaming as they will further double in size. Steam for 15 minutes. 
 Enjoy immediately or freeze remainder for later. Buns are brown because of the mushroom water.

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