Manapua Cobbler

So is it really bad form to re-post something from your own blog? Every once in awhile I go back and read ancient posts to see what was on my mind, say in May of 2001. I usually do this when I’m working on advanced procrastination techniques. None of that amateur time-wasting for me. I go for the big guns.

I read this yesterday when I should have been tediously transferring information from one endless spreadsheet to another. It was the great manapua experiment that went so very wrong.

I’ve never tried the recipe again even though I’ve always intended to. I had no idea it was so long ago. The funniest part is that almost every month my stats have a search string from someone looking for a manapua or hum bao recipe. I wonder if they even bother to read this.

Yesterday I tried to make manapua and I’m no expert on the correct names and origins of this food but generally I think you could also call this hum bao or bao buns or steamed buns. I have never made this before or seen anyone make it, but my cousin Lisa told me she made them once and it was easy.

So I made the filling and that went fine. I didn’t like the recipe’s filling so I invented my own which was chicken and pressed tofu baked in homemade bbq sauce and then minced carrot, turnip, onion and mushroom sauteed in a bit of bbq sauce and mixed with the tofu/chicken.

Then I made the dough and that actually turned out okay too except it seemed to need an awful lot of flour and I had a tough time getting it all mixed in and the recipe said to be careful not to knead too much because you didn’t want gluten to form.

I did all the steps, did the dough rise, rolled out my dough, filled em up and here’s where the problem came in. The recipe guy said he steamed them in a bamboo steamer in his wok. Since I don’t have a bamboo steamer or a wok, I decided to use the steamer insert in my soup pot. He said he did 12 at a time, two layers of six, but as I made mine I thought, “Hey, I can fit 12 at a time, in two layers,” and I packed them all in elbow to elbow.

So when I did the rise, the buns all fused together into a giant lump of dough and then when I did the steam/cook part, the only part that cooked was the bottoms and along the sides. Then when I took them out, the individual buns were all stuck together and when I tried to separate them, the filling flew out. So basically I ended up with a manapua dough cobbler. We threw them on a cookie sheet and baked them in the oven and salvaged them somewhat.

Sadly, no one has ever found this website by searching for “manapua dough cobbler.”

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