Mmm... mantou

I've just returned from Nanning, the capital city of China's southwestern province of Guangxi, covering a media preview of the 7th edition of the China-Asean Expo. The weather was very hot and dry. During our 6-day assignment there, I and other Asean journalists (totalling 13) ate a lot of mantou.

Here's a tip! You can make good mantou by using palm shortening because it has less water content than margarine.


Ingredients for starter dough
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 tablespoon lukewarm water
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Ingredients for dough
17oz low protein flour
4oz sugar
2oz palm shortening

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoon baking powder


1. In a small bowl, mix in the starter dough ingredients. Leave it aside for 10 minutes.
2. Sieve flour and baking powder in a separate mixing bowl. Make a well, add sugar, and blend in the starter dough mixture.
3. Fold in the palm shortening and water. Mix until you get a soft dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 2oz each. Knead well, flatten and cut into strips. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
5. Prepare steamer. Place mantou in steamer for 10 minutes.

6. For crispy version, deepfry the steamed mantou in searing palm cooking oil for 20 seconds.

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