Steamed Buns with Lamb Meatballs, Peanut Butter Gravy and Jicama Slaw

IMG_8754I’d like to start this post by saying how much I hate taking pictures of sandwiches. I’m not a very experienced photographer by any means, but I can usually get a couple of shots that I like..except for when the subject is a sandwich. I’ve scrapped two posts so far this year, one of which was pretty time consuming (even coming up with the recipe took a fair share of daydreaming), because after multiple attempts the pictures were still the woooooooooorst. The subject of both of the scrapped posts? Sandwitches. I should really learn more about photography but I find it so incredibly dull. You’re just going to have to trust me when I say that these are so, so good. Like whoever you make them for will bring them up every time you see them good.

Secondly, check out my new header/logo. Beyond perfect, right? Biggest thanks to my good friend Kiefer Waterman for being able to put up with my seemingly-endless weird ideas and translate them to something tangible and beautiful. While we’re on the subject of blog stuff, I recently made a Facebook page for Dear Guts! Link is on the sidebar ^_^

This recipe is an excellent merger of two of the world’s most popular cuisines: Asian and Mexican. I paired the steamed buns with baked togarashi yucca fries to further the combination. I love this Red Lotus brand flour I got from a nearby Asian market. As I was browsing, I felt up this bag of flour and could feel right through the packaging that it is seriously luxe. Asian flours are more like what we’re familiar with as cake/pastry flour and is super light and fluffy. Light and fluffy makes for great steamed buns. This also happens to be my favorite dough I’ve ever worked with.

Delicate and dreamy. Two words it’d be hard to describe steamed buns without using. And when I say dreamy, I mean it. They’re like little edible clouds that seriously entertain your mouth. Despite being comprised of the most common ingredient known to man, wheat flour, they surprise you. It’s impossible to be unhappy while eating a steamed buns. It’s also impossible to not spend the rest of the day calling your cat a steamed bun (“look at that sleepy little steamed bun over there” “she really is such a steamed bun”).


I’m sure you recognize the Jicama Slaw from last week. I mentioned I’d be using it in another post soon and that these steamed buns are Burton’s favorite thing I’ve ever made. He can hardly keep his eyes open while eating them, just saying “oh my god” over and over, reminiscent of someone that ‘took too much’. Not even kidding, the sauce is mindblowing. Mindblowing may be a pretty dumb word, but it’s true! The sensory overload you get from this sauce makes your brain tingle. It’s made with the braising liquid from the meatballs mixed with powdered peanut butter. It’s…unforgettable.


Steamed Buns

makes 9


250 g cake flour, sifted

1 tsp dry active yeast

1/2 tsp salt

~125-150 mL coconut and water mixture (I use a ratio of  1/1 coconut milk to water. If there’s really thin, watery liquid at the top of the can you can just use that)

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar (I used some I had infused with blood oranges

In a large bowl, combine the yeast with 1 tbsp warm water. Add sugar, salt, coconut mixture and vinegar. Slowly add flour and knead for 10 minutes. Yes, really for 10 minutes. Cover bowl with a wet towel and let rise until doubled in size (at least an hour). Roll the dough out to about ~1/2 inch thick and use a glass to cut out circles. Fit a steamer basket over a pot, fill it with a couple inches of water then bring to a boil. Line the steamer basket with parchment paper, then place the steamed buns on top. Steam for 5 minutes.

Braised Lamb Meatballs and Peanut Butter Gravy

makes 9

Meatballs –


1/2 pound ground lamb

1/2 pound ground pork

1 egg yolk

1 shallot, minced

1 tbsp diced ginger

1/4 cup minced cilantro

1 tbsp cornstarch

pinch of salt

Preheat broiler. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Roll out the meatballs into 9 equal parts, then bake for 15 minutes.

Braise/Peanut Butter Gravy


1 shallot, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

2 whole chipotle peppers, minced

juice of one large orange (about 1/4 cup of liquid at least)

1 cup chicken broth

~2-4 tbsp PB2 or powdered peanut butter

Toast the shallot, garlic and spices over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Once fragrant and browned, add the chipotle peppers. Cook for one minute then add the orange juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Pour in the meatballs, along with the fat that dripped out onto the baking sheet. Cover the pot and turn heat to low. Cook for ~1 hour and 20 minutes, turning once. Remove the meatballs and strain the braise. Mix in 2-4 tbsp of powdered peanut butter until your desired consistency.

Top steamed buns with ~1 tbsp of sauce each, 1 meatball and a ~1/4 cup of Jicama Slaw


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