Today, I’d like to share with you how to make steamed meat bun (nikuman) from Haikyu!!（ハイキュー!!） As a snack, as seen in Haikyuu, it is often eaten by students on their way home from school. With so many juicy ingredients stuffed into the fluffy dough, one piece will make you feel satiated.
What is Nikuman?
It is a steamed bun made by adding your favorite ingredients such as green onions and shiitake mushrooms to minced pork, then wrapping it in a flour-based dough. In the Kansai region of Japan (around Osaka), it is called BUTA-Man.
In Japan, during the winter, convenience stores have warming cases for steamed buns next to the registers, where you can buy warm steamed buns.
In supermarkets, you can also buy steamed buns that can be heated up in a microwave oven, so you don’t have to make them yourself.
What kinds of steamed buns are there in Japan?
Nikuman (meat bun) is the most popular type of steamed buns in Japan. The filling is usually made of pork, with chopped green onions, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, etc. mixed in as desired. The dough is soft and the ingredients are juicy and very tasty.
New style buns such as red bean paste buns, curry buns (curry flavor) and pizza buns (pizza flavor) have been created based on the nikuman. Premium meat buns made from premium meats are also available.
Sauces for Nikuman
Freshly steamed buns are tasty enough on their own, but there is a custom to eat them with sauce depending on the region.
For example, in the Kyushu region, people eat them with vinegar and soy sauce and Japanese mustard paste. In the Kansai region, they eat it with soy sauce, vinegar and soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
I grew up in an area where they were eaten without any toppings, so I was surprised when I learned that they were eaten with soy sauce and Japanese mustard.
If you are interested, please try it with the sauce!
How to Make Meat Bun (Nikuman) from Haikyu!!
For the Dough
- 150 g all purpose flour type 405 (in Germany)
- 50 g bread flour type 550 (in Germany)
- 30 g sugar
- ½ tbsp instant yeast
- ½ tbsp baking powder
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- a pinch salt
- 100 ml lukewarm water
For the Filling
- 150 g ground pork
- ½ onion, minced
- 1 tbsp panko
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp potato starch / corn starch
- ½ tsp salt
To Make Dough
- In a bowl, mix all the ingredients needed for the dough except for the lukewarm water and mix well.
- Add lukewarm water a little by little and knead well about 10-15 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and silky. You can either knead it in the bowl or place it on a work surface.
- Form the dough into a smooth, round shape, gently tucking loose ends underneath. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Wait until the dough doubles in size, about 30-60 minutes. (Approx. 40 minutes at 35°C)
To Prepare the Filling
- While the dough is rising, make the ingredients. Put all the ingredients you need for the filling in a bowl.
- Knead the mixture well until it is well combined and looks pale and sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until the dough is ready.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll out each piece again. Cover with a tightly squeezed wet cloth and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to make it easier to handle.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle. Roll out the edges of the circle thinly, but do not overstretch the center. This will bring the ingredients to the middle.
- Pinch the edges of the dough together with the thumb and index finger of your right hand.
- Without moving the position of the right thumb, use the index finger to pinch the dough further ahead and stick it together. Press the filling into the dough with the thumb of your left hand to prevent them from coming out.
- Pinch the center of the dough together to close. If there are too many ingredients inside, it will be difficult to wrap, so if you are making it for the first time, use fewer ingredients to make it easier to wrap.
- Place a small piece of parchment paper under each bun.
- Boil water in a steamer and place the buns apart so they rise to about 1.5 times their original size.
- Steam over medium heat for 15 minutes.
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