If once Chinese cuisine in Italy was synonymous with almond chicken, spring rolls and Cantonese rice, now the imagery has changed and we see jiao and bao appear, the fantastic Chinese steamed ravioli and buns
Let's make things clear: jiaozi, baozi and bao
When we talk about jiaozi 饺子 we refer to the generic term to define ravioli, the Chinese dish par excellence. The jiaozi can be filled with meat, fish or vegetables and their name changes not so much according to the closure but to the type of cooking. We then have the ravioli in broth shuijiao 水饺, steamed zhengjiao 蒸饺, sautéed on the guōtiē 锅贴 plate and those filled with broth i xiaolóngbāo 小笼 包. The ravioli dough is made from wheat flour and water, no yeast or eggs, which is why they are so light and irresistible.
THE baozi 包子 are stuffed and closed steamed buns, which are eaten in China for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dish originating in Sichuan but widespread throughout the middle land, with some distinction in the filling that varies from region to region. Legend has it that from the classic Chinese bread (mantou 馒头) empty and without seasoning, we switched to the stuffed sandwich to be able to administer the medicinal herbs to the emperor, who was fond of Chinese bread. The dough includes 00 flour, sugar, brewer's yeast, to be filled with the most varied fillings but the most classic is the one with pork.
THE bao 包 or perhaps better to call them guabao 割 包 are an evolution of classic Chinese sandwiches, a fairly recent dish compared to the traditional mantou of imperial origins. They come from the Taiwanese culinary culture, a cuisine of fusion and innovation between East and West. Comparable to our sandwiches because after being cooked they are cut and stuffed, certainly the classic filling is with stewed pork belly, but go ahead for interpretations.
A world of Mao: Maoji, Mini Maoji and Mao Hunan
Certainly it is not the onomatopoeic verse of the most clicked feline on the web, Mao for Chinese is one and only one, Mao Zedong. The names of these places clearly take inspiration from the great Chinese leader, who now becomes a trattoria, street food and restaurant. Behind this format three boys, Angela and Jenny of Chinese origin and Marco the Italian of the group, united by a great friendship and also by some more feelings, decide to launch themselves in the restaurant, with enormous success.
Like any big company, labor is not lacking and in this case Lisa's hands are fast, skillful and precise, dealing with the production of baozi and jiaozi from Maoji Street Food. She juggles between doughs and fillings, rolling pins and steamers, so that at the end of the day she can count about 400 pieces of jiaozi and baozi, all modeled and packaged to perfection. Once tried, you don't go back and since preparing them is an art that requires great manual skill, patience and time, it's not always possible to make them at home, that's why Just Eat comes into action, introducing a new section “Bao & Ravioli kitchen” where you can find easily all the restaurants that offer Chinese cuisine and order them online from the comfort of home. Maoji on the occasion of the launch of the restaurants on Just Eat shows us how to prepare jiaozi, baozi and bao with the help of the attentive Lisa and Angela.
Jiaozi the ravioli
Dough for about 30 ravioli: 200 g wheat flour and 100 cc water.
For the pork filling: pork, ginger, chives and soy;
For the filling with duck: duck, spicy oil, chives, ginger;
For the chicken filling: chicken, chives, corn and soy;
Preparation by Maoji Street Food: mix flour and water and let the dough rest for 30 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap. Form a loaf, cut the dough into slices and knead the dough with a rolling pin, leaving the central part thicker than the edges. Chop and chop the ingredients for the filling, take it a little at a time and place it in the center of each disk. Wet the ravioli on the edges to ensure a perfect seal and close it forming small folds. Cook for about 10/15 minutes in the steamer, placing the ravioli on a special paper disc to prevent them from sticking during cooking.
Preparation by Maoji Street Food: add flour, sugar, yeast and water and knead until you reach a smooth and homogeneous mixture. Let rise for at least 2 hours and then create balls of 30 g each (large version) or 20 g (small version), crush the bread with the palm of your hand without giving too much strength, creating a furrow in the central part where the stuffed. Holding one shell hand, lightly close the dough and begin to shape, with the other hand pinch the edges bringing them to the upper end, creating the classic flower clasp.
Bao open sandwiches stuffed
Dough for a dozen rolls: 250 d 00 flour, 20 g white sugar, 10 cc seed oil, 5 g fresh yeast, 50 cc water.
For the filling with beef: marinated and frayed pork, coriander, caramelized onion.
Preparation by Maoji Street Food: add flour, sugar and a pinch of salt with baking powder and seed oil, knead until smooth and elastic (if you want to give it different colors add black sesame seeds for example). Let it rest and rise in a warm and fairly humid place for at least two hours. Form balls of about 50 g and cook in the steamer for 15 minutes. Cut the sandwiches in half, forming a shell to be filled with the desired filling.