Thursday 24 September 2015

Chilli Anchovies Bun/Sambal Ikan bilis bun 参巴江鱼仔餐包

If you have ever bought those round buns from Gardenia with chilli anchovies or sambal ikan bilis inside, then you know what I am talking about. Although modest in looks, these filled buns are quite celebrated here. You could see bakeries selling this type of buns with all sorts of fillings. It is suitable as a quick snack, or even a light meal for many on the go. This chilli anchovies bun has worked wonders for me whenever I am too busy to have a proper meal. You see, although I like buns with sweet fillings (which is what you normally get), I do get bored with the monotony of sweetness sometimes. I find the sambal filling much more satisfying as not only has it sweetness but saltiness and spiciness as well. And the sambal itself is just so aromatic and tasty, it complemented the whole bun so well.

In order to make this bun, I depended on my trusted tangzhong (water roux) recipe to give this bun its lasting softness. This time, I just halved the recipe. Even that, you could yield quite a number of buns. You can save the remaining half of the egg for glazing. See, no wastage! If you are not a fan of this chilli anchovies like me, you could replace this bun with your choice of filling. Works fine as well.

As for the ever so delicious filling, I am using my prized sambal tumis recipe which I normally make in bulk and kept it frozen to be broken for various uses. But for this purpose, you would want to make the sambal very dry, almost paste-like. This would ensure the filling not to seep out from the bun when baking and it would also ensure your buns last longer as it have lesser moisture. Discard all the oil and water if you have to, add a little cornstarch if you have to.

Chilli Anchovies Bun/Sambal Ikan bilis bun 参巴江鱼仔餐包


1/2 portion bread dough (recipe here)
1/2 egg for eggwash

Ingredients for filling

1/2 portion (approx. 260g) sambal tumis (recipe here)
50g onion, sliced
75 g fried anchovies

Cooking Instructions

1. Prepare bread dough according to instructions here. You can either prepare half the portion or make the whole portion and save half for other buns. After the first proofing/fermentation, you can proceed to wrap the filling.

2. Prepare sambal. Heat up sambal tumis in a wok. Once sambal is bubbling, add onions and continue to stir until onions become limp. Add in anchovies and stir until anchovies have been well coated in sambal. Remove as much oil from the sambal as possible and continue to stir until sambal becomes thick. Remove from fire and let cool.

3. To assemble the bun, take a portion of dough the size of golf ball, or any size you desire. Flatten and roll into a round disc about 1/4 inch thick. Spoon filling into the middle and wrap up the filling. Make sure all openings are properly sealed. Rest buns with sealed parts at the bottom.

4. Set buns aside. Cover loosely with plastic and proof for about 35 - 40 minutes or until the buns double its sizes. Apply eggwash and bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Other Variations:

1. Sardine Bun
2. Curry potato bun
3. Coconut bun
4. Char siew (barbeque pork) bun

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