Taro steamed buns (mantou)

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Judy Shan/Staff

Finals are coming, and with RRR week looming before us, it’s definitely time for yet another delectable recipe to warm and comfort your soul – since it’s probably shivering at the thought of the marathon finals studying that will no doubt be taking place in the near future. So today at the Clog, we’ve prepared a delicious taro mantou (steamed bun in Chinese) recipe just for you. Make these and eat these – they’re guaranteed to lift your spirits onto a fluffy cloud of happiness! Oh, and an extra bonus: They’re definitely considered healthy because taro’s technically a (root) vegetable. So eat two, four, or eight … there’s no need to worry, because it’s just healthy, veggie fuel for your hardworking brain.

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Judy Shan/Blog Staff

Ingredients

Makes 16 fluffy, fragrant taro buns

500 grams all purpose flour

80 grams white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups warm water

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

2 cups of finely chopped taro (into long, thin pieces)

Mix together all purpose flour, white sugar and salt.

Put yeast in the warm water to activate the yeast, so that your buns will rise up nice and fluffy later on. After the yeast is activated (after around five minutes), mix the warm water-yeast mixture with the dry ingredients.

Knead the mixture into a combined dough (knead for around ten minutes – this is a great opportunity for you to take out all your frustrations for a great cause), so that the ingredients are well-distributed throughout the dough mass. Cover the kneaded dough ball with a cloth and place in a warm area. Wait for the dough ball to almost double in size (this will take around two hours).

While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare your chopped taro. For those with minimal chopping experience, no worries! We’re sure that you’ll get the handle of it in no time. To prepare the taro, first slice off the outer skin of the taro. You may want to wear gloves during this process, as taro skin has a tendency to irritate your skin and cause itchiness. After removing the taro skin, chop the taro in half, then turn each half on its flat side onto the cutting board. Slice the taro into thin half-moon shapes, then proceed to stack a few half-moon pieces together and cutting them into thin strips.

Continue this process until you have around two cups of chopped taro.

After the dough has doubled in size, push out all the air, and mix in the taro pieces you laboriously chopped up previously. Then, after all the taro pieces have been well-incorporated into the dough, roll it up into a round dough mass.

Using a chopping knife, divide the dough round into four sections, approximately equal to each other. Then divide each fourth into fourths again, so that you end up with 16 total pieces.

Place assembled buns onto parchment paper, then let the buns rise for about 30 more minutes.

Steam the buns in a steamer for around 15 minutes, and then the buns will be ready to eat! They should be warm, incredibly soft, fluffy buns with a unique, delicious taro flavor – a wonderful way to boost your studying efficiency – just in time for finals!

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Judy Shan/Blog Staff

Contact Judy Shan at [email protected].