Chicken Steam Buns with Cucumber Pickles

This recipe combines ground chicken in a delicately sweet fluffy steam bun with spicy cucumber pickles sprinkled with red pepper flakes.  Look for steamed buns in the freezer section of your grocery or at an Asian market, or you can make your own with this recipe.  If you want to omit the steamed buns the ground chicken (or pork or turkey!) would be delicious served as lettuce wraps.  DSC_0477

What to buy (serves 2):

  • 6 steam buns
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

What to do:

  • combine cucumber, vinegar, sugar, 1/2  the scallions, 2 tablespoons olive oil and red pepper flakes, stirring well to combine, set aside to marinate for an hour or a few days
  • heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan over medium high heat until hot and add chicken, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and cook until meat is lightly browned, stirring to break apart, set cooked chicken aside
  • add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan and add remaining 1/2 of scallions, garlic and ginger, cooking until softened, about 2 minutes
  • add hoisin sauce, cooked chicken and stir to combine
  • using a steaming basket or a colander over a pot of boiling water, steam buns for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened and puffy
  • fill each bun with chicken mixture and cucumber pickles, serve hot