With looking forward to my trips to Shanghai and Hong Kong Disneylands, it seems a little crazy that its almost been a year since I visited Tokyo!
Tokyo Disneyland was the most unique experience, and I would thoroughly recommend a trip if you get the chance – I’m dying to go back already! – and one of the many unique features of the parks was definitely the food. Forget corn dogs and fries, the cuisine is almost entirely suited to the Japanese culture, and we didn’t have a single bad meal there!
While you may not be in the Western parks, there are a couple of burger options for you, but before you go searching for a cheeseburger, even these have an adorable Japanese twist: steamed buns, and a touch of Disney magic! Today, I’m re-creating the most internet famous of these..
These buns are available at Tomorrowland Terrace in Tokyo Disneyland park, but other variations include a Donald equivalent in Toon Town, and a seashell bun in Calypso Kitchen in Tokyo DisneySea, and now I’m so excited that I can make my own!
Being totally clueless on where to even start, I stuck pretty close to the steamed bao bun recipe on BBC Good Food:
- Mix 525g plain flour with 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl
- Dissolve 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp warm water, then add to the dry mix with 50 ml milk, 200 ml water, 1 tbsp sunflower (I used olive) oil and 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and mix into a dough, using either your hands or a dough hook attachment on a food mixer < so much easier than your hands! Knead for 10-15 minutes
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled dough and cover with a damp cloth, then leave for 2 hours to rise. It should double in size, but don’t worry too much if it doesn’t!
- Tip it out onto a floured work surface and flatten it out, then sprinkle 1 tsp baking powder over it and knead for 5 minutes.
This is where I deviated a little from the method of the recipe.
- Roll out the dough until its about 1cm thick. I found this easier by cutting the dough in half and doing one half at a time!
- Using a big flower shaped cutter, preferably a five petal design, cut out shapes from the dough. Using your hands, stretch these out slightly, dab with a bit of oil and fold them over a chopstick so that three of the petals are on top (see that Mickey hand shape?) and repeat with all the dough.
- Cover the buns with a clean tea towel or oiled cling film, then leave somewhere warm to prove for 1 hr 30 mins.
- The buns should double in size, but again, don’t worry about this too much – mine didn’t!
- Before cooking, use black food colouring and a paintbrush or toothpick to add Mickey’s glove markings!
- Cook the buns in a steamer for 8 minutes, then unfold, fill and close back up!
The buns are best served still warm, but still delicious once cooled! I personally recommend filling with pulled pork or teryaki chicken!
Love the look of these? Have a look at my favourite crazy Tokyo foods!