I have attempted to make Nikumanju today. A japanese Meat Bun.
They have a savoury meat centre with spices with a doughy outside covering the entire thing. They are constantly eaten in anime/manga and in J-dramas, they are the cultural comfort food to be eaten as a snack. Nobody in my circle of friends were thrilled at the idea of the ‘Meat Bun,’ yet I was fascinated. Maybe it was the similarity to the Cornish Pasty, meat inside a savoury pastry shell… I was curious and the thought of it made me hungry.
I used the about.com recipe for Nikuman Meat Buns but I had to swap a few of the filling ingredients; oh the woes of the poor student. I used bamboo shoots, mince (it was asda smartprice so who knows what animal is in it), soy sauce, ginger, sesame seeds and onion.
I did fry off the meat and onion even though the recipe doesn’t say to, I just didn’t trust the smartprice meat to cook in the steamer.
I also forgot to out paper inbetween the manju and the steamer so when I took them out they had moulder themselves into the sieve of the steamer sections. Luckily the dough walls were thick enough to take the attack and came away with just a scar but did not expose their meaty internal.
My first sight of inside was the result of a knife carving the pale cream flesh, and so even after my dreams of these my first taste was ruined of unknown expectation for I had seen it with my own eyes, unable to trust in mere belief.
However as my teeth sank through the moist dough and stole the dark brown jewels under it my happiness was fulfilled. I had made a nikuman, and it tasted good.
I am not quite sure whether I am supposed to eat these hot or cold… I suppose both. I tried them both ways and I received the gratifying comfort of filling food that made me happy each time. My efforts were also praised by friends whom I had forced my buns upon even with their fearful and doubtful faces quivering in front of me. Yes, I am cruel. But I do it out of love. ♥ ;D