Chinese Hamburger-Rou Jia Mo(sometimes named as pork belly buns)
Roujiamo is originated from Shaanxi province, also known as Chinese style hamburger. It is a perfect street food with savory filling and chewy bread (mo). Rou means pork, Jia means placing the meat between the bread and mo means bread. I have been spending my four-year university life in the city of Xi’an, where various types of Roujiamo are provided with reasonable prices. Now I am living in a southern city where real Roujiamo is really hard to find. So I made this from time to time at home rather than buying the street version.
For the filling: usually pork belly is stewed with soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, ginger and spices. The real street style Roujiamo uses around 20 types of spices. But here we are just using very basic ones. If you cannot find some specific ones mentioned in the following recipe, make sure you get star anise, bay leaves, Sichuan peppercorn, cinnamon bark and fennel. Most of them are basic ingredient for Chinese five spice powder.
In order to make sure the stewed pork is clean and free of spices residue, wrap all the spices in a cloth bag or special spice packet. Just simmer the whole pot for around 2 hours. No technique required.
The bread or mo is named as Baijimo, usually is made from semi-fermented dough and provides a suitably chewy taste. The fermentation degree of the dough will determine the final taste of the bread. I have made my dough to ferment for around 30 minutes with a room temperature around 30 degree C because I want my buns to be a little bit softer. If you want a chewy version, ahead to next step as long as you find your dough is beginning to ferment.
Mix instead yeast with flour. And then stir the water in. Stir the flour with chop sticker or similar things during the process. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover with a wet cloth or plastic wrap to rest for around 20 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your temperature until the dough is 1/3 bigger than the previous one. (The surface is completely smooth but there is no Honeycomb texture inside).
Knead the dough again to pinch the air out. Then roll the dough into a uniform long log around 5 cm in diameter. Cut the long log into 6 equal portions. In picture 2(from left to right, up to down).
Get one portion and then shape it into another long log. Roll out to a long facet as picture 3. Roll the facet up like the pictures . Suck in the very ending at one end of your roll in picture 4. Press it down slowly as picture 5. Turnover and roll out dough until 1.5 cm thick. Shape it to a bowl(in picture 6).
Heat up a pan. Place the bowl shaped dough in to fry until slightly brown over medium fire(less than 1 minute) so that the texture will be kept. Turn over to fry the second side.
Transfer the bread (Baijimo) to a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes so the breads are completely cooked through.
- 350 g plain flour
- 140 ml ~180ml water , note 1
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast to 1 teaspoon instant yeast , note 2
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda , optional
- 500 g pork belly
- 10 g crystal sugar
- 5 green onion or scallion sections , around 8cm long
- 3 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- Water or stock as needed
- 1 inch root ginger , smashed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
- 2 star anises
- 1 cinnamon bark
- 4 ~6 cloves
- 1 chunk galangal
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 Fructus Amomi
- 2 pieces of dried ginger
- 1 piece of sand ginger
- 1 nutmeg
- 1 piece of dried tangerine peel
- Cumin powder
Soak the pork belly with clean water for around 2 hours. Change water twice during the process.
Prepare a glaze and then wrap all the spices. Seal with a rope.
In a large pot, add pork belly, the spice bag, ginger, crystal sugar, green onions, salt and dark soy sauce. Pour enough water to cover the pork belly.
Bring all the content to a boiling and then slow down the fire to simmer for around 2 hours.
Turn off the fire and then soak the pork belly within the soup for at least 2 hours. Reheat it before assembling.
Mix instead yeast with flour. And then stir the water in. Stir the flour with chop sticker or similar things during the process. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover with a wet cloth or plastic wrap to rest for around 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your temperature until the dough is 1/3 bigger than the previous one. (The surface is completely smooth but there is no Honeycomb texture inside).
Knead the dough again to pinch the air out. Then roll the dough into a uniform long log around 5 cm in diameter. Cut the long log into 6 equal portions.
Get on portion and then shape it into long log. Roll it out to a long facet. Roll the facet up like the pictures. Suck the very ending in one end of your roll. Press it down slowly. Turnover and roll out to a bread until 1.5 cm thick. Shape it to a bowl with a hand.
Heat up a pan. Place the bowl shaped dough in to fry until slightly brown over medium fire(less than 1 minute). Turn over to fry the second side.
Repeat the process to finish all the buns. Preheat oven to 190 degree C.
Transfer the meat out and finely minced. If you like, you can add chopped coriander and cumin powder.
Cut 2/3 of the bun from the middle. Lay minced pork and other ingredients within the bun.
- In hot summer day, use room temperature water. In cold winter, use warm water around 30 degree C.
- In hot summer, use 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast. In cooler autumn or cold winter, use 1 teaspoon instant yeast.
- You can also add some other vegetables along with the filling like fresh peppers.
- The traditional Shaanxi version also add some alkaline powder for a better flavor. If you can find some, adding 2 g of edible alkaline powder in the dough.