Chinese pepper buns (胡椒餅) are a popular street food in Taiwan. They are typically made in a round cylinder-shaped oven, but you can make this at home in your regular oven.
I am sad. We were supposed to be in Taiwan right now for spring break. Obviously, because of COVID-19, we have had to isolate ourselves and practice social distancing. We cancelled our flights, hotels and AirBNBs and also our food tour. Hopefully, if things go well, we can reschedule for later this year.
Many months ago, we started watching YouTube videos on Taipei and Tokyo to see what foods we needed to try during our trip. One of the things that kept appearing in these videos were these Chinese pepper buns (胡椒餅). Our mouths immediately began salivating as soon as we saw the street cart owners assembling them. Since we weren’t able to sample these over spring break, I tried making them on my own.
I happened to have some homemade pizza crust in my freezer. I thawed it out in the morning so it was ready to use by the afternoon. While we all liked the buns, we agreed that the crust wasn’t as thin or crispy as we wanted. The next time we make these, we will likely use the recipe from these shen jian bao. The three of us enjoyed these buns with some Chinese sweet chili sauce and Korean hot sauce. We turned these into a meal, and there was still plenty left over.
Hopefully we will be able to visit Tokyo and Taipei soon. I really want to try these in Taiwan!
Chinese pepper buns (胡椒餅)
- 1 recipe pizza dough
- sesame seeds
- egg wash
- 1 and ½ cups green scallions chopped
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 Tablespoons rice wine
- 4 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground white pepper powder
- 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- Allow your pizza dough to rest on the counter for about 30 minutes before using. If your pizza dough is frozen, allow it to thaw for several hours and make sure it's at room temperature.
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the pork filling together with a wooden spoon or spatula. I like to add a few Tablespoons of water at the very end to give the filling a bit of extra juicy flavor (this is a tip from my mom). At this point, you can either proceed with the recipe or place it in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld together. Typically, I do this a few hours in advance but it's totally up to you.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat on a large baking pan. Set aside.
- Divide the pizza dough into 24 pieces. On a lightly dusted surface, roll out one piece of dough into a large circle. Place about 2 Tablespoons of filling in the middle. Top with a generous amount of scallions. Pinch two opposite ends of the dough together, and then repeat with the other two ends. Bunch the rest of the sides up towards the center and pinch together. Place seam side down on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Brush the top of each bun with the egg wash. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds. Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top starts to turn golden. Allow the buns to cool slightly before serving. We like eating these with sweet chili sauce or Korean hot sauce.