Ben the Baker

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    BreadBakingDay #28 - last day of submission April 1, 2010
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Nikuman – Bread Baking Day #28

Posted by osakaben41 on March 28, 2010

The trick to being broke in Japan in your early 20s is to know the seams in the system, and how to live off $20/day without dying of malnutrition.  Having spent roughly 2-years there, split between Tokyo & Osaka, I can testify to the number of my people saved by late-night convenience store dinners.  Put aside any thoughts of those 7-11 hotdogs, stuck on hells own treadmill, or the stomach cramping plastic wrapped microwave burrito.  You too can live, nay Thrive, off the occasional $2 meal.


Chicken with garlic, ginger, scallions, honey, soy, and Hoisin sauce


Pardon the nostalgic rantings of a middle-aged man, fondly remembering his youth.  I’ve got 2 kids, a mortgage, dog, and am working towards being vested in a public sector union job.  I think my days of eating only junk-food and beer, and expecting to function like an adult the next day are pretty much over.  I don’t buy $1 steamed buns for breakfast at 10 in the morning after dancing and drinking all night long.  I put the kids to sleep and bake them in my own home.

More importantly, this would be my first entry into the world of “Bread Baking Day”, a group of bakers that collectively post their bread creations monthly.  Our challenge for March, hosted by Rachel at Tangerine’s kitchen, was to bake buns.  I get the feeling she was thinking more along the lines of a nice dinner roll, but lets wait for the round-up to see how far off base I was with this.

Good, but really needs a dipping sauce for the full effect


The recipe for this one came from Spice of Life, but there are hundreds out there to choose from, involving mushrooms, beets, pork, vegetarian, you name it.  This one then is for those of you that know what it is to smell these treats, fresh from the florescent lit display case (after waiting all day for you to stop by).  For those that haven’t had the pleasure, well, you’re probably better off eating a real meal instead.


8 Responses to “Nikuman – Bread Baking Day #28”

  1. rachel said

    With no doubt you are 100 % precise in sending an entry keeping with the theme.. I did mention steamed buns too..This sure looks good with that delciious filling.

    Thank you for sending this in for the event.

  2. Jeannie said

    I am into steamed buns making too…I think they stay moist longer than the baked ones. I like the fact that you can have a variety of fillings in the buns or even leave it plain and dip into sauces which is great too.

    • osakaben41 said

      Thanks Jeannie. Have to say, I’m much more comfortable with baked bread than steamed. It’s easy to check the color, maybe tap it to see how it sounds, but I’m unclear on when a steamed bun is done. You’re right though, mixing up a quick dipping sauce is half the fun.

  3. ap269 said

    I’ve never made steamed buns. They look interesting. Will have to try that!

  4. Shelley said

    I made my first steamed buns (fennel fronds and tofu) last week, and I agree, it’s quite hard to tell when they’re done. I suppose you’re supposed to go by experience? Not much help for first-timers! I’m curious as to how convenience store steamed buns in Japan compare to their counterparts in China (here I’m thinking 7-11 in particular, which I understand is Japanese).

    • osakaben41 said

      They’re so much better from the convenience stores, much like you’ll never be able to cook a hot dog like the ones they serve at the ball park. Fennel Fronds/Tofu sounds really interesting. Have to put that one on the list.

  5. zorra said

    So your grown up! 🙂 Love your buns. Thank you for your participation in BBD.

  6. I love the sesame seeds on top – yum. I recently made nikuman and we had them with some damson-chile jam. It was delicious!!!!!!!!

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