Nikuman is a perfect snack for cold winter days. It is loved by all generations in Japan and you can buy this at any convenience store for a very affordable price!
Nikuman is the king of winter food. It is warm and juicy so when you are a little hungry but don’t want to fill up too much, this is a great snack. In Japan, you can buy them at any convenience store. I used to eat this after school or work before eating a big meal. This fills your stomach up so nicely but not too much so you save space for your main meal!
What is Nikuman
Nikuman is one of the most popular foods in Japan, but what is Nikuman?
Well, Nikuman is made of based on Chukaman, Chinese steamed bun. Chinese steamed bun is made from dough that is made of flour, water, dry yeast, and baking powder with bean paste, meat, or curry inside. It is based on paozu, a traditional Chinese dim sum (general term for Chinese light meals).
Chinese buns that use pork as an ingredient are called ‘Nikuman’ or `Butaman’. ‘Nikuman’ has become established mainly in eastern Japan and it uses 100% pork as the main filling ingredient.
However, recently, ‘Nikuman is also sold in convenience stores in the Kinki region (近畿地方). As a result, the name of ‘Nikuman’ became popular nationwide.
The seasonings of the ingredients differ depending on the stores and the products, but most Nikuman have beef or chicken broth added to the pork.
What is the difference between Nikuman and Butaman
In conclusion, the difference between Nikuman and Butaman are the different names they are called in regions in Japan.
- Nikuman(肉まん)：Is the name it is called everywhere except the Kinki area of Japan.
- Butaman(豚まん)：Is the name it is called in the Kinki area of Japan.
Chinese bun that use pork as an ingredient is called ‘Nikuman’ or ‘Butaman’, but ‘Buta-man’ has become established mainly in the Kinki region(近畿地方). In the Kanto region(関東地区), when we think of meat, we imagine beef, pork, chicken, and multiple types of meat. However, in the Kinki region, meat generally refers to beef, therefore when you understand the word ‘Nikuman’ as it is in the Kinki region, it will be ‘beef- chukaman’. In order to prevent such misunderstandings, the word ‘Butaman’ has become established in the Kinki region.
Equipment for Nikuman
The most important equipment is the steamer. I don’t think many people have this and I didn’t have it before making Nikuman. Steamer is good to have if you like Chinese food such as Nikuman, Chinese Steamed Dumplings, or some cakes. I bought it on Amazon and it wasn’t expensive! Go get a Bamboo Steamer on Amazon 🙂
Ingredients for Nikuman
Here are the ingredients you need for making Nikuman!
- cake flour
- bread flour
- dry yeast
- baking powder
- ground pork
- green onion
- oyster mushroom
- soy sauce
- torigara soup base
- sesame oil
- salt and black pepper
How to make Nikuman
- steamer HERE to buy
- 50 g cake flour
- 50 g bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 60 ml warm water 120-130°F (48～54℃)
- 80 g ground pork
- 2 green onion
- 3 shiitake mushroom
- 1 knob ginger about 1 teaspoon of grated ginger.
- 2/3 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon torigara soup base
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon sake
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon katakuriko
- In a medium bowl, add cake flour, and bread flour. Then make a dent in the middle and add sugar, dry yeast, and baking powder in there.Then, add salt around the dent. *Put the salt separately from the sugar, dry yeast, and baking powder. Do not mix the salt with other ingredients.
- Add 1/2 warm water in the dent in the bowl. Mix everything, and add the rest of the warm water to the bowl. Mix well until the surface is smooth.
- Cover with a cling wrap and ferment until it gets double in size.
- Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in enough water to cover the shiitake mushrooms for 10-15 minutes.After the shiitake mushrooms are back to normal size, cut into small pieces.
- Cut the green onion into small pieces.
- In a medium bowl, add ground pork, cut shiitake, and green onion.
- Grate the ginger and add into the bowl.Add soy sauce, torigara soup base, salt, black pepper, sesame oil, sake, and katakuriko.
- Mix everything until the mixture is sticky.
Let's make Nikuman
- Prepare a cutting board by covering it with a thin layer of flour in order to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Then, take the fermented dough from the bowl and put onto the cutting board.
- Roll while removing gas then cut into 4 pieces. Each piece should be 40-45g.
- Make each piece round and cover with a wet towel to avoid dryness.
- Use rolling pin and make each rolled dough into a thin round wrapper. The diameter should be 5 inches(12.7 cm) big.
- Put the filling in the center of the dough.
- Pick up two sides of the dough and pinch together. Then pick up another two sides and pinch together again. Then use two fingers, index finger and thumb, to roll tight to seal. Do all the same way.
- Add parchment paper in the steamer and add the Nikumans on top of that. Ferment for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil water in a pan or pot that is the same size as the steamer. (I use a pan)
- After boiling the water, put steamer on top of the pan(or pot), and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 12-14 minutes.
- This is really great for a snack! It is easier to make than you think. All you need to buy is a steamer 🙂