Pow - Steamed Meat Buns

Delicious bao buns, stuffed with seasoned meat and steamed to perfection

Steamed Buns

I was extremely excited when I opened up this month's Callaloo Box and saw that it was a Caribbean Chinese themed box. Yaaaaay

I have mentioned numerous times that Trinidad and Tobago is a multicultural country so as a result, we have a lot of different foods from these cultures that have been adapted to be "Trini".

I love Chinese food. Or as we say "Chinee Food" so I really wanted to try to get something done that was Trini Chinese. I could easily eat some pepper shrimp, fried rice, lo mein in a sitting. But then I thought of what else we had and boom, POW jumped into my head.

What's a Pow right? I realized that these might just be a Trini thing. I've tried to order them in New York and here in Miami, and I always get a "what the hell are you asking for" face.

Then I also realized my sister never ever had a Pow either.

Trinidad Pow

So operation pow was in full effect.

Normally these buns are filled with pork. Well, that is the most popular filling, but I no longer eat pork so I opted to fill with minced meat. But chicken can also be used.

The meat for this fillings needs to be well seasoned up and also needs to be dry when cooked. There should not be a lot of sauce in the meat.

It takes a little time for making the dough as we have to let it sit and rise a couple times. You can save time too by making the filling the day before.

Once the dough is ready to go cut into two pieces and then those pieces you make into the size of ball you want to make.




When adding to a steamer, make sure you don't pack them too tight. I learned the hard way since they expand and touched or stuck together. So don't be me. Make sure to leave some space between them. Or make sure that there is wax paper up to the sides.

Pow recipes

And we just leave them to steam till done and dive in.

Pows do not get a lot of color, so don't expect it to be brown when done. Traditionally red coloring is added to the pork to let it stand out. The stark white of the pow dough and the red colored meat is one of the things that always intrigued me with pows. So you are free to add a drop or two of red coloring if you want.


And you are free to share or not share as I did.

Callaloo Box has been bringing back so many memories of food when it gets delivered to my door. The concept of getting spices that are "Trini" and that are harder to find here is amazing. And even if you don't like the box, being able to shop the individual items is something that I have resorted to.

I am glad to be able to try different brands that I may have avoided normally. Or even different products. This box had a lot of new to me items. Chief Chinese seasoning, their fried rice pack, ginger soy sauce, garlic soy sauce. The only thing that had me on the fence was the Chinese sauce. It was a bit bitter (like molasses) and the flavor was a bit overpowering. Want to see what products I love though? Check out my Instagram highlights for "Food Finds" for things I incorporated into my pantry must-haves.



Yield: Makes app 12Pin it

Pow - Steamed meat bun

A deliciously steamed bun filled with meat seasoned up with Asian flavors. A Trinidad Chinese favorite.
prep time: 1 hour and 15 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 45 mins

ingredients:

For Dough
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pack instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 ounce lard
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
For Filling
  • 1 1/2 pounds mincemeat *(see notes for other meats)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil

instructions

For Filling
  1. Mix meat, seasoning, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar together
  2. Add oil to a wok and cook meat (meat needs to be dry. Not much liquid)
For Dough
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together
  2. Add water a bit at a time to get a dough that is soft but not sticky
  3. Knead for 5 minutes
  4. Cover and set aside
  5. Leave to rise (about 30 mins)
  6. Punch down and leave to rise again
  7. Separate and shape into 2 oblong logs
  8. Cut each log into 1-inch slices (bigger or smaller depending on if for appetizers or not)
  9. Form each piece into a ball then flatten, leaving the middle thicker than the edges
  10. Fill each with filling (about 1 teaspoon and a little more) and bring edges up and pinch closed
  11. Please each ball on individual squares of wax paper
  12. Place in steamer and steam for 15 minutes

notes

*If using pork: 3 pounds of raw pork finely chopped. Season as above

** Meat should not have a lot of liquid after cooked since it would run out of pows when steaming

*** Be careful of over stuffing. See some of my pics for meat coming through

**** Leave space between pows when steaming or make sure wax paper is placed between so they do not touch
Created using The Recipes Generator















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Trinidad Currants Roll

A flaky pastry dough, ram filled with currants. The perfect afternoon snack.

Currants roll sliced up

I am so happy to finally be able to share this all-time favorite with you. Finally. This currants roll recipe has been a labor of love, or more so patience.

This is a flaky pastry crust that is ram packed with currants.

A roll of messy goodness!!

So let's discuss this flaky pastry making.

Oh before I even get to that. My aunt who owns a bakery, makes big batches of this to sell. So when I decided to make this I reached out to her to get her take on it. She gave me some measurements but they were imperial measurements. So there I was trying to convert and re-measure and running back to my computer to research. After all that frustration, I decided I had to have something close by in my kitchen, and I made a pretty conversion chart to print and save.

Once you subscribe, you’ll be directed to my printables page where you can download the printable to your computer.



If you already are a subscriber, check your email! I sent a link to download this printable to all my current subscribers.

Now back to the goodies. Making flaky pastry calls for patience, something I don't really have much of. Baking is usually on the lower end of the ladder for me because of the waiting period. I get fidgety lol. So wanting this to be flaky meant I had to put in some work and then fridge it for a bit.

Rolled currants roll

But it's worth it for that messy, falling everywhere crust.

Three rolls of currants roll

And then those currants. You can also easily use raisins instead.

Sliced currants roll

This dough can also be used to make cheese rolls and coconut rolls. Yummy

But, you Mr. Currants roll would always be my favorite.



Yield: 4 logs Pin it

Trinidad Currants Roll

A flaky pastry crust, filled with an abundance of currants. A popular snack in Trinidad and Tobago. This can also be filled with cheese or coconut filling

Ingredients:

For Flaky Pastry Dough
  • 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup margarine, cold and cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup shortening, cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cold water (approximately)
For Currants Filling
  • 2 cup currants
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons softened margarine

Instructions

For Currants Filling
  1. Combine sugar with currants and cinnamon

For Flaky Pastry
  1. Blend together your shortening and margarine. Divide into four parts
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Add flour, brown sugar and one part of fat from step one and combine. Cutting into until mixture resembles breadcrumbs 
  4. Add cold water (a little at a time) until mixture holds together. 
  5. Roll out on a lightly floured board into a rectangular shape
  6. Add another part of fat (step 1) to top 2/3 of the rolled out pastry.
  7. Fold the top part of pastry 2/3 rds down.  
  8. Fold the bottom part of pastry over top
  9. Seal edges with the rolling pin
  10. Turn pastry so that the fold is now lengthwise
  11. Roll out again to a rectangular shape and repeat steps 5 through 7
  12. Do this another time (Total roll and fold with fat would be three times)
  13. Roll out for the fourth time (do not use any fat), fold as above
  14. Put pastry on a floured sheet and cover and leave refrigerated for 30 to 45 minutes.
  15. Roll  pastry out into a large oblong like shape
  16. Brush the inside with softened margarine
  17. Evenly distribute currants mixture over pastry
  18. Roll up pastry lengthways
  19. Place roll on a baking sheet with roll end at the bottom
  20. Place some diagonal marks on top of rolled batter (or use a fork to punch some holes)
  21. Place in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes
  22. Remove from oven and brush roll with egg wash
  23. Return and bake for another 8 minutes or until golden
  24. Cool and slice diagonally

    Created using The Recipes Generator


    Catch some more snacks:






    Currants Roll Pin

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    Shrimp with a Spicy Curry Cream Sauce

    This is an easy weeknight dinner dish with succulent shrimp served with a creamy, spicy sauce.

    Large bowl of shrimp

    We are in February! Even though January took forever. And it's Black History Month (BHM) round these parts. And we are celebrating

    You're getting a  seafood lover's total delight today to start the month. This is an easy weeknight dinner dish with succulent shrimp and a spicy sauce with a mix of masala, turmeric, scotch bonnet and creamy coconut milk.

    This is my contribution to this Black History Month and a virtual potluck with a couple of other amazing black food bloggers. .

    We don't celebrate BHM really in the Caribbean. In TnT we have holidays to mostly celebrate religious groups/days, our varying ethnicities and well Carnival.

    So I am quite honored to be a part of this gathering and sharing my recipe

    I love that you can take shrimp and make it all kind of different ways. It can be made sweet or savory and not lose its appeal. But one thing I like is my shrimp a little spicy. My jerk shrimp has a kick; curry shrimp need a little pepper on the side. I even add some shrimp to my soups. We eat a looot of shrimp around here!

    Bowl of shrimp with creamy sauce

    And I must say that this shrimp is also great the next day. Pour all the sauce over it and mix it up. Oh ma gosh!! Just delicious!

    This recipe can also be made with prawns, which are somehow hard to find in South Florida at this time. But I was quite happy to get some pretty huge shrimp.


    So go ahead and grab your serving of shrimp, then head over and grab some more food from the table with the links listed below from the other food bloggers.

    Yield: Serves 4 - 6Pin it

    Prawns in Spicy Curry Cream Sauce

    This is an easy weeknight dinner dish with succulent shrimp served with a creamy, spicy sauce with a mix of masala, turmeric, scotch bonnet and creamy coconut milk.

    ingredients:


    • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 3 scotch bonnet peppers, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon marsala
    • 1/2  cup dry white wine
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk (make your own)
    • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced thin (optional)
    • 1/4 teaspoon saffron

    instructions


    1. Heat oil
    2. Add shallots, pepper, marsala, turmeric, saffron
    3. Saute for 2 mins
    4. Add wine, lemon juice, and shrimp
    5. Simmer until cooked through (about 4 mins)
    6. Remove shrimp with slotted spoon
    7. Lower sauce to simmer until reduced to half
    8. Add milk and simmer until thickened. DO NOT LET MILK BURN
    9. Serve shrimp with mangoes over rice and a serving of spicy sauce. 
    Created using The Recipes Generator


    Black History Month Virtual PotLuck


    Sides:

    Beautiful Eats & Things | Turkey Sausage Stuffed Collard Green Wraps
    Better With Biscuits | Fresh Corn Pudding
    Brandi’s Diary | Better than Jiffy Cornbread from Scratch
    Butter Be Ready | Southern Style Mac and Cheese
    Raised on Ramen | Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts
    Chocolate For Basil | Pilau and Kachumbari (Spiced Rice with Pico)
    Dash of Jazz | Nigerian Jollof Rice
    My Life Runs On Food | Lentil Soup and Roast Okra
    Orchids + Sweet Tea | Carrot and Zucchini Noodles Stir Fry with Shrimp
    Eat.Drink.Frolic. | Olive Oil Braised Collard Greens
    Food Fidelity | Mofongo Relleno (Mashed Plantains with Garlic Shrimp)
    Food is Love Made Edible | Buttermilk Biscuits with Fried Chicken and Tabasco Honey

    Meats:

    The Kitchenista Diaries | Smothered Turkey Wings
    The Seasoning Bottle | Honey Turmeric Skillet Chicken
    Cooks with Soul | Braised Short Rib Meatloaf

    Seafood

    Savory Spicerack | Creamy Seafood Stew
    Beyond The Bayou Food Blog | Creole Seafood Courtbouillon
    Marisa Moore Nutrition | Bourbon Peach Glazed Salmon
    High Heels and Good Meals | Crawfish Etouffee

    Beverages

    In the Kitchen w/Kmarie | Pineapple Lemonade

    Desserts:

    The Hungry Hutch | Orange Bundt Cake with Vanilla Glaze
    Simply LaKita | Blackberry Cobbler
    Meiko and The Dish | Candied Bourbon Peach Cobbler
    Domestic Dee | Fried Peach Pies
    D.M.R. Fine Foods | Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Maple Glaze
    Houston Food Fetish | Sweet Almond Tea Cakes
    Chef Kenneth | Fried Sweet Potato Hand Pie

    PIN ME FOR LATER


    Shrimp with rice and mangoes and sauce




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    Chicken and Shrimp Chow Mein - Guyanese Style

    A Caribbean twist on a traditional Asian dish of noodles, ram packed with chicken and shrimp and a host of vegetables. A delicious one-pot dish that is great for any weeknight dinner.

    Recipe to make chow mein with chicken and shrimp

    There are some dishes that are just stand out dishes even if they are simple ones. And I think chow mein is one of those dishes. Simple and delicious.

    This versatile dish can be made with vegetables only, with chicken, with seafood or with them all. A one pot of goodness that is bursting with flavor.

    There is something about Asian food from the Caribbean that is different from the "Chinese" we eat here in the United States. Most people won't think of Chinese food and Caribbean, but they sure have had some influence on our food when they came in, creating a unique twist to what was their traditional meal.

    The stand out dishes for me, that I always have to get are chow mein, pow, and roast chicken. My staples with chow mein being the number one.

    If you remember a few months back I shared on my Instagram stories that I had found cassareep. While hunting for some dasheen bush to make some callaloo, I found this little Guyanese supermarket that not only had the bush but also had a lot of Caribbean sauces and snacks. Casareep was there and I decided to grab a bottle.

    A chow mein recipe with noodles and vegetables

    Cassareep is a sauce made from grind cassava and some other spices. It is commonly used to make Guyanese Pepper pot. I would compare it to soy sauce but with a lot more flavor. Cassareep is made from cassava root. It's a thick black liquid which has added spices for more flavor. When I saw it on the shelf I knew I wanted to get a bottle and make something. I then spotted some chow mein noodles like the one I grew up eating and then knew exactly what I was going to mimic.



    Occasionally I grab food from a Guyanese restaurant here in Florida that makes great Caribbean Chinese food. Tropics Restaurant and lounge is the business!! It's dark, and little scary but the food is delicious. Did I mention that they are 45 minutes drive away? Am I greedy for wanting to drive  45 minutes to get some chow mein?

    So making a chow mein at home was a no-brainer. I opted to make a delicious chicken and shrimp mix.

    Chow mein recipe with chicken and shrimp

    How do you like your chow mein?

    I love mine with the noodles nice and al dente and the vegetables with a little crunch. If there is cabbage, I also want that crunchy. I hate sappy vegetables and sappy noodles. I also like to get the fat noodles.

    I also weirdly, don't like green peas in my chow mein. I'm getting picky right? haha. I would usually pick those out when I'm eating if they are there. So what's the great advantage of me not having to buy it? I'm quite able to put whatever I want in my meal.

    So bring on the bell peppers (or sweet peppers if you're from the islands), carrots, celery, and cabbage. Mushrooms are also a great addition or spring peas. Have frozen vegetable packs on hand? Those are perfect too.

    How to make Chow mein with cassareep

    And don't eat this standing up like I do. I serve dinner in the kitchen and somehow think I need to start tasting it before it gets to the table. Then I end up tasting a little more and a little more.

    The flavors are just so delicious. The hint of ginger adds a nice kick.

    Tropics sorry, I now no longer need to drive 45 minutes to get your chow mein. You may still see me though, for those wontons.






    Yield: Serves 4Pin it

    Chicken and Shrimp Chow Mein - Guyanese Style

    A chow mein recipe, with Caribbean influence, ram packed with chicken, shrimp and vegetables using Guyanese cassareep for added flavor.

    ingredients:


    • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch chunks)
    • 1/2 pound large shrimp
    • 3 tablespoons green seasoning plus 2 tablespoons green seasoning
    • 1 small onion thinly sliced
    • 1 inch fresh peeled grated ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
    • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
    • 1 tbsp. cassareep (Soy sauce can be used)
    • 1 tsp. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 cup broccoli
    • 1 cup carrots (julienne)
    • 1 cup celery 
    • 2 scallions (chopped)
    • 1 1/2 cups cabbage
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 1 1/2 cup sweet pepper (julienne) (different colors)
    • 8 oz chow mein noodles

    instructions


    1. Season chicken with green seasoning, cassareep, black pepper, salt and set aside.
    2. Season shrimp with green seasoning and set aside.
    3. Add oil to wok or deep dish.
    4. Add chicken and cook for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Remove from pot
    5. Boil noodles according to package instructions
    6. Add shrimp to pot and cook for no longer than 7 minutes (till shrimp is pink). Remove shrimp
    7. Add more oil to pot
    8. Saute onions and garlic
    9. Add chicken to pot
    10. Add carrots, bell peppers, scallions, celery, broccoli, ginger and cook veggies until tender (about 5 - 7 minutes) (add more cassareep/soy sauce if needed)
    11. Add cabbage
    12. Add shrimp
    13. Add noodles (I add in batches) and mix everything together.
    Created using The Recipes Generator


    Indulge in some more dinner options:














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    Tobago Crab and Callaloo

    A flavorful dish using dasheen bush simmered in a creamy and flavorful coconut sauce with crab.

    Crab and callaloo recipe

    Welcome, 2018!!

    A few days in but better late than ever. After a hectic holiday season with family, I am finally getting back into the groove of getting a recipe up. I am sharing with you an island favorite; a Sunday lunch staple. A delicious crab and callaloo.

    This popular side dish is usually a must-have for Sunday dinner. It accompanies the stew chicken, the stew peasmacaroni pie and sometimes coo coo.

    And as my aunt says "callaloo must have crab in it" and I was lucky enough to score some at the Caribbean market one day. Finding the dasheen bush was not so easy though. I had to call around to a few farmer's markets before finding a little Guyanese store with some bundles.

    Easy Homemade Callaloo Recipe

    A substitute for dasheen bush (taro leaves) is spinach which is much easier to find. But trust me, if you can find dasheen bush at any time, grab them. It's also easy to chop and freeze and used to make the callaloo later. In fact, making callaloo packs is a great idea. Throw all ingredients, chopped, into a ziplock back (not the liquid items) and freeze until ready to cook.

    This is one of those simmer down dishes. It's also weirdly, a dish that, even though the ingredients are simple and basic, tastes can vary from maker to maker.

    My first experience with callaloo as a little child was not a good one, to be honest. I can remember it well. Haha. That meal that day, this was an over peppered, no flavor, mushy and a slimy blend of dasheen bush and ochro. I was convinced then that I would never eat that thing ever again. My mom would make it and I would avoid it like the plague

    Callaloo Soup

    Then slowly I started taking a little taste here and there, from different people. The smell of simmering callaloo is to die for. So you just really want to take a taste of anything that smells great. So little by little I ventured back into the callaloo game, and it's such a staple for Sunday lunch that I really could not avoid it for too long.

    So with my family's help, I've been back in the callaloo game. With a great consistency, just enough pepper, just enough ochro, just enough sweetness to enjoy some callaloo. We commonly eat this as a side, but having it in a cup as a soup is also another great option. In fact, if you make it and want it to be a soup, all you have to do is blend it to a thinner consistency.


    And though you can omit crab from the recipe, it is a great addition to this dish. The seafood taste addition takes it's over the top. Blue crab is what is commonly used in Tobago, but any crab can be used.

    So go ahead and amp up your Sunday lunch with a side of callaloo. Then use leftovers for Monday soup!!



    Yield: Serves 4Pin it

    Tobago Crab and Callaloo

    An easy recipe for homemade crab and callaloo. This flavorful dish uses dasheen bush as the main ingredient and is simmered in a creamy and flavorful coconut sauce. Crab is a great addition to this popular Trinidad and Tobago side dish which is sometimes eaten as a soup.
    prep time: 10 MINScook time: 40 MINStotal time: 50 mins

    Ingredients:


    • 1 bunch (10 - 15 leaves) Calalloo bush 
    • 1 pack ochro/okra (see notes)
    • 2 cups coconut milk (Make your own)
    • 4 pimento peppers (cut up)
    • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
    • 3 whole cloves (crushed)
    • 1/3 cup cubed pumpkin
    • 1 tablespoon green seasoning (Make your own)
    • Salt and black pepper to taste
    • 2 hot peppers
    • 2 - 3 crabs

    Instructions


    1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
    2. Bring to a boil. 
    3. Lower flame to medium and cook until coconut milk is down to half amount initially added
    4. Remove crab and hot peppers from pot
    5. Whisk until well blended.
    6. Return to dish

    notes

    Callaloo bush is dasheen bush, also called taro leaves. Spinach can also be used as a substitute.
    
    I use 2 ochros/okra per bush leaf
    
    When cutting up bush, if stems are bending and not snapping do not use in callaloo. This usually means the leaves are a bit old and stalks can have a bitter taste.
    Created using The Recipes Generator


    Here are some other Tobago side dishes I think you should try:






    Delicious callaloo recipe with crab

    Thanks so much for stopping by and reading my posts. It is much appreciated. Please, if you can like, share, yum and/or pin this, especially if you enjoyed it.



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