½ Prince Side Stories Part 3: Meat Floss Bun (April Fool’s)

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Meat floss buns
Meat floss buns
One a penny
Two a penny
Meat floss buns

Give them to your daughters
Give them to your sons
One a penny
Two a penny
Meat floss buns!

A long-haired man at the hawker stall sang those verses with a surprisingly clear and sonorous voice that pierced through the cheerful banter of the tourists donning colorful apparel as they milled about. His booth was but one of many, each offering their own unique appeal, whether it be appetizing foodstuffs, minigames with cute prizes, or engaging performances for all ages. This was Infinite City’s first annual festival celebrating its inception and Odd Squad had spared no expense or effort to make it the most extravagant event in the world of Second Life. While the rest of the squad was busy making sure the festivities were running smoothly and that the city was still safe from any hidden threats, one member was conspicuously absent from their duties…

Prince, donning a pair of oversized sunglasses and a totally-not-suspicious cowboy hat wandered cheerfully from stall to stall. “So many snacks, delicious morsels from every cuisine all around! Which one should I try next?” muttered the incognito leader turned runaway eater. At that moment, a peculiar stall-owner’s melodic song wafted into Prince’s ears, which subconsciously prickled at the words “meat” and “bun”. Like a rat to a piper’s tune, his feet carried him naturally to a fancy red booth.

“Meat floss buns! Soft and sweet buns, light yet savory strands of pork, a marriage of flavors blessed by the heavens! How many pieces would you like, mister?” The shopkeeper asked cheerfully, his face obscured by long strands of golden-brown locks. Prince paid the stall owner’s appearance with little mind, and instead stared with mouth half-open at the this unusual variety of meat buns. The buns were twisted around like braids of hair, with fluffy pork floss, chopped scallions, and white sesame sprinkled across. Is this still considered a meat bun? As the “mama” to my dear meatbun, it wouldn’t be considered child abuse for me to eat this, right?

“Where did that rapscallion Prince run off to? His shift still hasn’t ended yet! If he’s shirking his duty as the gatekeeper for the vendors to satisfy his stomach then he’ll be getting an earful from me soon enough!” Yulian-dàsăo’s angry voice was still distant, but gradually got louder along with a pattering of footsteps. Pressed by time and too tempted by the innovative snack in front of him to reconsider, Prince held up two fingers, making a quick transaction before disappearing into the crowd, away from the impending danger of a fiery lecture. Moments later, Yulian-dàsăo approached the spot where the meat floss bun stall once stood, but nothing was there. She rubbed her eyes, wondering if her eyes were playing tricks on her. She could have shown she had saw Prince talking to a life-sized… No, that couldn’t be, could it?

That night, Prince tossed and turned in his sleep. The pleasant aromas of the two meat floss buns still lingered fresh in his mind. Out of nowhere, a familiar deep voice suddenly sounded out. “Thank you for accepting my dowry. On which auspicious date should we set the wedding?”

Prince shook himself wide awake, but there was nobody around. What was going on? Wasn’t that the sound of the shopkeeper at the festival? How could he be in my bedchambers right now?

“How about March 1st? That’s National Pi–” the voice continued but Prince couldn’t help but interrupt.

“Who are you? Where are you? What do you want from me?”

“You don’t remember? I’m your future son-in-law! You agreed earlier to give me your daughter’s hand in marriage and even accepted my dowry! Is my proposed date too soon? Would one month later work out better you think?” Out of nowhere, the shopkeeper appeared with a poof, but this time his long curly hair was combed neatly to the sides and his face was revealed to be that of a… pig??

The words of the shopkeeper from earlier echoed back in Prince’s mind. Soft and sweet buns… strands of pork… a marriage blessed by the heavens… Oh! What have I done? I’m so sorry, meatbun! I’m so sorry, Phoenix! Finally hit by the gravity of the situation and the consequences of his rash actions, Prince immediately fainted.

The light of the morning sun shone warmly into Prince’s bedchambers, and groggily he woke up. What a crazy dream that was! At that moment, two little voices, clear and sonorous, cried out, “Grandmama, you’re awake! We brought you breakfast in bed! It’s your favorite meat floss buns1!”

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (160 ml, at room temperature)
  • 1 cup milk (235 ml, at room temperature)
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (70g)
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (70g)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (11g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 ounces pork sung (also called pork floss, 115g)
  • 3 scallions (washed, dried, and finely chopped)
  • Egg wash (whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (dissolved in 2 teaspoons hot water to make a simple syrup)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a mixer, add the heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt (add everything to the mixer in that order). Using the dough hook attachment, turn on the mixer to “stir.” Let it go for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together.
  2. After 15 minutes, the dough is ready for proofing. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for 1 hour. The dough will grow to 1.5X its original size. Check out our original milk bread recipe for photos of this process!
  3. After the hour of proofing, put the dough back in the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles. Dump the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 equal pieces. Cover the dough pieces with a dry cloth while assembling the buns.
  4. Take each piece of dough and roll it out into a rough 4×6″ rectangle. Spread a very thin layer of mayonnaise onto the dough, and then sprinkle with pork sung and chopped scallion. Roll it up lengthwise into a tight cigar shape. Cut the cigar in half lengthwise, with about an inch on one end still attached, so that the piece of dough almost looks like a pair of pants. Twist the dough together, with the cut sides facing up, and tuck the ends underneath the bun. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat the process until all the buns are assembled.
  5. Cover the buns with a clean, dry kitchen towel, and allow to rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Before baking, brush each bun with egg wash. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes, until golden brown. After baking, remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush each bun lightly with simple syrup. This is what gives these pork sung buns their signature shine!

Footnotes

1. Recipe courtesy of https://thewoksoflife.com/pork-sung-buns/

2 Responses

  1. Mizuhino

    Meat floss… Makes me think of machaca. Which I may have to use if I can’t find pork sung.
    I’m glad I’m lucky enough to have a mixer with a dough hook at home (not that it’s necessary, but it definitely makes things simple)!

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