<Ingredients > for 8 Nikuman
Weak flour (薄力粉 / Hakurikiko) 270g
Corn flour* (コーンフラワ― / Kōhnfurawāh) 30g
Yeast solution (酵母液 / Kōbo-eki) 170cc
（Adjust depending on the condition of the flour, humidity, etc.）
Salt (塩/ Shio) 1tsp
Brown sugar (黒砂糖 / Kurozato) 1tsp
Note: Corn flour will make the finished bread portion of the nikuman softer and lighter than what would result if corn flour is not used. If you prefer a heavier consistency in the finished bread, replace the corn flour with additional bread flour.
How to Make
(1) Mix the yeast solution well.
(2) Combine everything. Knead for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is about as soft as your earlobe. If the dough becomes too stiff while kneading, add some of the yeast solution to soften it up. When you finish kneading, form the dough into a round shape.
* If you use a baking machine for kneading, set it to knead for 5 minutes. Then knead for an additional 3 minutes by hand. If you use a food processor, knead for 1 minute.
(3) Let the dough rise to 2-3 times its original size. Do not let the surface become dry. At a room temperature of around 24℃ (75℉), the dough will require a few hours to rise. This is the first rising. If the dough begins to dry out, cover it with a damp cloth. A finger test will tell you when the first rising is finished. Put some flour on your index finger, plunge your finger into the middle of the dough and pull it out. If the hole you make does not close up, the dough is finished rising.
During winter, when room temperatures may be lower than 24℃ (75℉), the first rising could take up to 24 hours. During summer, with a room temperature of around 30℃ (86℉), the first rising could finish in as little as 2-3 hours. Managing the first rising at warmer temperatures, therefore, requires greater attention.
(4) Once the first rising is finished, press the dough out with the palm of your hand to let the gas out. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and make each into a ball. Flatten each of the balls into a round shape about 8cm across and about 5mm thick. Be careful not to make the outer edge thicker than the rest of the round. Place a couple tablespoons of filling in the middle and enclose it in the dough.
(5) Set these aside for about 1 hour. This is the second rising. After the second rising, the dough should have fine air pockets throughout. These will cause the dough to expand as it bakes. As in the first rising, take care not to let the surface of the dough dry out.
(6) Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the uncooked nikuman into a steamer. Once the water achieves a rolling boil, place the steamer on top of the pot. Steam the nikuman for 20 minutes. Test the nikuman for doneness by sticking a toothpick into them. If they come out clean, the nikuman are done.
* If you want to reheat nikuman, steam for up to 5 minutes. Steaming for longer than this is likely to make the nikuman tough.
<Ingredients for Filling > for 8 Nikuman
Mixed ground beef/ground pork (合びき肉/ Aibiki-niku) 150g
Green onion (長ネギ / Naga-negi) 1
Ginger (しょうが / Shōga) 10g
Maitake (舞茸 / Maitake) 1/4 pack
Shiokōji (塩麹 / Shiokōji) 1tbsp
Hakkaku soy sauce (八角醤油 / Hakkaku shōyu) 1tbsp
Sake (酒 / Sake) 1tbsp
Sesame oil (ごま油 / Goma-abura) 1tbsp
How to Make
(1) Mince the maitake and green onion. Grate the ginger.
(2) Mix the above ingredients together with the ground meat and seasonings.
(3) Divide into 8 equal portions.
Recipe Developed by:Kaoru Shibata