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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

I don’t know if you have the upscale Chinese chain called P.F. Changs near you, but in 90’s Los Angeles, it was the chi-chi place to eat…a place to see and be seen, where the skinny, tall and deeluscious hung out waiting to be discovered by producers and sugar daddies. Me? I was an awkward, pimply-faced frog. That was an evening when I had a major case of “why can’t I look like them?!”

You see, I was born with thick, bushy eyebrows….thanks to my direct ancestors who probably had a great use for them. Thousands of years ago, those eyebrows protected my neanderthal ancestors from predators. All they would have to do wrap those thick cable brows around their head, do one of those primal yells and wave arms like an orangutan in heat. Predators would be scared shitless and skamper off. Of course unwrapping the brows proved quite complicated, as they had yet to invent the eyebrow pick or Paul Mitchell conditioner.

The next evolution of use was in the hot summer heat, those brows prevented forehead sweat from dripping down into the pot of horse stew quietly simmering on the outdoor firepit. My great-great grandfather probably was a world-class mah-jong player and his bushy brows shielded him from other players’ discovering his “mah-jong tells” My great-grand auntie most likely used her brows for fanning the hot porridge. My Mom’s second-cousin’s daughter even hung salted fish to dry on her brows.

And now the trait has passed on down to me. Obviously those eyebrows are destined for some great, honorable use, and I just totally ruined thousands of years of family legacy with a an innocent tool called the Tweezerman. I can blame it on that night when I thought what separated me from the sea of gorgeous models were my brows. How wrong I was. I had forgotten about family trait number two. I’m five-foot-two and fifteen pounds overweight.

While I never figured out how to grow an extra 6 inches, I did figure out how to re-create the flavors of P.F. Chang’s dish, Minced Pork Lettuce Cups. I’ve made a similar filling  with ground chicken, flavored by Hoisin (Chinese BBQ sauce) and Oyster Sauce…a little sweet…a little salty and requires no tweezing.

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken


Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

Servings: Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 2.48.59 PM

If you don't have dried Chinese black mushrooms, feel free to use fresh shitake mushrooms or any type of fresh mushrooms.


1/2 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced canned bamboo shoots
1/4 cup diced Chinese black mushrooms (soaked overnight in cold water, stems removed)
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic-chili hot sauce
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Marinate the chicken in the soy, wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and sugar for 15 minutes at room temperature.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion. Fry until onions are softened, about 1 minute. Add the green onions, garlic and ginger. Fry another minute until fragrant. Turn heat to high.

Add the marinated ground chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Fry until the chicken is about 80% cooked through. Add Oyster, Hoisin & hot sauce. Stir through. Taste…need more salt? (add soy or Oyster) need more sweet/salty? (add more Hoisin) heat? (hot sauce)  Spread out on plate to cool. Tip the plate to one side and discard excess juice.

Take your thawed puff pastry and cut each sheet into 4 squares. Spoon filling onto one side, brush egg wash on the edges and bring over to fold into a triangle. Pinch to seal tightly, place on baking sheet. Brush egg wash on the tops of the pastry. Repeat with remaining.

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

Bake 350F degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve with some hot sauce on side!

Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken

**Note on Chinese black mushrooms

I always have a stash of dried mushrooms in my pantry. If I know I’ll be using them the next day, I’ll just throw a few in a bowl with water and leave to soak overnight.

If I’m pressed for time, I’ll use hot water and also microwave for 10 minutes (timing really depends on how thick your mushrooms are)


You may also like:

10 Minute Miso Soup

42 Responses to “Chinese Pastries with Hoisin Chicken”

  1. Melinda — 6/16/07 @ 1:22 pm

    You are so funny! You think you’ve got troubles. I have no ankles! Wish I could tweeze those babies to size. Why me?
    Mmmm, the Chinese BBQ pastries sound wonderful

  2. The Cooking Ninja — 6/16/07 @ 5:33 pm

    hmm … yummy. Haven’t had Chinese pastries for long time.

  3. GuyJ — 6/16/07 @ 6:26 pm

    I’ve got puff pastry in the freezer, i definitly will be trying this out.

    Do you buy the chicken pre-ground or do you grind it yourself?

  4. SteamyKitchen — 6/16/07 @ 7:16 pm

    Melinda- yeah, tweezers on ankles just wouldn’t do a thing for you. I heard duct tape works wonders!

    Ninja- thank you!

    Guy- I bought pre-ground- but my market grinds them fresh daily.

  5. bruce — 6/16/07 @ 7:46 pm

    Hy Jaden…those look awesome! I’ll be making them for restaurant friends Monday. I didn’t see the note on the mushrooms, though.
    Thanks for sharing!
    btw…hilarious intro….would love to see those old family photos, though…yikes!

  6. Kalyn — 6/16/07 @ 8:43 pm

    It looks good, but I’m laughing too much to think about food. Almost daily I am lamenting my own lack of eyebrows. To make matters worse, now that I am (ahem) a bit older, my eyebrows are partly gray so they look even thinner. I have to use eyebrow pencil or I have no eyebrows at all, and everyone knows that eyebrow pencil is so 70’s. So, moral of the story, no one is ever satisfied!

  7. viji — 6/16/07 @ 9:11 pm

    Wowww..!!!Looks very good.

  8. Anh — 6/16/07 @ 11:16 pm

    Yummy! And a big thanks to the pre-made puff pastries. Now we can enjoy these pastries without going through the pastry making process. I have done it once, and it’s not a very friendly process.. :P

  9. bee — 6/16/07 @ 11:51 pm

    j, that picture of your aunt fannning the hot porridge was hil-freakin-arious.

  10. mrshbt — 6/17/07 @ 1:34 am

    Dear Jaden,

    You have truly distinguished your blog from all the other food blogs; sexy and informative. Bushy e.b. is a prelude to bushy a.p. in time for summer?

    Chicken BBQ pastry is healthier than the traditional pork BBQ and using ready made pastry saves time. Adding a few green peas and you can turn this into Malaysian Siew Pao.

  11. wokandspoon — 6/17/07 @ 3:57 am

    Hehe – I take it the eyebrows are under control now?

    I love making pastries with pre-made puff pastry – it’s so more-ish plus you can just add any filling – savoury or sweet! Great move adding chili! yum!

  12. Stephanie — 6/17/07 @ 4:50 am

    An awkward, pimply-faced frog?! I can’t believe it!
    Love this recipe…. good to see you had more brains than I did: I pulled some puff pastry out of my freezer to cook a pie last week…couldn’t see a use-by date on the packet, assumed it would be OK. Flat and terrible…. one ruined pie!

  13. LunaPierCook — 6/17/07 @ 8:55 am

    When Mary and I taped the official video of Taste of the Nation: Toledo this past April 29th, one of the four National Chefs was Eve Aronoff of Eve’s, The Restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan (just around the corner from the famous Zingerman’s Deli). The dish she served at Taste was right off her appetizer menu, the Thai Chicken Dumplings. Jaden, these Chinese BBQ Pastries look just like Eve’s Thai Chicken Dumplings, which were so good! The recipe is available in Eve’s cookbook. I’ll have to point Eve to your recipe next time I see her.

  14. Lynn — 6/17/07 @ 1:33 pm

    LOL! My daughter has such issues with eyebrows that she saw Freda and could only think “Eyebrows – there should be two of them!”
    I love making the lettuce wraps but never thought of putting it into a pastry. You’re a genius!

  15. tigerfish — 6/17/07 @ 2:30 pm

    Think PF Chang is now serving Minced Chicken Lettuce Cups and they highly recommended it to diners. Your puff pastry is “puffed” up to the fullest (was the Big Bad Wolf just around the corner to *huff and puff* ?)- it’s like those 2inch-tall toasts that some HK tea cafes served.

  16. Nora — 6/17/07 @ 7:05 pm

    Those pastries look and sounds yummy! I like how you used minced chicken rather than pork. I will have to give this a go. Do you think that the taste will be compromised if I don’t use any Shaoxing wine? I don’t have it in my pantry.

  17. SteamyKitchen — 6/17/07 @ 7:30 pm

    Nora- try dry sherry or just regular white wine instead of Shaoxing. Let me know when you’ve made it!

    Tiger- yeah, they puffed up really high! Pepperidge Farms puff pastry

    Lynn- Freda shoulda used Tweezerman!

    LPC- I’ll have to try a thai version with ginger, lemongrass and thai basil next time.

    Stephanie – wait til I show you pics…you’ll agree about the pimply faced frog!

    W&S- Yes, brows tamed.

    Mrs. HBT- what is a.p.?!

    Bee- yeah and she can fan at different speeds too

    Anh- i don’t think i will ever attempt the home made version. store bought is too convenient.

    Viji- thank you!

    Kalyn – eyebrow envy is bad kharma

    Bruce- Take pics of your puffs and post it!

  18. mrshbt — 6/18/07 @ 12:38 am

    My apologies, I abbreviated, e.b. is eye brow, a.p. is arm pit.

  19. Maya — 6/18/07 @ 9:58 am

    Hi Jaden,

    Looks wonderful. My mom makes similar pastry filled with curry potatoes and minced chicken, an easy version of our famous curry puffs.

  20. Carol — 6/18/07 @ 12:09 pm

    Hi, Jaden, Thanks for coming by my blog. You are hilarious! I really enjoyed reading your post and your BBQ puffs look amazing!

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  22. Lydia — 6/18/07 @ 12:34 pm

    I cannot believe that I actually have everything to make these in my pantry right at this minute! I did laugh at the eyebrow stuff…but I’m glad this post ended up with these yummy-looking puffs.

  23. Ellie — 6/19/07 @ 9:23 am

    Mm mmm mm, these look delish! No PF Changs here, but at least I won’t have any expectations for this dish other than supreme deliciousness!

  24. SteamyKitchen — 6/19/07 @ 10:15 am

    Mrs.HBT- hairy armpits! yikes! :-)

    Maya- please post a recipe – I’d love to try your version.

    Carol- Thanks my new friend!

    Ample Sanity- yes, there is order in the universe. …

    Lydia- and nicely manicured brows, might I add

    Ellie- Thank you! PF Changs is totally overrated anyways.

  25. Linda — 6/19/07 @ 10:38 am

    i can’t wait to try a veggie version of this. you are such a talented photographer!

  26. wmw — 6/19/07 @ 1:53 pm

    I more than enjoyed the pastries….am contemplating moving to the States! LOL….Meanwhile, will have to deal with the cruelty I’m subjected to each time I visit your blog!

  27. Lizzy — 6/20/07 @ 1:59 am

    Everytime someone suggests that we go to PF Chang’s for dinner, they always say, I love their lettuce wraps. They are good, but I think your recipe looks better. And PF Chang’s is totally overrated.

  28. SteamyKitchen — 6/20/07 @ 7:51 am

    Linda- let me know what kind of veggie version you make!

    WMW- come visit! I’ll feed you well my friend.

    Lizzy- thank you! maybe i should start my own “PF Jaden’s
    which would stand for “Phhhhhenominally Fabulous”

  29. Jasper — 6/29/07 @ 2:40 pm

    I tried making these last weekend. I had problems finding puff pastry (turned out to be looking in the wrong section) so a friend advised me to get “fillo dough, it’s the same thing really”.

    Well it wasn’t. What I ended up with was tasty but looked nothing like yours. A few days later, having found the puff pastry in my local grocery, I tried again with much more success.

    At the same time I used up the rest of my fillo dough to make a spring roll type of thing with the same filling. Mmmm, very tasty.

    This weekend I’m going to try that again with some veggies in it.

    Thanks! Great recipe.

  30. SteamyKitchen — 6/29/07 @ 3:28 pm

    Jasper- Sounds like you are having fun experimenting! I’ll have to try the fillo dough-egg roll thing.

  31. Happy Cook — 8/24/07 @ 3:03 pm

    For my next party i am going to do this. Thankgod it is made with puff pastry.
    You have such a exclent blog.
    I cookk chinese food but then it tend to be indian ispired with chillies in it :-)))

  32. Elaine — 11/13/07 @ 12:15 am

    LOL, I think everyone was born with thick brows – I remembered mine being quite thick before I started plucking them at 18. I felt like a lady :P

    I love the chicken and mushroom medley, it’s almost the same meat sauce (minus the egg but more water) my mom uses on her “Pan Meen”, I really don’t know what it’s called in English but in Cantonese, it’s said that way. Probably a Malaysian Chinese meal because I don’t know if they serve it elsewhere.

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  34. AudBelle — 2/2/08 @ 2:25 am

    Very very funny story, makes me grin! Didn’t they say having thick eyebrows is a good thing…check this out ~~ Thick & Dark
    A person with thick and dark eyebrows is very active and friendly. They like to have parties and treat their friends. However, when they are 31 to 34 years of age, they will encounter disruptions or hardships. If they work hard, their hardship will turn into essential training for later events in their life. (copied from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/31765/chinese_face_reading_your_eyebrows.html). Just having a little fun but doesn’t it sound just like you? Anyway, being a mommy myself, I think you are simply attractive and have a gregarious personality!

    The puff pastries look really yummy, I think I’ll try it out and make them for my lil’ guy’s birthday party! Cheers!

  35. mina — 2/4/08 @ 8:02 pm

    please learn home made puff pastry
    thank you …

  36. Carmen — 2/25/08 @ 10:51 am

    I made these this weekend, followed your recipe to a tee, and they came out wonderfully! It was my first time using puff pastry, and now I’m alreayd scheming new ways to use it. Thanks again. :)

  37. Aud — 3/10/08 @ 10:44 am

    Love the blog and tried the pastries today. I was confused about the note for the mushrooms since they weren’t included in the recipe, but I threw them into the mix anyway and they were tasty. Took 40 minutes for the pastry to brown tho.

  38. Christina — 5/12/08 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it as an appetizer for Mother’s Day dinner last night. It was a huge hit. I just diced up a chicken breast really small and I omitted the bamboo shoots b/c I didn’t have any on hand. I used the Artisan puff pastry from Trader Joe’s, and it was delicious!

  39. Deb — 2/4/09 @ 7:54 pm

    Great recipe with delicious flavors Jaden! I made the chicken mixture last weekend for a dinner party. And ala PF Chang’s, instead of the puff pastry, I used butter lettuce cups. Delicious! Everyone raved about it! So if no one has puff pastry, there are options!

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  42. karen — 1/5/11 @ 3:55 pm

    They remind me of the greek pastry Baklava they look the same but the baklava is stuffed with walnuts. looks delicious

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