I love to flip through new cookbooks, leaf through culinary magazines, check out the latest food blogs and, of course, tune into the Food Network. Since I keep kosher, I come across plenty of recipes that I can't ever make – but that doesn't mean I can't find inspiration!

Spicy pork buns are a mainstay of traditional Chinese cuisine – you'll find them in just about every bakery if you venture down to Chinatown. So I can't follow the recipe exactly, but the idea of a savory, protein-filled yeast roll intrigued me. So I set out to create a kosher version – this one made with ground chicken. Of course, you can use ground beef, or even lamb if you're feeling fancy. These buns are great served at a meat meal, or a quick snack, or a cute appetizer. Enjoy!

Chicken-Filled Buns

Dough:

1/3 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast*
3 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 – 2 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon(s) salt
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Filling:

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
3/4 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 egg

coarse sea salt (optional)

Mix together the water, yeast and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the flour, salt, eggs and oil in and mix – either with a wooden spoon or the dough hook of a stand mixer – until well combined. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand, adding more flour if necessary so it is not sticky. When ready, the dough should spring back when poked with a finger.

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a towel or cloth for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet, and add the diced onion. Cook, stirring regularly, for 25-30 minutes, until the onions are golden brown. Add the diced garlic, and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add i the ground chicken, and cook, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula, until cooked through, and all white. Add the soy sauce, salt, pepper and paprika. Remove from the heat.

Punch down the dough and shape it into about a 10-inch log. Cut 1" pieces of the dough off and roll them as thing as you can into circles, making the edges thinner than the center. Spoon a heaping tablespoon (or more, depending on the final circle size) and pinch closed. Place on a parchment paper-lined bakin sheet. Continue with remaining pieces of dough and filling.

Cover the shaped buns with a cloth or towel and let rise another 30 minutes. Beat the egg and brush it over the buns, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Bake on 350 F for 20 to 25 minutes, until evenly browned.

*Here in Israel, active dry yeast is not available but instant dry yeast – a better product – is. If using instant dry, skip the proofing step and simply add the yeast in with the flour – but not directly to the water, use the flour as a buffer between the two.