Mix warm water with sugar to dissolve. Add yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. Mixture should get foamy or the yeast is dead. Mix in lard. In a food processor, add flour and yeast mixture. While blade is spinning, pour in water until a ball forms. If dough is too sticky, add more flour. If dough appears dry and doesn't form a ball, add more water. As soon as a ball forms, take dough out and knead by hand on a floured surface. For 10 minutes roll dough into one long log about 2 inches thick. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
PAN FRIED GARLIC, CHIVE AND SHRIMP BUNS:
In a large bowl, mix the ginger, shrimp, garlic chives, eggs and sesame oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Make thick circles of the dough and place stuffing in the middle. Encircle stuffing with the dough and seal with a little twist. Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes. In a hot saute pan coated well with oil, place shrimp buns flat side down and cook until the bottom is browned. Have pan cover ready and add 1 cup of chicken stock, cover immediately. Be careful, the liquid will splatter! The stock will steam the buns. Check them in 5 minutes as more stock may be needed. The trick here is that once the buns are firm and fully cooked the stock will evaporate and the bottoms will crisp-up again.
Adapted from a recipe Copyright, 1999, Ming Tsai, All Rights Reserved