Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Steamed Meat Buns/Sang Yoke Bao

Each time I go to dim sum place I will definitely order their steamed baos/buns. The nearest Chinatown is about an hour away from my house so I don’t get to eat dim sum often. So when craving strike I will have to make it myself. I will usually use the Vietnamese pre-mixed bao flour but they are not always as fluffy as I wanted them to be. I tried making them from scratch a few times but the results were not good. The buns usually turn out yellowish and pretty chewy. I’ve been searching for a recipe that uses regular flour for the dough as most recipes I see used Hong Kong flour. I can’t seem to find them here in the US.

Finally I saw this posting from Vivian Phang Kitchen that used regular flour for her baos. I bookmarked them and finally get to try them out recently. It turns out pretty good when they were warm but slightly chewy texture when it cools down. Overall, I am satisfied with it for the time being until I get Diana to bring back a few kilograms of the Hong Kong flour for me from Malaysia.

Ingredients for the dough
Adapted from Vivian Phang Kitchen

Overnight sponge dough

60 gram flour
40ml water
1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar

Pau dough

110 ml water (I need 130 ml)
1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups plain flour (I used bleached flour)

For the meat filling:
Recipe Source: My Kitchen Snippets

500 gram ground pork or chicken
10 water chestnut – cut into small cubes
3 spring onions – cut small
2 cloves garlic – chopped
2 tsp ginger juice
1 tbsp corn flour


2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 pepper
Salt to taste

3 hard boiled eggs – cut into 4 wedges each
12 1.5" sqaure parchment paper

1. Mix the meat filling ingredients and the seasonings together. Mix it well and set it aside to marinate for at least an hour.
2. For the sponge dough, mix all the ingredients together to form dough. Wrap the dough in a greased plastic wrap. Make a tight knob without leaving any space for the dough.
3. Let the dough to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Thaw the dough 10-15 minutes at room temperature before using it. Tear the dough into small pieces before use.
4. For the bao dough, put all ingredients from (B) except flour into the mixing bowl. Mix well and then add in the overnight sponge dough pieces follow by the flour. Mix and knead them into smooth dough. Cover and let them rest for 10 minutes. (I let it rest for half an hour)
5. Transfer the dough to working surface. Divide the dough into 12 portions and mould into balls. Flatten balls into round shape. Then place 1 ½ tablespoon of the filling and 1 wedges of egg in the middle of circle. Wrap and pleat the dough to seal. Place bao onto a 1.5” square parchment paper, with the seal side up.
5. Let the baos rest for 15 minutes before steaming. In the meantime prepare the steamer. Bring the water up to a boil. Arrange buns into a steamer, leave about 1” gab in between buns. Steam over high heat for 12 minutes. Remove buns from steamer and cool on rack to prevent soggy bottom.

This is the bun flour that I found at the Asian store. I comes in a 5.5 pounds bag. The bao turns out really white and soft.


Awayofmind Bakery House said...

A lovely morning breakfast starting with this baos!

Anonymous said...


Those are one of my favorite dim sum. Yours looks yummy. I used to make them with the store bought Vietnamese flour too but doesn't turn out as white and fluffy. Yeah its difficult to find the HongKong flour here. But yours turn out good.


WendyinKK said...

So long never eat these....

Alice said...

i love baos and this is one of my fave baos :)

tinyskillet said...

Your steamed buns turned out beautiful. I must try it some day.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Looks great! I miss eating bao. Next time, I will remember to buy HK flour when in M'sia too. :)

Jeannie said...

Been a while since I last made some of these steamed buns...yours looks delicious!

ReeseKitchen said...

I also never eat this quite some time already...have to try out myself too.

busygran said...

Homemade steamed buns are healthy and good! Quite tempted to make some !

Shereen said...

Oh Gert, look at your very nice pleating!!!I can do thousands of paos and yet my pleating sucks big time!!!I must try your fillings the next time I do paos as i do like this type of pork fillings but of course I have to forget about adding the hard boiled eggs...although J and I love them..sacrifice,sacrifice,sacrifice.If I jadi go US in Nov, I'll lug a few kilos of HK flour for you,yah.Hopefully, the immigration will not be mistaken it for cocaine..hahaha.

My Little Space said...

Hmm...this is so inviting and the filling looks really yummilious as well. Must try this with chicken meat some day. My family not a big fan of red meat. Thanks & hope you're having a great day.

Linda said...

Wow, your pleating is so nice! I try but always appear ugly till my kids told me they rather I roll into a ball! :( nice filling too. So tempting to try out but should forget about pleating! :) thanks.

ann low said...

Looks so yummy and nice pleating! I love paus that I always love buy at my favorite pau stall.

lena said...

i've seen amy beh's pau recipe using normal plain flour and that's for smiling char siew pau..i'm actually quite keen to try that but requires 3 days to get the starter dough ready ):

Unknown said...

Your steamed buns are nicely shaped. Glad you like it. I had try using HK flour(sponge dough n straight methods) the result is not really outstanding. Do try out starter dough from My Little Space. The result is great too with only plain flour.

ICook4Fun said...

Ah Tze, oh yea I had this for my breakfast.

Yen, I tried using that too but they are not as good. A friend told me that you can get the HK flour now at the Asian store. Do look out for it and it comes in a 5 pound bag.

Wendy, easy for you. Go out and buy some :)

Alice, mine too :)

Lyndsey, hope you try this out.

LCOM, just like I told Yen you can get HK flour now from the Asian stores.

Jeannie, thank you.

ICook4Fun said...

Reese, hope you like this type of baos.

Busygran, thanks.

Shereen, thank you it takes a lot of practice to come up with those pleats :) Oh a friend told me where to get the HK flour here in PA so you tak payah susah bawak all the way from NZ ok. Don't add the eggs since someone tak suka :)

Kristy, yea since you family don't fancy other meat you can always make it with chicken.

Linda, ha ha is ok as long as the bao taste good. Always roll out the edges thinner so that you can pleat it easily.

Ann, thank you.

Lena, I understand if you want to get smiling Char siew bao you have to add ammonia to the dough. I will check out amy beh's recipe.

Vivian, I will check out Kristy recipe and thanks for sharing your great recipe.

lena said...

hi gert, yes, there's ammonia in there but i'm not sure what's the purpose of ammonia..all the while i was thinking the ammonia is to make the paus whiter..i try to skip that and see if it works..

Wendy said...

Please let us know if anyone in Los Angeles area see the Hong Kong flour in the Asian market.

Rita said...

Oh, they look so dainty and pretty. I've gotta learn to make these too :-)

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Your baos do look white, soft, and gorgeous! Sang yoke bao is so much easier with no need to cook the filling. Will have to try this. I have also tried the Vietnamese pre-mixed flour and AP flour with like results as you. Bao flour is still the best but it is not easy to lug it back fromMalaysia ;)

Geraldine said...

Hi Gert,

Once again you have made me drool. I love the paus with eggs and those sold in Chicago chinatown is very dry while ours is moist.

If and when you find the HK flour in PA, can you take a photo and show it to me. I don't read chinese and dont' think I'll even know its HK flour even if I'm staring at it. Thanks.

Zurin said...

Hi Gert,
m making pau with curry filling tomorrow. :P what a coincidence...LOVE pau!! yours look nice and fluffy.:)

Anonymous said...


Do you know the name of the Hongkong pau flour?


ICook4Fun said...

Geraldine and Yen, I found the pau flour and the pau turns out pretty good and white. The brand is "Purple Orchid Brand' I will add a pix to this posting. Do check them out.

Geraldine said...

Gert, I've seen this flour in Chinatown. Because of you, now I know its reliable. Anyway of you moving next door (there is a house on foreclosure hehehe)

BTW, did you ever get another curry plant?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the info on the pau flour. Will check-it-out.


Unknown said...

Hai there, Nice to see you!!
May I ask is the ingredients for sponge dough & Pau dough mixed together??
And can the Special Bun flour replace to others flour??
Sorry to ask this question as I'm new in cooking..