生肉包 ( Chinese Steamed Meat Bun) + How To Pleat A Bun

Shang Yuk Bao

This steamed bun is made with raw meat filling as its name suggested. Of course, the filling would be cooked after steamed. Check out another version of steamed meat bun, made with cooked filling. If you ask me which one I prefer, both of them have different flavour and I like them all. However, the one made with cooked filling has my childhood memories associated with it and it contains additional "taste" to me.


Shang Yuk Bao

My boy was trying to hijack my model! Sometimes my model or props gone missing in the middle of photo shooting.

Ingredients for dough (makes 12 buns):
Bun
8g instant dry yeast
160ml lukewarm water
½ tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
280g low-protein flour aka hong kong flour
100g wheat starch
90g icing sugar
20g shortening or vegetable oil

10g baking powder
15ml cold water

Fillings:

3 hard-boiled eggs

A

  • 300g chicken thigh, cut into bite size
  • 1 cm ginger, minced
  • 1-2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine)
  • ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp corn starch

B

  • 200gm minced pork
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder or finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup finely chopped cabbage

Methods:
Fillings:
  1. Divide each egg into 4 wedges.
  2. Marinate filling A and B separately, set aside for about 30 minutes.
Buns:
  1. Sift together flours and icing sugar. Place sifted flour mixture in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Fill well with lukewarm water, vinegar and yeast. Use a spatula, gently stir the water to dissolve the yeast then slowly bring together flour mixture.
  3. Add in shortening or oil and knead for 10-15 minutes until soft dough is formed. It should be smooth on the surface.
  4. Cover dough with damp cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size. I used bread maker’s dough mode to prepare my dough up to this step.
  5. Dissolve baking powder in cold water, sprinkle over dough and knead until well combined. Divide dough into 12 equal portions and flatten with a rolling pin to make a 3” circle. Then place 1 tablespoon of minced pork filling, 1 piece of chicken and 1 wedges of egg in the middle of circle. Wrap and pleat the dough to seal (refer to photo appended below). Place bun onto a 1.5” square parchment paper, seal side up.
  6. Arrange buns into a steamer, leave about 1” gab in between buns. Spray water mist over buns, and steam in a preheated steamer on high heat for 12 minutes. Remove buns from steamer and cool on rack to prevent soggy bottom.

Notes:

  1. There is no need to rest the dough after adding in baking powder, but if time allowed, rest it for 10 minutes or so to get fluffier buns.
  2. Adding a few drops of vinegar into steaming water will produce whiter buns, but this is optional.
  3. Steamer must be preheated otherwise bun would not rise to the volume as it should be.
  4. Spray the surface of buns with water mist helps to produce buns with smooth surface after steamed.
  5. DO NOT open the lid during the steaming process.
  6. If there are yellowish spots on the steamed buns, it means the baking powder is not fully dissolved.
* * * * *
Awhile ago, a reader asked about the wrapping technique in creating beautiful pleating. This afternoon I managed to get T to snap some photos when I was making these buns, what a nice timing! Let's let those photos do the talking...

How To Pleat A Bun

  1. If you prefer more pleats, make smaller pleats.
  2. For making xiao long bao (the type with soup in it, and a small opening on top), the pleating method would be different and end product is something like this one.

Comments :

53 comments to “生肉包 ( Chinese Steamed Meat Bun) + How To Pleat A Bun”
MiniMe said...
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Lydia, you must be a Bao expert ! Very nice pleats.

MiniMe said...
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Lydia, 8g of dry yeast, 10g of baking powder, 20g of vegatable oil..how may teaspoons are they equivalent to ???

Shazlin said...
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Lydia,cn I use minced chix instead of pork & omit shaoxing wine. :P

thks,Lyn

Elin said...
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You have a nice blog and thanks for sharing all your recipes here. This raw meat pau will be nice for my next pau project :) Your pau has got nice and neat pleats :)

ICook4Fun said...
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I have been looking for the recipe of 'sang yoke pau' for a long time now. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I will be making this soon.

My Asian Kitchen said...
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nicely done! and great instruction and pix too!!

Lydia said...
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MiniMe,
I used conversion calculator (http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cookingconversions.asp):
8g yeast = 2 teaspoons
10g baking powder = 2.17 teaspoons
20g vegetable oil = 1.5 tablespoons
Hope this helps.

Lyn,
Feel free to substitute pork with other meat and you can omit shaoxing wine too.

Elin,
Thanks for dropping by and compliments. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog.

ICook4Fun,
This is my version of Shang Yoke Bao, I think there are few different versions out there. Some store bought ones contain jicama.
Happy cooking!

My Asian Kitchen,
Thanks!

Sarah's Daddy and Mommy said...
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Have you think of bakery shop biz b4?

Lydia said...
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joanne:
Have no plan for that yet, but I was joking with T the other day that I can start off a snack bar or dim sum business. :D

The Food Addicts said...
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Thanks for sharing the step by step instructions how to form a bao. I always eat dim sum but was always curious how to get the swirls on top.

Bee Rueh said...
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looks superrrr yummmyyyy! gosh im hungry lol

hope you dont mind me linking you!

Lydia said...
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The Food Addicts,
You are welcome, and thanks for dropped by.

Bee Rueh,
No problem, you can link to my blog anytime.

Issy said...
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Hi there,

I am new to your website and I want to thank you for posting all these yummy recipes for us to enjoy. I had made steam buns before with someone else recipe but mine came out yellowish color instead of white steam buns. Can you tell me how come yours are so white? Also, what is the reason to use vinegar or lemon juice in the recipe? Please reply here and send copy to itran1otmail.com. Thank you.

Issy

Lydia said...
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Hi Issy,
Thanks for dropped by. I used bao/hongkong flour for steamed buns/bao. And, the function of vinegar is to produce whiter bao. From my experiences, steaming in extrem high heat sometimes caused buns turn yellowish.

Sorry, can't get your email address right.

Anonymous said...
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Wow! Looking yummy. Really want to learn how to make them(never try to make pao or bread before). Where can I get Hong Kong flour? Couldn’t find it at those baking ingredients section( also try to find at Asia maket). The buns look cute! Like the way you made them.

Lydia said...
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Anonymous,
Sorry, can't advise you where to get the flour cos I don't know your location.
If hong kong/bao flour is not available, you can try using all purpose flour. But, the colour of bao would not be as white as the one using bao flour.

Anonymous said...
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Hi Lydia,
Thank you for your quick reponding. I just found the Low Gluten Flour in the maket where i live( california, USA) this morning. Do you think i can use this instead of Hong Kong Pao flour? Also, what is Wheat starch? is that wheaten flour? Do you think i can find hong Kong Pao flour here in california...he..he.. still want to buy the Hong Kong Pao. Again, thank you for your time and wishing all the best to you and your family.

Lydia said...
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Anonymous,
Sorry for the slow respond this time.

I think you can use the low gluten flour. As for wheat starch, it is starch from wheat where gluten has been removed. I am thinking, if you are using low gluten flour, do you still need wheat starch? :D

You should be able to find hong kong flour in Chinatown there. I could find it in Sydney Chinatown or even in small Asian/oriental grocery shops when I lived there.

All the best.

ukai sapa-sapa said...
on 

hi lydia..
just found your website and it will try out your recipe later..can u tell me what is wheat starch and what is the different between corn starch and corn flour??really looking forward to it coz i want to try your chinese steamed meat bun...my email mummykenn@gmail.com

Sharon said...
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Hi Lydia,

Interesting that you used ICING sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. I have never seen that done for steamed buns before. Was there a reason ICING sugar was used?

Thanks for sharing your recipe. The buns look good.

Lydia said...
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Hi Sharon,
There are some chinese pastry recipes called for icing sugar.
Well, to me, buns made with icing sugar softer and more cotton-like texture. As far as I know, icing sugar contains some anti-caking properties... not sure that's reason? I have also tried using icing sugar for cakes, and yes... better texture too. If you found out more info about icing sugar in baking/pastry, do update me. Thanks!

Anonymous said...
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Hi Lydia,
Can I check with you if I could use bread flour instead? I live in USA and I can't seem to find any HK flour! Thanks!

Lydia said...
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Hi,
If you can't find HK flour, use low protein flour (aka cake flour) or just all-purpose flour. All the best!

Audrey said...
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Hi Lydia
Just want to thank you for your recipe.The paus turned out well except for the pleating.Found it difficult to pleat as the dough was too soft/limp.Any tips?

Audrey

Lydia said...
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Hi Audrey,
Thanks for the feedback. Try to reduce the amount of water a little bit, see if the dough still too soft. All the best.

cheers,
Lydia

Lisa said...
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Lydia,

i tried your pau recipe today. sadly, it didn't out fluffy and soft but coarser and too shiny skin.

i followed exactly yer recipes excepts i didn't add vinegar and i dissolved the yeast into the lukewarm water. it produced a soft pliable dough. it didn't take me long to knead the dough into smooth state.

i wasn't sure bout the baking powder solution, so i only sprinkled 3/4 of it. should i use up the whole thing and may i ask what is the purpose of this method?

as i got a soft pliable dough (like play dough...no joke), i wasn't able to do a good job in pleating. i got the pleating done but the pleats were gone after second proof. after steaming the surface looks shiny for the first batch and the 2nd batch looks bumpy. the pau(s) came out a bit flatter.

oh gosh, i'm so dejected. can you pls help me and point out what have i done wrong?! thanks in advance...

Lisa

Lydia said...
on 

Hi Lisa,

Sorry to hear that.
Adding baking powder solution helps to produce cake-like bun.
Yes, the dough is a bit like playdough but not too soft. If your dough was very soft, reduce water next time.

May I know how long did you proof the buns? Was it after the filling was wrapped in? For this bun, as baking powder is added, it is not neccessary to proof for second time unlike making bread.

I think bumpy and flat buns is due to over-proofing and too much air in the dough.

Hope this helps.

cheers,
Lydia

Anonymous said...
on 

Hi Lydia,

Happy New Year. I would like to try your recipe. What is the purpose of the vinegar or lemon juice? What is the difference if I omitted them?

regards,
annie

Lydia said...
on 

Hi Annie,

The vinegar/lemon juice is to make the bun whiter, no problem if omit it.

cheers,
Lydia

Lana said...
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Hi Lydia,

I love making steam bun, but my buns doesn't seem to be as white as yours. I tried to use vinegar both in the dough and the water use for steaming the bun, but still it doesn't seem as white as I wanted it to. But, I use all purpose flour though, because I don't know where to get hong kong flour. I tried to go to every asian store in my town, but they don't carry hong kong flour. Can you tell me where I can find this flour.....Thanks.

Lydia said...
on 

Hi Lana,

If you can find bleached flour there, maybe you can give it a try. Well, sorry that I can tell u where to get HK flour in your location.

Another thing you can try to produce whiter buns is to make sure the steamer is not too hot. From my past experiences, bun turned out yellowish if I use rice cooker for steaming (with very tight cover). And, buns came out nicely when steamed in wok + steaming rack (with medium heat). All the best.

cheers,
Lydia

Lana said...
on 

Hi Lydia,

Thank you for your respond. I used your steam bun recipe yesterday and my buns came out perfect except, its not as white as yours. I used bleached all purpose flour with wheat starch instead, of hong kong flour. But, it's getting a lot whiter than my previous steam buns.

big thanks,
Lana

Kim said...
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Hi Lydia,
May I ask how long can I keep the buns after I've steamed it?

Lydia said...
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Lana,
Glad to hear that and thanks for your comment, hopefully you able to find some HK flour soon.

Kim,
If leaving at room temp (summer), must consume within 6rs. Well, food safety guide suggests that any cooked food must consume within 4 hrs. If keep in the fridge, up to 5 days (need to reheat before serving) and freezer up to 3mths (in ziplock bag).

cheers,
Lydia

Anonymous said...
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the wheat starch is wheat flour?

Anonymous said...
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hi lydia, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe n love your photoshots...looks really yummy.....
can i ask.... can i mix the baking powder in with the dough before i proof it... why do u need to proof it first then mix in the baking powder, why not do it altogether?.
many thanks
cherry

Lydia said...
on 

Hi Cherry,

I think you can mix in the baking powder before proofing it, some recipes use this method. Adding baking powder later is to maintain the "strength" or maybe I should say the raising "power" to BP to produce better texture buns.

cheers,
Lyd

grace said...
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Hi Lydia,
May i know what is the purpose of the wheat starch? What is the difference if I omitted them?

Thanks.

grace

The Peculiar Baker said...
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Hi Lydia,

hope you have time to reply - - - i can't find any wheat flour, can i substitute cornstarch with it?

Lydia said...
on 

I have not tried it with corn starch myself but I heard some people subbed it with corn starch and the end result was good. happy cooking!

Anonymous said...
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Hi Lydia,

I've tried other recipe before but not sure why the thin film of skin on the surface turned out shiny and rather hard. I had to peel it off before eating. Do you know why? Or how can I prevent this? I'm using my oven's steaming function to steam, but I had also try using stove-top for the steaming, and both gave the same result.

Another question is, how long do I need to hand-knead the dough? The recipe always say knead until soft and smooth. I always feel that it's soft and smooth when it's no longer sticky, usually after about 10 mins of hand-kneading. Is this the stage to stop? Or does the kneading need to reach the window-pane level just like kneading bread dough, which can take a long time? Thank you.

PG.

Lydia said...
on 

Hi PG,

To prevent the hard thin film on the surface, leave steamed buns in steamer (heat off) for 1-2 minutes to let them cool down a little. Otherwise the moist from buns (surface espeially) evaporated really fast after removing from hot steamer. Also, it's better to cover steamed buns (still warm) with a clean kitchen towel (no plastic wrap) to keep them moist.

For steamed bun dough (made with low-protein flour), I am not sure if it can be pulled till a window pane. Usually I check by eyes, sorry cos hard to tell you how it looks like. For sure, more than 10 minutes I kneaded (15-20mins).

Anonymous said...
on 

Hi Lydia,

I made this steamed buns today. I halve the recipe and made 8 buns, and followed the recipe to the T. Here I would like to share my experience with you, not sure if I've done anything wrong.

At the beginning, the dough felt a little dry, but I didn't add more water. Soon after I continue to knead, it was able to hold together and very soon turned soft and at this point, not sticky. As I knead further, the dough became more and more sticky. After around 10 minutes of hand kneading, it was very soft and pliable, but very sticky. I was able to pull and stretch the dough without breaking easily, and I thought it felt like I've reached the "window-pane" stage. I stopped after 15 minutes of hand kneading.

After covering the dough with a damp cloth for nearly 1 hour, it seemed like it had only risen about 30%. I then put it in my oven's proofing funtion for about 30 min, but again not much improvement. I don't think it's due to the yeast, because it's from a new package, and I could see bubbles forming at the beginning when mixed with lukewarm water. Anyway, I took the dough out and continue to knead in the baking powder solution.

After filling the buns, I was not able to pleat because the dough was still very sticky (although not as sticky at the stage before the first rise). It didn't help even when I dusted the dough and my palm with flour. The first few buns tear at the sides and bottom when I was trying to pleat them (because it got stretched while sticking to my palm). I didn't really roll them thin, I just flatten the dough using my palm and fingers.

After steamed, I noticed the bun has a light yellowish color. I've added a little vinegar in the steaming water. I'm guessing the baking powder is too much, because it left an after taste in my mouth after eating. The bun was not as soft as I had hoped for. But then, alas, this is still better than my previous experience with other recipe. Any idea what went wrong? Thank you.

PG.

Anonymous said...
on 

Thanks for the Recipe! I didnt have Hong Kong flour and its hard to find it here(California) so i substitute it with Swans Down Cake flour. I also substitute wheat starch for Tapioca starch crossing my fingers that it will be similar. Suprisingly it turned out PERFECT! My steamed buns were soo soft and fluffy!

Anonymous said...
on 

Hi Lydia,

I made these steam buns twice, halving the recipe for 8 buns and just like PG, I followed the recipe exactly as well!

The first time round i used shortening, and the dough was soft but didn't rise at all, it just sort of spread out. And the buns were soft when warm, but were not fluffy and very dense instead.

Second time I used oil, and the same thing happened - didn't rise, not fluffy, very dense.

I used a bread machine to knead the dough, and had to add more water both times.. dough was too dry.

I used a new packet of yeast so i'm quite sure it can't be that..

I've made bread & mantou before,using different recipes, and have had a good outcome.

Any idea what could be wrong?? :(

Thanks for your help!!

L

Mel said...
on 

Hi
I've followed exactly the steps in making the dough/buns but after steaming right after I opened the lid of my steamer, OMG!! it was with dotted yellow over! Is it that I didn't dissolved well enough the baking powder? I did give it a good stir to make sure it was dissolved well enough only I put it in the dough. Sigh!

Lydia said...
on 

Mel,

Sorry to hear that.
Good stir is not enough, perhaps you have to knead the dough longer after adding in baking powder mixture.

Anonymous said...
on 

Hi! tried your recipe, and with a few tweaks that I read from the comments below the pao turned out great:) Thanks you!

thein aung said...
on 

Hi Lydia, thanks for your great recipe,yesterday I found your site and prepare to make that lovely bun.Fortunately I got Hong Kong pau flour and all other things.But mistakenly I bought baking soda instead of baking powder. can I use the same amount(10g) as in your recipe.
Thein Aung Yangon,Myanmar.

Lydia said...
on 

Hi Thein Aung,

It is better to use baking powder as baking soda will cause yellowish (or yellowish spots) bun. And the taste wise will also different, not recommend to use baking soda in this one even though they have same function.

Anonymous said...
on 

Hi all,
To clear the confusion about adding the baking powder water last, you do so only if you are using single acting baking powder, ie the one that reacts to liquid. But if you use a double acting powder, ie one that first reacts slightly to liquid then reacts in a major way with heat, you can add it in the beginning with the rest of the stuff.
Hope my 2 cents helps!
Can anyone share what the addition of wheat starch does?

Wei Ling Lian said...
on 

Wat is the diff between oil and shortening

Lydia said...
on 

Hi, wheat starch is for the texture.

Wei Ling Lian, too much to mention, please read from this blog >>
http://www.erinlanders.com/2014/03/12/difference-between-vegetable-oil-vegetable-shortening/

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