Siew Bao - 烧包

Siew Bao
烧包 (read as Siew Bao in Cantonese and Shao Bao in Mandarin) - Chinese baked buns with Char Siew filling. Filling for this baked bun is usually diced pork or chicken and green peas cooked in brown colour sauce but I made mine with char siew filling. I am not sure if it is originated from Seremban (a city in state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia) but it is always associated with Seremban or better known as Seremban Siew Bao.
To me, a good siew bao must have flaky but not hard pastry. Some store-bought siew bao look really good but I got disappointed with the hard pastry after first bite. I used Tau Sa Piah (豆沙饼)'s pastry recipe for these buns, it produced nice layers, crispy and flaky texture after baked. By the way, friend of mine used this recipe many times and her family liked it too.
Siew Bao
Ingredients (makes 12 pcs):
  • Dough A:
  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 60g shortening
  • Dough B:
  • 120g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 30g icing sugar
  • 30g shortening
  • 60ml water

Fillings (same as for char siew bao):
  • A
  • 250g char siew, diced
  • ½ tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp sugar*
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce*
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1-2 drops red food colouring (optional)
  • B
  • 150 ml water
  • 1½ tbsp corn flour
  • Salt to taste
*Some store-bought char siew comes with sauce, use it for preparing filling. Omit sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
  • Eggwash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp milk

  1. Fillings: Heat oil in pan, sauté onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in all other ingredients A, stir fry for 1 minutes.
  2. Mix together water with corn flour, add mixture into the pan and stir well. Simmer until gravy is thickened.
  3. Transfer to plate and allow to cool. Divide filling into 16 portions if desired, set aside for later use.
  4. Dough: Prepare dough A and B separately using the same method. Bring together all ingredients for each dough, mix well and knead to form soft dough.
  5. Cover and let them stand for 30 minutes. Then divide and shape each dough into 12 equal portion balls.
  6. Wrap dough B around dough A. Roll it out into 15 x 3 cm (approx.) rectangle with a rolling pin, then roll up from the short end, repeat this step again.
  7. Roll it out into 10 to 12cm diameter circle and place the filling at the center. Pleat and pinch to seal.
  8. Place bun on a 5 cm square parchment paper, pleat size up. Egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on the top if desired.
  9. Preheat oven to 180 degree C and bake buns for 20 minutes till golden brown.
Siew Bao
If you have difficulties in pleating them, you can make them into pillow shape. I brought those to a mahjong gathering and friends loved it!

Comments :

18 comments to “Siew Bao - 烧包”
June said...

seremban is in negeri sembilan not perak .

Lydia said...

Thanks for that, I just edited.
Welcome to My Kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Those look amazing! I've been craving some siew bao lately.

Piggy said...

wow, looks great! I tried making such pastry before but it always turned out very hard. :-(

mycookinghut said...

Looks sooooo good! I havent had siew bao for a long time! I definitely want to try your recipe!!
Keep up your good work!

vanillasugarblog said...

you make it look so easy....wonderful photos!

Lydia said...

Thanks! Make some, it's time to satisfy your craving. :D

Try again with this recipe? Hope you will like this one. All the best.

When I lived in Aust, I feasted on char siew so when I craved for siew bao. Do you too? Thanks for the compliments.

Welcome to My Kitchen!

Kikiree said...

Hi Lydia,
Your Siew Bao is absolutely amazing! I am from SP originally but living in the US now. Appreciate all your wonderful recipes here! Thank you. :)
I have one question re your step 6 & 7. I am a bit confused by wrapping dough B in A steps. Can you explain it a bit more here? Thanks so much. Sorry for asking too much!


Lydia said...

In step 6:
Flatten dough B and put dough A in the middle then wrap it up to form 1 ball.

Next, roll it out into a rectangle.

After that, roll it up from the 3cm side to make a cylinder shape.

Roll it out again then roll up from short end. Repeat this step to produce more layers.

Step 7:
Roll the dough out to wrap the filling in.

I hope you have clearer picture now. Happy baking!

Rowan Milton said...

hi Lydia,
can i replace the shortening with butter??

my wife loves these and I am 'trying' to give her a surprise by cooking these.


Lydia said...

Should not be any problem. One of my friend used cooking oil, and it came out nicely too.
However, you need to adjust the amount a bit I guess.
All the best.

Tia said...

my dad is from seremban. i can't wait to try these! thx

3 hungry tummies said...

stumble across your blog and really love it!! well be back often! Congratulations to your new born too!

delia said...

made these yesterday. the pastry is good but i change the filling to chicken mushroom and it's dry the next day. any idea how to have moist filling? thanks.

Lydia said...

Add more water when cooking filling, thicken it with starch so it will be easier to use. However, if too moist, it can't keep long.

online generic viagra said...

This is really informative blog post. Keep posting such an amazing blog post. Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

I am Alice.I love seremban siew Boa alot. Currently in US. so happy to find this recipe.
I have a question:
what do u mean flour? (dough A) what to call in chinese and english?
so dough A and B use diffrent type of four I think.

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!Thank you.

Lydia said...

Hi Alice,

Thanks for comment and sorry for the confusion. Both flour should be all-purpose flour, I just updated my post.


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