Steamed bun/ pao chicken filling with a twist (Aspiring Bakers #31)

Posted: May 19, 2013 in Asian, Aspiring Bakers, Feel-Good, Friends, Informative, Malaysian, Meat, Sarawakian, Savoury, Steamed Bread/ Bun
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I thought I could take a longer break from steaming more buns.  I had not the clue when I posted my last post Bakpao in Mini Cupcake Cases when Miss B from Everybody eats well in Flanders came ‘knocking’ at my blog wall and invited me to take up yet another challenge in the world of steaming hot buns!!  The last challenge I took up was here.

In my last post, I left you with a promise that I would invest on time and patience to make steamed buns the way they should be.  No more ready mix flour, but just pure patience and time management 😀

The real McCoy?

Actually I bought a bag of 1 kg Bapao Wheat Starch (Bapaomeel) Double Rings Brand. I bought the flour because of the word “bapao”; however, there were no instructions on how to use the flour.  Furthermore, I was blurred and blinded by the Chinese scripts all over the bag. It’s all Greek to me 😦  To add salt to injury (yep, that bad, really), there’s no picture of steamed buns on the label, BUT, pak choy (Chinese cabbage)!  And I thought I just hit the nail and bought a bag of the real McCoy!!

Then help came.  I am so grateful to Miss B. She came buzzing my way, sending me links and recipes, AND, the most unforgettable moment was meeting Miss B face-to-face last Saturday at our housewarming!  So good to meet you and your family, Miss B 😀

I got, among others, a bag of Red Lotus special flour and a tin of all-vegetable shortening (CRISCO) from Miss B. She also brought her delicious rice-cooker steamed moist banana cake, pandan kaya butter cake and homemade kaya coconut egg jam.  I was really pampered that day.  Thanks ever so much.

Steamed chicken pao_flourSteamed chicken pao_label for paos

Being a rather visual person, I was so glad to see graphics of steamed buns on the bag of the flour.  Yay, the real McCoy, at last!   But was it?  The instructions were in Thai script (sunskrit) and I was completely lost.   The quest continued. Then I remembered seeing this bag of flour sold at an Asian store, owned by a Taiwanese couple. I did not buy the flour, but took a snapshot of the label at the back of the flour bag. LOL!

What’s she up to now, you may ask?

Because, it’s not Thai or Chinese or Greek, but a language I could decipher 😉

1. Steamed chicken pao_label at back of pao flour

The recipe at the back of the flour bag – with a few moderations – became the basis of my journey to steaming more hot buns!

2. Steamed chicken pao_cool rack

Ingredients (Pao Dough)

400 g flour
210 ml water (I used lukewarm water)
100 g sugar (I used 14 tsp, which is about 50 g)
50 g shortening (I used 2 Tbsp CRISCO all-vegetable shortening)
13 g instant dry yeast (I used 1 sachet of 7 g instant yeast from Dr. Oetker)
8 g baking powder (I used 3 tsp of normal baking powder, following Miss B’s simulation and equation of 2 tsp DABP)
1 g improver (I did not use this)
A pinch of salt (this was not on the recipe label)


1. Sift the flour and baking powder directly into the mixing bowl of the electric mixer. Place the pinch of salt on one side of the flour and the sugar on another side. Add the instant yeast in the centre followed by the lukewarm water and gradually combine together with a wooden spoon.  Add the shortening and knead the dough using the dough hook, first on minimum speed and gradually increasing to “1” (Kenwood Major).  Mix the dough for 12 minutes or until a smooth and non-stick dough is formed.

Steamed chicken pao_hook doughSteamed chicken pao_min to speed 1

2. Remove the dough from the electric mixer and place the dough in a slightly greased large bowl.  Cover the dough with a cling film and proof for 30 minutes or more.  I placed the bowl just above our slightly warm radiator and covered the bowl with a clean kitchen towel.

3. While waiting for the dough to rise, start your steamer.  I used my multi-purpose soup pot with the 3 steamer inserts I bought at IKEA.

4. After the first proofing, I divided the dough into 16 balls.  At this point, I had wanted to add the fillings, but I kept murmuring to myself “Patience! Patience!”.  I rested the 16 pieces of dough balls for another 15 minutes, covering them with a cling film over my warm radiator.

Steamed chicken pao_first proofingSteamed chicken pao_2nd proofing

Steamed chicken pao_2nd proofing2Steamed chicke pao_second proofing

5. Flatten each ball into a disc-like shape and fill the dough with the filling.  Some pieces were proofed and some not.  You will see the difference later, hence, read on…  The ones I proofed, I let the buns rise for about 15 minutes or more.

6. Steam the buns for 15 minutes on high.

Ingredients and method (Chicken filling with a twist)  – own recipe

8 rotisserie chicken drumsticks – yes, the ready-cooked ones!
(Remove as much meat from the bones, diced)
In a bowl, add the following and mix to combine –
1 Tbsp (Kikkoman) soy sauce
1 Tbsp Oyster sauce
1 Tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
White pepper
4 cm ginger, grated
3 coriander roots, minced 

Add 2 Tbsp corn oil in a pan and sauté 2 cloves garlic, minced with some coarse sea salt until fragrant. Add the above mixed ingredients and sauté further for a few seconds.  Thicken the sauce with 2 Tbsp water and 1 tsp cornflour. Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the diced cooked chicken, 1 grated carrot and 2 spring onions (cut diagonally).  Stir and combine the mixture, making sure that the chicken meat is coated completely with the sauce. Refrigerate to cool before scooping 2 tea-spoonful of the chicken filling onto each dough piece.

3a. Steamed chicken pao_drumsticks3b. Steamed chicken pao_coriander roots

3c. Steamed chicken pao_filling3d. Steamed chicken pao_filling in dough

Kenwood and me

By the way, my brand new Kenwood Major has been standing in the corner of our kitchen since New Year’s Day 2013!  I got this as a gift from my other half.  I have been procrastinating with all the bakes. I’m glad I’ve found a useful task for my Kenwood – finally 😉

4. Steamed chicken pao_Kenwood Major

David and Goliath

I wanted to show you the difference of the end result of my steamed chicken buns. The one on the left was not proofed and the one on the right was left to rise for the last time for 15 minutes before going to the Steamer.  A picture is worth a thousand words.

5. Steamed chicken pao_comparison

I am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #31 – Bao Ho-Chiak (May 2013) hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders

Small Small Baker/Aspiring Baker

Miss B, it was definitely “bao ho chiak”.  Breakfast was never the same again!

6a. Steamed chicken pao_high tea6b. Steamed chicken pao_high tea2

Oh by the way, I have a little surprise next post…. so stay tuned.


  1. Fantastic! I love your fillings, so much of homemade goodness! And your baos were so nicely pleated, they look very white too!
    So was that the packet of cake flour I gave you? Sorry about the thai wordings on the package, I didn’t know you gonna use the recipe behind. 🙂
    Oh yes, and the Kenwood mixer, so “lief” of your hubby, I have been hinting a long time to my other half, but no response whatsoever :S Just wondering does it have all the functions you want, is it worth the money? I am also looking for something cheaper than a KA, a Kenwood would be nice 🙂

  2. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks Miss B!
    Mission accomplished….Phew! For a moment, I thought I’d never get around to doing these, but I was really surprised how they turned out. Anyway, I was craving for “pao’s” !!! I just needed that push and I’m glad you’ve convinced me, my friend. And yes, that was the very same packet of cake flour you gave me on May 11th. As you can see, it came in good use 🙂 Your CRISCO, as well. Next step, your koepoe. LOL! Acutally, I chanced upon this bag of flour at the Asian store, but did not buy it. I remembered they had English instructions at the back of the packet. I did ask the lady at the shop and she said she also used that flour for her steamed buns. Thing is she never used shortening although the instruction indicated that, hence, I was a bit confused. I have never used shortening in my life until I got the CRISCO from you. Heel erg bedankt! I will definitely make more batches of hot steamed buns. My boys and hubby loved them alot.

    Hubby bought the Kenwood at Vandenborre. I was surprised how easy and fast and clean the end result was. You should keep hinting to him. Get him to read your blog and all the comments and pictures you have of your bakes. I’m sure he’ll be convinced how good you are, or maybe I should tell him myself? 😀

  3. Miss B says:

    Are you referring to this Pak Choy bapao meel?
    I think there is a recipe attached in that post…

  4. Nasifriet says:

    Yes, that’s it!!! Bedankt voor de link 🙂
    Ik denk “reuzel” is hetzelfde als “shortening”, kan dat? En 4 scheppen suiker lijkt een beetje te veel, nee? Heb je de meel ooit geprobeerd?

    I will probably use the same recipe I used in this post for the bapaomeel. Will let you know, but will probably not be in May 😦

  5. Oh, reuzel = lard according to Google Translation. 🙂
    No, I didn’t buy the pak choy bapaomeel, so I haven’t yet tried the recipe. But 4 scheppen suiker is 4 tablespoons which is about 90g? I once used 90g icing sugar for my char siew bao, and it wasn’t too sweet.

    Dun worry about submitting in May, just take your time. But you must try the cake flour with wheatstarch, icing sugar and baking powder recipe one day, I think the wheatstarch really makes a difference in the fluffiness of the buns so that they taste as good even on the 2nd and 3rd day.

    Coincidentally, the pak choy bapaomeel calls itself wheatstarch, maybe it is really suitable for making fluffy baos?

  6. Nasifriet says:

    Thanks! I think I’d substitute lard with the veg shortening. I did ask the store owner how she made her baos with the bapaomeel. You said she used oil, sugar and water. I did not like the colour as the baos turned out quite yellowish. Prefer the white fluffy buns. I will take up your challlenge as the wheatstarch you gave me has not been opened yet 🙂

    BTW, my assumption of “eetlepel” = tablespoon whilst “koffie of thee-lepel” = teaspoon. “scheppen” sounds more like scoop, but what kind of scoop? But maybe you’re right, it’s just another way of saying tablespoon 🙂

    Love your labour of love for the love of your lovely 4 yr old 🙂 He really knows what he wants… he’s so cute! Happy belated 4th to your boy.

  7. Thank you for wishing happy bday to him! I wish he will be “brave”, not brave, but you know lah! I always scream at him, bcos he won’t listen to me. :S

    Yah, “scheppen” sounds like scoop, I dun like recipes that are not precise, because if I end up failing the recipe, I dunno whether I should blame the recipe or blame my skills :p

    I also dun like yellowish buns, I think it’s an asian thing, most asians want their skins to be as white as possible, that’s why there are so many whitening skin products! 😀

    It’s better to wait till the round-up at the end of the month, then you can pick a recipe you like and try it out at your own pace, and you can consult the blogger who posted the recipe for tips. But for me, I have so many packs of flours that I have to make many breads and buns to get rid of them, haha!

  8. Miss B says:

    Just curious, coriander roots, that can be eaten? How does it taste like? Hehe, I have only eaten coriander leaves. Do they sell that near where you stay?

  9. Nasifriet says:

    Can’t wait for the round-up 🙂
    BTW, my boys have been requesting me to steam more baos 😀 They (hubby included) loved my chicken filling with a twist, so I think I will stick with this filling next round, probably using the whole rotisserie chicken (kip aan ‘t spit) LOL!

  10. Nasifriet says:

    Did you know that coriander roots are used in making curry paste (esp the Thai curries). I’m afraid you can’t find whole coriander stalks with leaves PLUS roots in Delhaize or Colruyt or Carrefour. They do sell fresh corianders, but only the stalk and leaves. Go to an Asian store, preferably, a Thai store (not sure if Sun Wah sells whole stalk with roots). I usually buy 2 packets (quite a lot). My aim is to retain the roots, remove any grits, grimes, dirt, earth, whatever from the roots. Wash them and pat them dry with absorbent papers. They freeze absolutely well, wrapped in aluminium foil.

    Pls note when using coriander roots, you need to mince them really fine for stir-fries. If I make chicken rice, I’d throw in a few of the roots (whole, not minced) in the chicken broth and it makes a fantastic chicken soup to go with the chicken rice.

    For this recipe, I used 3 roots. Note the flavour can be quite a intensed if you used a lot. If you are not a fan of coriander, suggest to omit, or just use one root. I love corianders, hence, I don’t mind using more, but 3 makes a nice wholesome balance, that most “ang mohs” will like 😀

  11. […] my previous post, I mentioned about a little surprise I wanted to share with you. Hmmm…. what could that be? If […]

  12. melharry says:

    Corriander roots good for Sarawak laksa broth as well. Corriander roots is in abundance over here…sik boh ku madah. Mun di che sia I have to cycle to every asian store just to have that full corriander intake with the roots because we had steamboat that day..remember. Hehehe…at last found it at the nepalese store mun sik salah nama kedei ya everest kah or something like that. Anyway…my compliments to the chef, my che che. ♡

  13. Nasifriet says:

    I know whole coriander with roots are sold in abundance at our jungle produce markets all over Sarawak. As a matter of fact, the coriander I bought at the Thai House Supermarket here was imported from Malaysia!!!

    Oh yes, how can I not forget that day when you had to search high and low for the coriander, and YES, the name of the store is Everest. What an elephant memory you have, Da 😀

    Kam sia for the compliments. As they say, if you crave for something, you gotta DIY!

  14. X says:

    My friend, it tested as good (or even better!) as it looks! I doubt I will have the patience to make it though after reading thru the recipe but always more than willing to run to your place to eat! LOL!

  15. Nasifriet says:

    LOL! Thanks, my dear friend! You are my living testimony 🙂

    BTW, I doubt your doubt 😉 I did convince you to make popiah. You’re hooked on it. Come round my place, and we’ll make and enjoy homemade paos together. Next time with char siew filling 😛

  16. X says:

    Yes, at the same time I will learn to make char siew 🙂

  17. Nasifriet says:

    Signed, sealed and delivered 😀

  18. […] Steamed bun/ pao chicken filling with a twist (Aspiring Bakers #31) […]

  19. Chris says:

    Love this!!!

  20. Nasifriet says:

    I’ve made 4 batches of these already!! Thing is I could make 20 paos per batch, and they’re gone in a jiffy! The proofing time took so long, but will definitely come back to my pao operation asa I have more time and patience LOL!

    Come visit us one day and we’ll have a pao feast. Ha ha ha!

  21. […] Steamed bun/ pao chicken filling with a twist (Aspiring Bakers #31) […]

  22. […] Steamed bun/ pao chicken filling with a twist (Aspiring Bakers #31) […]

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