In my previous post, I mentioned about a little surprise I wanted to share with you. Hmmm…. what could that be? If the title of my post suggests that it’s tau sar, then so what?
Yeah, so what?
It’s the word “nostalgic” that came before Tau Sar Pao which made this post really personal.
Down Memory Lane…
My siblings and I ate a lot of steamed buns when we were growing up. The buns were and are easily available at street hawkers to open-air complexes to dim sum restaurants. The first steamed bun I was introduced to was tau sar pao (sweetened red bean paste steamed bun) long before char siew pao (barbecued pork buns) and bakpao (pork buns). Chicken or beef fillings came much, much later.
Meat fillings were more expensive than the humble red bean paste; hence, my young palate was molded to appreciate tau sar pao a lot!
As we grew older, Mum made a lot of steamed buns with meat and vegetable fillings. She never made tau sar pao, because it would be too laborious and would take ages from soaking the beans overnight to boiling / steaming them to blending / mashing them into a paste and to frying the bean paste, caramelizing with quite a lot of sugar. Nope. Too much work. But – alas – I was CRAVING for my childhood steamed buns! Arghh!!
In my last post, I also mentioned that I went to an Asian grocery store, owned by a Taiwanese couple. Well, I was browsing the shelves not really focusing on anything in particular, until I chanced upon a can of “something” really striking. It was on a top shelf somewhere, sandwiched between other cans of Asian products. I was almost teary-eyed when I held the can of Sweetened Red Bean Paste! I had to double check with the store owner if the sweetened red bean paste was actually what I had in mind.
If only happiness could be quantified. Mine would measure 10 on a base-10 scale that day 😀
Fulfilling one of my Childhood Dream Foods
The pao dough ingredients and method are available here.
For the filling – well – just scoop 2 tea-spoonfuls of the red bean paste and fill each disc-shaped dough piece. I made 12 dough balls from exactly the same ingredients I used here.
The seaming of the dough was done exactly the same as my chicken steamed buns, but instead of showing the pleats on top, I turned the seams over to expose the smooth surface of the dough.
I was really happy with my Tau Sar Pao’s
Killng Two Birds with One Stone
By the way, I made the Tau Sar Pao on the same day I made the Chicken-filled steamed buns 🙂
When I measured 400 grams of flour, I thought, “Huh? That would not make a lot of steamed buns!” Call me greedy. LOL!
To differentiate my steamed buns production on a single day, I seamed the buns differently. The smoother surface was the Tau Sar Pao, while the pleated top was the meat-filled bun 😉
As you can see there were plenty to last us for a few days. In order to enjoy fresh steamed buns later, I froze about 16 buns of both the red bean paste and chicken fillings. Now I can have a homemade steamed bun anytime my palate cries out for one until stock lasts 😉
Tau Sar Pao, anyone?
I am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #31 – Bao Ho-Chiak (May 2013) hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders
You know what? I am one happy BUN-NY!! 😉
Cheers and take care!