How to Make Kuih Pau or Steamed Buns

Updated on February 9, 2018
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Apart from cooking, I love traveling. Now, I am homemaker, and cooking is my passion. My expertise is Malay/Asian cuisine.

It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.
It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.

There is nothing that compares to a home-cooked meal. It tastes better. In my opinion, the most important thing when you cook is that it must come from your heart. That's what made the food taste delicious. I'm very happy to share some of the traditional recipes with you. It is part of explaining my culture and my roots. Yesterday I made steamed buns with coconut jam. The coconut jam is made from shredded coconut and dark palm sugar. I was fortunate to find the ingredients at an Asian store.

I love steamed buns. In Malay, they are known as "kuih pau." When you taste these, you can taste the Chinese influence. There has been a long history of Chinese people who migrated to Malaysia, bringing their favorite recipes and flavors with them. Malays have adopted these buns as part of their making of traditional kuih. A signature Malay's kuih pau is filled with coconut jam, potato curry, red bean, and chicken curry.

As usual, I learned how to make kuih pau from my mother. She is the queen of making traditional kuih Melayu. I have the advantage as I trained and made many types of kuih while I was living in my hometown. Kuih pau with coconut jam is one of my favorites Malay kuih. One of the most important features when making kuih pau is the dough. It has to be light and fluffy after you steamed it.

The ingredients:

  • A packet dried active yeast
  • A glass lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • Pandan leaves essence for coloring (if you use real pandan leaves even better)

Method:

  1. Mix together yeast, sugar, and condensed milk in the warm water. Add a few drops of pandan leaves essence. Set aside.
  2. Combine the yeast mixture with flour and vegetable oil in a bowl. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic.
  3. Roll over in a bowl, cover the bowl with a cloth, and let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Punch down dough, to lose the air inside. Start to extract the dough and shape into a ball (the total may vary) with your hands.
  5. Use your hand to flatten each ball, and use a spoon to fill in the coconut jam.
  6. Use your hand to close the edges, and shape it accordingly.
  7. Use cupcake baking paper to cover the bottom of each bun.
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes before steaming in the food steamer.
  9. Cooking time may vary. 10-15 minutes.

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In a pan, throw in palm sugar, water, white granulated sugar, flour, and shredded coconut. Cook until sugar is dissolved. The coconut jam is cooked. Add a few drops of pandan leaves essence into the yeast mixture. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Use hands to combine the mixture. Knead until it forms a dough. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes or until it double the size. Flatten the each ball you made. Use a spoon to spread the jam. Use cupcake baking paper to cover the bottom. Steamed buns are done. Peel the paper before you eat it. It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.
In a pan, throw in palm sugar, water, white granulated sugar, flour, and shredded coconut. Cook until sugar is dissolved.
In a pan, throw in palm sugar, water, white granulated sugar, flour, and shredded coconut. Cook until sugar is dissolved.
The coconut jam is cooked.
The coconut jam is cooked.
Add a few drops of pandan leaves essence into the yeast mixture.
Add a few drops of pandan leaves essence into the yeast mixture.
Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Use hands to combine the mixture. Knead until it forms a dough.
Use hands to combine the mixture. Knead until it forms a dough.
Let the dough rest for 45 minutes or until it double the size.
Let the dough rest for 45 minutes or until it double the size.
Flatten the each ball you made.
Flatten the each ball you made.
Use a spoon to spread the jam.
Use a spoon to spread the jam.
Use cupcake baking paper to cover the bottom.
Use cupcake baking paper to cover the bottom.
Steamed buns are done.
Steamed buns are done.
Peel the paper before you eat it.
Peel the paper before you eat it.
It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.
It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.

© 2018 Liza Ikram

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