How to Make Kuih Pau or Steamed Buns

Updated on November 7, 2019
lizmalay profile image

Every year, I travel back to my beautiful home country of Malaysia to be with my family. I wish to share my experience with readers!

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

Sharing a Traditional Recipe

There is nothing that compares to a home-cooked meal; it just 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.

Steamed Buns or Kuih Pau

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 traditional kuih. A signature Malaysian kuih pau can be filled with coconut jam, potato curry, red bean, or chicken curry.

Trained By My Mother

As usual, I learned how to make kuih pau from my mother. She is the queen of making traditional kuih Melayu, and I learned to make many types of kuih from her. One of the most important features when making this dish is the dough. It has to be light and fluffy after you steam it.

My favorite filling for kuih pau is coconut jam. This is the type I'd like to show you how to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet dried active yeast
  • 1 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 (or you can use real pandan leaves, which is even better)

Directions

  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 release 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. Use a spoon to add coconut jam filling.
  6. Use your hand to close the edges and shape accordingly.
  7. Use cupcake baking paper to cover the bottom of each bun.
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes before steaming in a food steamer.
  9. Cooking time may vary, but it should be between 10-15 minutes.
  10. Enjoy the steamed buns with a cup of coffee or tea.

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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 doubles in size. Flatten each dough ball. Use a spoon to spread the jam. Set each filled bun in a cupcake baking paper.Steamed buns are ready to eat!Don't forget to removed 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 doubles in size.
Let the dough rest for 45 minutes or until it doubles in size.
Flatten each dough ball.
Flatten each dough ball.
Use a spoon to spread the jam.
Use a spoon to spread the jam.
Set each filled bun in a cupcake baking paper.
Set each filled bun in a cupcake baking paper.
Steamed buns are ready to eat!
Steamed buns are ready to eat!
Don't forget to removed the paper before you eat it.
Don't forget to removed the paper before you eat it.
It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.
It's fluffy and yummy with coffee.

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Liza

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