Chinese Birthday Bun @ 'Sao Bao'

As always, birthday cake is a must in any birthday celebration. As time goes by, people started forgetting their own tradition. In older days, the Chinese are celebrating their birthday only with this kind of peach shaped steam bun, noodle and coloured red eggs. According to the tradition, peaches and noodle symbolize long life, healthy and prosperity and coloured red eggs symbolize new life. Every year, my MIL will call me up to remind me to make hubby some coloured red eggs on his birthday. Yes, she's a very loving mother. Well, as my MIL going to celebrate her birthday on this coming Friday (5th November), same day as Diwali! I'm planning to make her some Birthday Buns or 'Sao Bao' in cantonese.

And this is my pre-run.

Ingredients : (10 buns)
200gm superfine flour/cake flour
100gm water
1/4 tspn yeast
1 tbsp sugar

*150gm red bean paste for filling.

Method :
(1) combine water, sugar and yeast and mix well.
(2) stir in flour to form a soft dough and knead untill smooth.
(3) immediately divide dough into 30gm each.
(use the leftover dough mix with a few drops of green colouring)
(4) divide red bean paste into 15gm each.
(5) wrap red bean paste with dough, sealed properly and shape them in oval.
(6) place dough onto a piece of greaseproof paper.
(7) shape the green dough into leaves and stick them to the bun dough.
(8) use the cutter slightly press on the bun dough to form a peach shape.
(9) sprinkle some red colouring to the bun dough and let to rest for 30 mins.
(I spray the red colouring by using a toothbrush)
(7) spray some water onto the buns. (it's a must!)
(8) then steam for 8-10 mins over high heat.

What do you think about these lovely little buns!
These are best to serve hot! It is so delicious with the melting fillings and soft fluffy bun. My kids can take a few of these. I'm planning to make at least a hundred of these on this coming Thursday. Have to make more because hubby has a big family. ^_^

Note : Things have been running pretty slow lately. Will catch up with you all whenever I could! Love ya.

And also wishing all my Indian foodie friends HAPPY DIWALI !
Enjoy & have lots of fun & food.


  1. I remember these 寿桃.
    How did you do the colouring? Looks really great.
    Did you put the colouring in the bottle and spray or use fingers to shake the colouring atop? You said "sprinkle"...I am not sure the colouring in powder?

  2. These are really gorgeous buns! Making 100 of them? That is a feat in itself! Yes, I would love to know how you sprinkle the red colouring on the buns too.

  3. Kristy, you have done a fantastic job, the寿桃are so real! I love eating these but I prefer the filling with lotus paste than red bean paste :)

  4. Angie & Jeannie :

    I'm not sure should I say sprinkle or spray! Cause I'm doing it with a toothbrush. The spray bottle is not suitable for this kind of art work. Unless you want to whole thing become red! I was thinking if I can use the red colouring powder on this too! Have yet tried it with powder form colouring.

    Jess : I love both fillings. I'm going to make both fillings on this coming Thursday. Gosh, going to be lots of work.

    Thanks ladies for visiting! I know Jess has been extremely busy lately and still managed dropping a few lines. I'm really appreciate it. Hope you ladies are having a great day!

    Cheers, Kristy

  5. Lovely sao pau. Makes me hungry from looking at these

  6. mine one is coming soon.. got extra sau toe for me? :p

  7. Lovely sao baos! You are such a good daughter-in-law.Wow!100 baos to steam, so must make sure enough "gas" oh!

  8. these buns look really beautiful and you shaped it so beautifully. this will be the greatest present to your mum in law!

  9. These look so delicious, what an interesting recipe. Diane

  10. my goodness your so amazingly talented just gorgeous!

  11. How cute, Kristy! I have been wanting to try making them ever since I saw them in my Dim Sum cookbook. Now you remind me, that I haven't done so till now...! Great job there :)!

  12. These look so pretty - and they look so soft and yummy too!! I love the leaves =) I don't usually like these because the few I've had have been filled with lotus paste (I don't like lotus paste...) but this look really nice!

  13. Not only are you a talented are a real artist Kristy ;o)

    Those buns look like chubby angels. What a wacky imagination I have at times...but thats what came to mind first. LOL

    Have a great day,

  14. Kristy,
    you are so talented. What else can I say. A very happy birthday to your hubby, enjoy the family occassion.

  15. I don't know if I had this before. I am sure I did. Looks so cute and happy birthday to your hubby!

  16. lovely lovely buns kristy! i know they're going to be tasty too! can't believe you are going to make a hundred of them! you are a good daughter in law! (and wife, obviously). Happy Birthday to your MIL and Happy Diwali to everybody else too!

  17. Your Sao Bao's are lovely! I am sure your MIL will be very happy when she sees them :)

  18. The baos looks beautiful. And they look so soft and fluffy.Must be delicious. Sadly, I don't see much of sao bao anymore.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Happy birthday to your MIL and Happy Diwali, everyone.

  19. They look so cute, and superb!

  20. smallkucing : haha... then must go and buy some!

    Claire : Wow, your birthday coming soon huh!

    WaiKitt : Ya, I've extra tank standby! 100 pcs into 5 batches. So, only need 60 mins or so steaming time. My kids can help out since it's school holiday.

    Lena : Once in a while follow the tradition! Hopefully, I have time to bake a cake as well. haha...

    Diane : Thank you and hope you will like it.

    Sonia : Thanks alot for your kind words! Glad that you like it too.

    Dimah : Thank you!

    Claudia : Thanks!

    Cooking Gallery : I know you like making buns alot! Looking forward to your cutie buns ya. ^_^

    Von : Thanks! Am glad you like this kind of buns too.

    Claudia : Haha... so very sweet of you! Thank you so much and you're a wonderful cook as well.

    Shirley : Not my hubby! It's my mother in law's birthday!

    Penny : It's my mother in law's birthday! ^_^ Thanks!

    MParadis : Thanks alot, there. Nice ot see you around.

    Biren : I'm sure she will! She's a very tradition lady.

    Emily : Thank you!

    Jet : Thanks for your wishes! I think we can only buy this kind of bun during every first day of Chinese Lunar celendar or the 15th day. But not many selling it as well.

    Hey, thank you so much everyone for spending your valueable time here with me today. I am really appreciate it. Hope you're all having a great day and wonderful time.
    Blessings, Kristy

  21. Hi Kak Elra, glad that you like these buns too! And thank you for stopping by. Have a lovely day!
    Cheers, Kristy

  22. WOW Kristy! Those寿桃 look so pretty and you're going to make hundred! Salute to you!

  23. Your mother-in-law will be so proud of you! Making a hundred, gosh, my back will ache! Hats off to you!

  24. Dang, woman, you are GOOD. I've seen these before and always wondered how the magical little elves made them. You are my hero. Happy birthday!

  25. wow these look amazing love pork buns while I embrace diwali for my hubby I really go for Christmas my culture lol ,my parents are coming this year can't wait!!!

  26. So cute! I like the texture of it. Bookmarked!

  27. What adorable little buns, and they look delicious too! :-)

  28. waw!!!quelle magnifique réalisation c'est de l'art je suis très séduite
    c'est vraiment très très beau et surement délicieux
    bravo et bonne soirée

  29. Ann : I think should be OK cause my kids are on holiday. They can help out a bit.

    Cheah : Hey Birthday girl! Hope can FedEX some over. haha... 100 need about 2kg of flour. I will make them in 5 batches. I think should be OK since my kids are here to help.

    Belinda : Thank you so much for your sweet comment! So, when is your birthday, girl? haha...

    Rebecca : Oh great! This must be an unforgetable X'mas.

    Ann : Hope you will love it!

    Martha : Thank you very much!

    Fimere : Merci, glad you love it too!

    Thank you guys for visiting and spending your time with me. It's a great pleasure for having you here. Hope you're all having a fabulous day.
    Cheers, Kristy

  30. Great job!! They look soooo pretty, yummmooo!

  31. I love all of your traditions! Delicious looking buns! They look just like pears - you're so talented!

  32. I like this one! Especially when its steaming hot! (though sometimes burn my tongue :P)

  33. Your mil's lucky to have u :) Last time I had these was at my mum's 80th bday. BTW, my bday's coming too. May I have some too??

  34. Birthday bunny are too cute!! My Baking Diva always surprise us with her little wonders!!

  35. Beautiful buns Kristy! :D As always your talent shines through! I can't believe you are making 100 of them! I guess we won't be seeing you for a while!

  36. Impressive! We can buy that here, but I like to try making it on my own! Thanks fo sharing :) Enjoy the rest of the week!

  37. OMG - looks so good, so beautiful and so well presented. Nice job. Amazing!

  38. I share a birthday with our MIL, but I think I'm doing all my own baking. Lucky her!

  39. I think these buns are perfect! And you are a very good DIL to be so obedient to your MIL LOLOL

    Very pretty buns, I must try your recipe to make at least ordinary red bean buns - the shop ones are not as nice :P

    Did you dip the toothbrush in the colour and then scrape against the brush and let the colour splash onto the bun? I remember doing this for Art lessons in school.....

  40. I just passed you an award, please feel free to pick it up in my blog :)!

  41. Traditional indeed! I remember having these during my grandparents' birthday!

  42. Oooo, those are SO cute! I love the way you decorated those little buns.

  43. Absolutely stunning! I am totally impressed daaaaaaahling, and hope you will make me a few of these for my birthday (or those cute little piggy buns you made a while back, those were amazing!).
    *kisses* HH

  44. you're making a hundred of! It looks difficult to hat's off to you, Kristy!

    Happy Birthday to your MIL and Happy Diwali! :)

  45. Oh...I didn't know these buns are for Chinese birthdays. Thanks very much for updating me with that. I only remember my mom always cook mee suah for our birthdays when we were young. Your buns look very pretty. To make at least a 100!!! You've just blown my mind...haha. Kristy, you are just amazing! Happy birthday to your MIL. I'm sure she'll be all smiles :D Thanks very much for dropping by while I was away. Hope you have a lovely weekend and everything's going well on your side.

  46. Kimberly : Thanks so much for your nice words! And glad you like it too.

    Reeni : Thank you very much! Glad that you're learning something new too!

    Hayley : Ya, me too! And always burnt my tongue after having them. haha....

    Shirley : Hey, your birthday is coming soon huh!

    Sutapa : Haha... thanks! You make me smile, dear.

    Lyndz : I only made 90 of them! It was so exhausting and I want to go to bed after this.

    Lani : Yeap, it was fun to learn more!

    Simply Life : Thanks!

    Sasha : Thanks alot and glad you like it too!

    Beth : Congrats to you too! And Happy Birhtday to your MIL as well.

    Denise : Yeap, you're right about it! It's our childhood art work! haha... But it's still the best to colour the bun after steaming, so that the colour won't spread after steaming.

    Cooking Gallery : Thanks a million for thinking of me. I'm really appreciate it. Will try to hop over again cause the site was really slow lately. Thanks again, dear!

    Tigerfish : Frankly, elderly really love this kind of buns!

    Indie : Thanks and hope will like them too.

    HH : Haha... reminding you of all those good food! And your belly is growling right now, right!

    Olive : Thank you so much and nice to see you around! Hope you will like them all.

    Mary : You're welcome! Sorry I didn't write earlier. I've been busy too. Hopefully, I'll write to you soon.

    Thanks ladies for visiting and spending your time here with me. I am really appreciate it. Hope you're all having a fabulous day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  47. hey ,you,queen of baking,what a day!but you made finally another beautiful pieces of art,very creative decoration for cake and the buns looks so delicate and immaculate!
    happy birthday for your mother in low and have a nice week-end!

  48. Thanks for the recipe, kristy! I wld love to try this one day!

  49. I tried making these using your recipe, but how come my buns aren't fluffy enough?

  50. Hi Christina, thanks very much for stopping by.
    I'm not sure where about you're from. Actually, the prooving room temperature did effect the work of yeast. Try to let the buns rest a little longer than usual or as mentioned in my post.
    The other thing is the used of flour! If by using common all purpose flour, the texture is harder compare to bao flour/superfine flour.
    So, wishing you all the best, dear.

  51. Hi Christina,

    Your Sao Bao looks really really tasty and pretty, I would like to try and make it for my 73 years old mother tomorrow. Before I start, I would like to confirm no oil? no need to wait for the dough to rise? Please please get back to me asap. I need to make 20 bao, do i just double the ingredients?

  52. Hi,

    I wanted to make the Sao Pao. I wonder, if i use the Bao flour, do i still need to put baking powder? hope to hear from you soon.


  53. Hi May Yee,
    First of all, thanks so much for stopping by my humble little space. Now to your question, I don't used baking powder on this recipe but still you can try one batch with baking powder. I some times added in baking powder to my bao recipe as well, the texture looks great indeed.
    Hope this will help. Enjoy & have fun !
    Blessings, Kristy


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