Chicken 'Kou Ruo' Steamed Bun

I personally find that bao making is very challenging eventhough I've been making it so frequently. Though, it's just a simple white steamed bun. What makes it so challenging? The main problem is the colour of the bun. Yeah, WHITE is the name! I also came across that many blogger facing the same problem as well. Mostly ended up with a sloppy yellowish or brownish look or with spots all over the bun! What about bun which is hard as a rock! Again, NOT rising.... is the name, yeap! I had the same problems when I first making them but not anymore. These days I even make my own steamed buns with only all purpose flour. I don't need any special bao flour nor any whitening powder, and still manage to give you a nice and fluffy white steamed bun. But of coz, bao flour will provides better texture because it's the finest flour, lighter and whiter.

These are the buns I made with all purpose flour which only cost RM1.35 per kg, Bluekey brand. Does it look white and fluffy? Definitely, they are! Basically, all purpose flour is unbleached flour and it won't gives you snow white buns. Well, lets put it this way, bun making is fun. All you have to do is to know your friends better. For instance, yeast & baking powder. Both of them are a must for white steamed bun making. Mr Yeast has a few great buddies as well, like warm water, sugar and flour. Bun with starter dough will provide soft & fluffy bao skin. But remember, Mr Yeast hates hot water & salt. Dissolved baking powder in water will prevent spots on buns after steaming. Try to hand knead the dough if you don't owned a good dough mixer.

The following recipe was inspired by Cheah@ No Frills-Recipe. But I hand knead the dough instead of using a mixer or bread maker.

And here's what I did.

Ingredients for Bun Dough :
Starter Dough
100ml lukewarm water
2-1/2 tspn yeast
1 tbsp sugar
130gm flour

First, combine sugar, water and yeast together and mix well. Then stir in flour to form a sticky dough. Leave it aside for 10 mins or untill it started to rise. If the dough is not rising, please check the expiring date of the yeast. Or give it another 10 mins. If it's still not working, meaning the yeast is no more active. Make a new batch.

**Main Dough
370gm flour
100gm sugar
1/4 tspn salt

100ml water, room temperature
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn vinegar

2 tbsp shortening

**Method :
(1) combine ingredients (A) and place it in a big mixing bowl, make a well in centre.
(2) combine ingredients (B) and mix well.
(3) place starter dough in the centre of the flour, slowing push in the flour and knead.
(4) gradually, add in ingredients (B) to the starter dough and keep kneading untill a dough is form. It will look a little crumby, dry and yellowish but it's ok.
(5) then add in shortening and knead untill combined. You won't get a smooth dough yet but a nice non-sticky dough. Once the wall of the mixing bowl is all clear and shinny, meaning it's done.
(6) set the dough aside for 1 to 1-1/2 hour or untill double in size, make sure to cover it with a damp tower.
(7) by then, you will notice the dough became whiter (not snow white). Punch dough to release air and knead untill smooth. (see above 2nd picture)
(8) divide dough into 50gm each, cover with a damp towel to prevent dry skin.
(9) roll out each dough and place in the fillings.
(10) plead the edges and place it to a parchment paper, simply spray on a little water.
(11) set aside to rest for 15-20mins and then steam for 10-12 mins over high heat.
(12) off the heat, remove the lid a few minutes later to prevent shrinkage.

Do they look tempting to you too? All purpose flour steamed bun looks just as nice.

You can start making the filling while the dough is resting but still the best cook this a day before and keep refrigerated.

Ingredients for Quicky Chicken 'Kou Ruo' :
100gm chicken fillet, diced
100gm fried taro/yam, diced
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cube 'lam Yue'/red fermented beancurd
2 tpsn vegetarian oyster sauce salt &
pepper to taste

*thickening : 1/4 cup water + 1 tspn corn starch

Method :
(1) preheat a frying pan with one tablespoon of oil.
(2) stir in onion, taro & chicken, simmer over medium heat untill cooked.
(3) add in fermented beancurd and oyster sauce, mix well.
(4) now, add in salt & pepper and then follow by thickening. Be sure the filling is not wet.
(5) off the heat, remove everything from the frying pan and leave cool before chilled in refrigerator for 30 mins.

Nice texture?

Hubby and the kids are not a big fan of char siew bao. So, this is something different for them to enjoy. I have to thank Cheah for her lovely ideas & delicious steamed bun recipes. They all sounded really tempting. Hopefully, I will have time to try out the curry filling steamed bun soon.

I'm sending this to Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event.

By the way, this is my number 400th post and I am celebrating my 2nd blogaversary at the same time as well. Just imagine how time flies.


  1. Congrats on your no. 400th post! Amazing! I love the texture of your bao, very fluffy & soft, have to try it out. Mine always turned out flat after wrapping the filling and letting it proof for 10 mins, not so nice half dome shape bao, wonder why, any advice? Great idea to use vegetarian filling! Yummy!

  2. first time here......what an amazing space u hav ! wow..these steamed bun looks just wonderful !what a unique recipe loved it ! will surly love to follow u ! do visit my space whenever u hav time :-)

  3. Your steamed buns look perfect! I have tried with all purpose flour and they came out not super white but okay. The texture was not as soft as I would like it to be. Would have to try making it again as the family enjoys it.

  4. Very interesting combo here.. looks very intriguing !

  5. Kristy, your steamed bun always looks really great! Wish I could just reach into the screen and get my hands on one of your creations. Thanks for sharing the steps! (And thanks for your thoughts - things are going fine with my parents.)

  6. Absolutely beautiful, never tasted anything like it. The texture looks so lovely and delicate.
    *kisses* HH

  7. Kristy, great buns! Of course your buns always look good :D The texture is perfect. I wonder if 00 flour they use for pizza dough would work. Thanks for all the baking tips....for people like me :)

  8. This really got my attention and sounds very good. They're so white and fluffy looking. Thanks for explaining it so well!

  9. You're just a steaming queen - your buns are royalty. I wish you lived next door.

  10. 400!!!! Congratulations. Your steamed buns look delicious. I'd love to have one. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. I wish I could plead the paus like yours without any opening up. Congrats on your 400th posts and 2nd blogaversary.


  12. You always manage to perfect just the right amount of surprise snuck into your goodies ;o)

    Two years and 400 posts missed so many since I've been following you.
    Congrats on such an interesting culinary blog Kristy ;)

    Ciao for now,

  13. Kristy, Congrats on your 400th posts in 2 years!! Keep rocking !
    Next time I'll try to use all purpose flour and you added kou rou in the pau sounds so delicious. Nice job!

  14. I am not familiar with this dish but I love learning something new from you each time I come here.

  15. I love 'pao'! But never plan to do it on my own cause I think the dough making is kinda tedious? Anyway, after reading your post and seeing all the photos, I'm eager to try it out, haha :D

  16. It has been a long time since I've made bao! Thanks for the reminder.

  17. Hey Kristy, I can see you're becoming a professional baker! Happy Anniversary, my dear!

  18. 这道蒸包让我想起了小时候我父亲也很常制作的生肉包。那时我们总是一家人在厨房里好不热闹。

  19. Thank you sooo much for sharing this!! Steamed baos are one of my favorite foods, I can eat them every single day and not get sick of them. Recently, my mom's friend gave us some homemade ones and they were delicious. They were filled with beef or this cubed meat and green beans (stir fried) very yummy! The texture looks just like yours and I was wishing for her recipe, but I don't think she has one. Anyway, thanks for sharing, you made my day! Also, congrats about your blog's anniversary and 400th post. :D

    I have a few questions, what should I do if I don't have shortening? IF I left it out, would it affect the bread? Also what does spraying the bread with water do, before steaming? P.S. I made your birthday buns one day, but I failed... I don't know what went wrong, but they became hard as rocks. :( Too many factors to consider though.

  20. Bee : Thanks so much! You're still awake in the middle of night after a day work. Ha...

    OFR : Hi there, welcome to my humble little space. Glad you like the buns too. Hope to hear from you more often.

    Biren : Ya, all purpose flour steamed bun has springy & fluffy skin at the same time, unlike bao flour which is more cotton soft.

    Claudia : wish I could share some with you, dear.

    Kumi : Glad that your parents are both alright. It's such a blessing!

    HH : I bet you're going to head over to the dim sum restaurant tomorrow morning! haha...

    Lyndz : As far as I know, 00 flour is superfine flour. Yes, it's perfect for bao making... just like those bao flour. I bet you can make some pretty looking steamed buns soon. ha...

    Pam : You're welcome. Guess, your grandson going to enjoy this in another couple of months time. yay..

    Claudia : Ok then I'm moving in tomorrow. haha...

    Mary : Yeap, time just flies! And you're always there for me. Thank you so much for all your support and encouragement. And am truly happy that you're still here with me.

    Lyn : OMG, where have you been all this while?

    Claudia : Hopefully, you'll catch up soon. :o) And thank you very much for all your wishes. Most honoured to have you here with me all this while.

    Ann : Thank you. Yes, I am still trying to do my rock n roll on my PS game! haha... Hey, young at heart is very important. lol!

    Bridgett : Hope you'll enjoy this!

    Hayley : So, is this going to be your next project to surprise your darling & his family? ha...

    Penny : Looking forward to your lovely buns.

    Shirley : Not so professional, actually! haha...

    Chin : Sounds like you & your family having so much fun during older days.

    Esther : Oh so sorry that you have failed making the Birthday Bun. I think the yeast is not working. Always make sure the bun became fattening before steaming. And do not over proof as well which will cause shrinkage later on.
    Answer to your questions:
    (1)You can replace shortening with cooking oil or animal lard. Shortening or oil will helps the dough became soft & smooth.
    (2)By spraying water to bao dough to keep the outer skin moist while waiting for 2nd proof. Afraid the baking powder will became dry at the same time and causing yellowish bao skin.
    Hope you get what you're loking for. :o)

    Thank you everyone for visiting and spending your time here with me. And thanks so much for all the wishes & support. I am truly honoured to have all of you here and still being here after all this while, which is totally priceless.

    I am looking forward for many more to come. And we can just go on & on & on..... forever.

    Wishing all the very best too.


  21. Bee : Sorry that I have left out your question! ha... I think your dough is either over proof or too moist. The bao dough is supposed to look a little dense and not runny.

  22. Ya, I tried Cheah bao recipe too, a keeper. My son Lucas just ask me to make pao, i must make for him soon. Congrats ! And hope to see more nice recipes from you.
    Nice to knowing you via blogging.

  23. They look perfect and white! I have never heard or made these ones but your photos are very analytical and made me understand their technique! They are amazing!

  24. Tahniah for your 400th post dan terima kasih for the tips untuk dapatkan pau yang putih dan cantik.I akan cuba this recipe:)terima kasih ya.

  25. Congrats on your 400th post! This bao looks so soft and delicious!

  26. The kou rou really good! I use Bluekey for my baos too and they taste yummy!

  27. Happy 2nd Blogging Anniversary!And Happy April Fool to you today!
    Judt made some steamed vege baos yesterday the same way like yours but i used bao flour. Realy like your filling ingredients,will try this next time and hope to see your post on your curry chicken filling soon

  28. I could finish the whole bowl of the filling. ;-))

  29. Aren't they just the cutest buns ever! Tasty I'm sure. Congratulations on your 400th and Happy Blogoversary!!!

  30. hi kristy, congrats on your 400th post!! still a very long way to go for me..hehe! now i know i can still use ap flour and yes, it turns out quite white from the pictures and also the texture looks like the smiling charsiew pau. you are fabulous, dear!

  31. Sonia : Thank you and great to knowing you as well.

    Katerina : Thanks and glad you like it too. Looking forward to your homemade buns.

    CM : Terima kasih banyak2, kak! Looking forward to your steamed bun post. :o)

    Ah Tze : Thanks alot!

    Janine : I'm not using bluekey bao flour but all purpose flour (the one without paper packing).

    WaiKitt : Thank you so much. Hopefully, I have time for more steamed buns. ha..

    Angie : Then you have to make plain steam buns! haha...

    louise : Thank you. Hope I can share some of them with you.

    Lena : I'm sure you will soon have your 400th post. And we can go on & on....

    Thanks everyone for visiting and also thanking all your lovely comments. I am truly appreciate it. You're always so nice to me.

    Hope to hear from all of you more often.

    Blessings, Kristy

  32. 哈哈,以前只要父亲说要做蒸包,我们就会习惯性地挤在厨房里分工合作.现在想起,也真的满开心的.

  33. Hi,
    I have an award for you. Please collect it from my blog:

  34. Kristy, these are right up my alley. They're a little like Manapua, right?

    Question: how do you take several photos and make one out of them? I'm trying to do same in MS Publisher and another program without success. Grrrrr. Would you be willing to share your secret? Thanks Keri

  35. Chin : Too bad, both my parents not kitchen pro. So, I don't a chance to cook with them while I was a kid. haha....

    PABaking : Thank you so much for thinking of me. I am truly honoured. :o)

    Keri : Thanks so much for introducing me, Manapua. Yes, they're alike.
    Now to your question, the main photo shoot problem is the lighting. I took most of my pictures under perfect sunlight. Since I'm not a pro, I'll have to make a few shoots on each different angle. From top view, side view... whatever view can be! hahaha... Hope that will help a little.

    Thank you everyone. Hope you're all going to have a fabulous weekend.

    Enjoy & have lots of fun.

    Blessings, Kristy

  36. ils sont beaux et bien appétissants
    bravo et bonne journée

  37. Happy blogaversary Kristy...400 posts in only 2 years, you are very busy indeed! Here's to the next 100! :D cheers!

  38. one of favourites steamed buns looks delicious

  39. Yum, looks delicious! Happy blogaversary!!! :-)

  40. Wow - congratulations!!! I have drooled over every single one of your recipes and look forward to more drooling. This kind of bun is one of my favorites but never have figured out how to make them look so good!

  41. Congratulations on your 400th post! I have been blogging since 2002 - it is amazing how the time flies! Thank you for linking up this lovely recipe to Let's Do Brunch. It looks like it is a challenging one, but well worth the effort to make these delicious steamed buns! The Let's Do Brunch linky is up again for this week, and I do hope you will come along and join in again.

  42. I have a quick question for this recipe ...can I bake the bun instead of steaming ?

  43. Thanks so much ladies for your lovely comments and greetings. I am really appreciate it. You ladies are so amazing!

    Only Fish Recipes : I have yet tried to bake them but deep frying is pretty common for the Chinese too.

    Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend.

    Blessings, Kristy

  44. Congrats on your 400th post and 2 year anniversary. Your pao certainly looks very, very beautiful :) And so yummy too!

    Thank you so much for joining us again.

  45. Happy 2nd blogniversary! I came via Muhibbah Monday round up and I would say your baos look the fluffiest ever! I made my first batch last week and I really need to further improve them.

  46. Hi Kristy,
    Congratulation on your 400th post, sorry better late than never, just to like to have your advise, can I use apple cider vinegar. TQ & also thanks for sharing.

  47. Delphine, thanks for stopping by. Frankly, I have yet tried using apple cider vinegar in bao making and you've just tempted me to do so someday. Maybe you can give it ago. I'll let you know once I tried it. ;o)
    However, thanks!
    Blessings, Kristy

  48. Hi Kristy,
    Thank you so much for your reply and kind of you to try out using apple cider vinegar, ok please let me know if it works, thanking you in advance.
    Regards, Delphine

  49. Hi Kristy,

    Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you & Family.

  50. Kristy,congratulations on your 400th post.I am a new by on your blog.Finely i've found a real,really bloger that sincerely want to share to others.Thank you again for sharing and blessing for you.

  51. Hi! I've tried this recipe and the texture is amazing (better than any of those that I've tried previously). However, my bao skin is slightly wrinkle. Do you know what I've not done right in order to achieve smooth bao skin? I've left it in the steamer for 2 mins after I turned off the stove.

  52. Hi Elaine,

    Glad you like the bao skin. Wrinkle skin is normally caused by over proved or the moisture in steamer, which you need a towel to cover the lid in the steamer to prevent water dripping. The bao skin will expand quick and then shrunk back quickly as well, and also causing higher moisture absorption to the bao. Hope this will help.

    Thanks for stopping and all the best to you. Have fun !


  53. Thank you, I have tried the recipe with a bit modification of the flour used. Very fluffy bao. I will publish in my Instagram and mention the source. Thanks again.

  54. Hi Natalia,
    Thanks so much for stopping by my humble little space and glad you tried the recipe & loving them as much as I do. Enjoy & happy baking & cooking !

    Blessings, Kristy


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