15 May 2013

Steamed Custard Bun (Nai Huang Bao 奶黄包)

I have been busy travelling between my house and my son school lately because I've volunteer some of my time helping up in his school. The school conducted a few days of workshops for parent helper then we are roster to the class on the time slot we have chosen. I also help up in my son PMP (Perceptual Motor Program) class. It is great to know and see for ourselves what our kids are learning and what kind of activities they need to go through for the day. I'm glad that I've choose to assist in his class. 

When I know that this month Aspiring Bakers #31 is Bao Ho-Chiak 包好吃 (May 2013), I'm so happy because it creates a good reason for me to make the yummy custard buns for my son again. Last night when Gabriel saw me making the custard filling, he was so excited and keep asking was that for supper or breakfast? I told him I'm just making the custard filling and it wouldn't be ready for breakfast because I'm so tired, I'll only make the bun tomorrow morning after he goes to school. 

Talking about custard bun, what I know is there are two types, one is the liquid custard filling that we call it Liu Sha Bao 流沙包. Another one is a creamy filling one that we call it Nai Huang Bao 奶黄包. I love both of them. In this bun making, I'm using my previous recipe which I come out with my own quantities after watching an online video 奶黄馅制作过程1-4 (videos by irenechanwai). I'm posting the step by step photos on how I steamed, mashed and kneaded the filling, hope it will help you making the moist and soft custard filling too :) 

Recipe from Ah Tze's kitchen play

Ingredients for custard filling:
150g custard powder
3 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp milk powder
150ml coconut milk
50g evaporate milk 
1 egg
2 tbsp melted butter

1. In a bowl, place custard powder, icing sugar, milk powder together. Add coconut milk, use hand whisk to stir until the sugar dissolved. 
2. Add evaporated milk. Add egg, stir until combine, add melted butter.
3. Sieve the liquid and pour it into a lightly grease pan and steam for 10~15 mins. (depends on your steamer). Photo (1).
4. Take the custard out from steamer and mash the custard with a spoon. photo (2)
5. When it is a bit cooler, knead it using hand until the custard is smooth. photo (3)
6. Divide the custard dough into small balls. photo (4) 
7. If you are not using straight away, you can keep it in the fridge for later use.

Recipe from Ah Tze's Kitchen Play
Ingredients for Bun:
350g +50g bao flour (the 50g is gradually add in when the dough is too wet)
1 tsp or 5g dried instant yeast 
200ml warm water 
30g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
some vegetable shortening 

1. Add all above dry ingredients into a bowl, gradually pour in the water. Knead the dough to form a non sticky dough, add the vegetable shortening and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
2. Place the dough in a bowl, sprinkle with a bit of water on the dough, cover with a clean damp cloth. Let it proof for 30~45 mins. (If you are in cool weather country like me you can heat up an oven to 50C for 5 mins, then switch off the oven and place the dough in it.)
3. Once proofing complete, punch out the air and form a long dough. Divide the dough into 15 nos. 
5. Flatten the dough with rolling pin, stuff in custard filling in the middle, wrap it into small ball.
6. Place bao dough on a piece of baking paper and let it proof for another 15 mins. (As my place is cold so I let the bao sit in the steamer with heat-off for 10 mins., when you see the bao has expand a bit bigger, then you can switch on the steamer and start the steaming process)
7. Place bao dough in the preheat steamer and steam for 10~12 mins.

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #31 is Bao Ho-Chiak 包好吃 (May 2013), hosted bMiss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.


  1. wow, the filing was so attractive, it must be tasted superb good.

  2. Ya~~ Tze~~
    really attractive!! sd be very tasty~~ ^^

  3. 黄黄的内陷,太透人了吧!我想要吃,更想学做!啦啦啦啦啦。。。。。。

  4. Looks so bright and delicious! I tried making the liquid type but not very successful!

  5. 谢谢你的参予! 我从没做过奶黄馅 ,看起来又比简单又好吃 。你下次还会做流沙馅吗?

  6. 这个是我喜欢的

  7. This 奶黄包looks absolutely delicious! I haven't been to yum Cha for a long time, miss this bao very much.

  8. Hi, Tze, like your custard buns here! Your son is so lucky to eat all these homemade buns!

  9. Lovely buns! You are so good at making all these delicious local yummies! Your family is so lucky!

  10. Love the golden filling against the pale bun!! Looks beautiful!

  11. 真漂亮的filling,看了就想吃!

  12. thanks for your sharing. will try it soon. i love this nai huang filling.

  13. 被你的标题给吸引了。。第一次来你家坐坐哟~~


  14. wow, your nai huang filling looks so good! i need to eat one right away :D

  15. Hi! My name is Ajina. I am originally from New Jersey but you could always find my family in China Town, NY. I love these while growing up and only knew them as "steamed buns" with or without the sweet paste. So glad I figured out what they are called so now i can try to make them. But what is connsidered to be bao flour? Is it the same as rice flour? Thanks for your post and your help.

    1. Ajina, Bao flour is not the same as rice flour. I'm not sure whether you are able to get the "Hong Kong Bao flour" at China Town, NY. this is a kind of flour commonly used to make steamed bun/bao. With my limited knowledge I can't explain what is the ingredients in the bao flour but just know it has wheat flour and others in it. however, if you don't have bao flour you can use plain flour to make bao also.

  16. Hello Ah Tze

    I would like to try your recipe for the Nai Huang Bao but I noticed that the custard filling used only 3 tablesp icing sugar. Kindly clarify, does this amount of sugar (icing sugar is not as sweet as sugar because of corn starch in it) sweet enough? Moreover the dough is not sweet by itself.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. hi Priscilla, there are 50g evaporate milk added. the filling is sweet enough.

  17. Your recipe are good and thanks for the great sharing :)

  18. Hi i thought liquid measurements are either in pints/cups/ml. How do i get 50g from a can of evaporated milk...pour onto the scales (in a bowl)?

    1. Hi Nicole, I recalled I measured the evaporated milk using the scale, so 50g is the right one.

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  20. Dear Ah Tze

    can u make more custard and freeze them so that I can use whenever I am making custard bao?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Rachel, yes. one i made more custard filling and freeze up for future use. i used them two weeks later.


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