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Friday, 4 October 2013

Steamed Custard Bun ("Nai Huang Bao" 奶黄包)

I have never even heard or eaten of this buns before until I saw Tze of AwayofMind Bakery House posted her Steamed Custard Bun sometime back. She mentioned that her custard buns was being made after watching a video on Youtube by Irene Chan.  But her video does not indicate the proper measurement of the ingredients; only showing how to mix the ingredients and steaming the custard.

Subsequently I tried searching in the web to search whether she has a blog and at last I found hers, but the site was in Chinese.  So, those ingredients that I am not familiar what it was, I have to ask my elder sister to translate it for me.

And here, Steamed Custard Buns or in Chinese "Nai Huang Bao"

Steamed Custard Buns

Ingredients for custard filling:
60g custard powder
40g milk powder
100g caster sugar (I used only 75g, but still can cut down to 60-50g)
130g coconut milk
80g evaporate milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten first
30g  melted butter

Place the custard powder, caster sugar and milk powder in a bowl and mix to combine.

Using a whisk, add in the coconut milk and evaporated milk and whisk till the sugar dissolved.  Add in the egg, stir until combine, and lastly add in the melted butter.

Sieve the liquid and pour it into a lightly grease pan and steam high for 8~10 mins.

Remove the custard out from steamer and mash the custard with a potato masher.
(Irene Chai’s video showing she knead the custard using hand till till the custard smooth; I didn’t do it this way.  I just continue using the masher to mash for 5 minutes).

Divide the custard into small balls; about 20g-30g to your preference.

Recipe source from Irene Chan
And thanks to Tze of Awayofmind Bakery House, that I came to known of this Custard Buns when she posted hers recently.

As for the buns I'm using back the same buns I made for the red bean buns previously.

Steamed Buns
(makes 12)

300g Hong Kong pau flour
3g baking powder
3g instant yeast
30g caster sugar
160ml water
15g vegetable oil

Custard Filling 

Sieve Hong Kong pau flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add yeast, caster sugar and mix well.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add in water and mix to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 mins). Knead in the vegetable oil and continue to knead for another 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Take a piece of dough  (about the size of a table tennis ball) and stretch it, you should be able to stretch it  to a fairly thin membrane without tearing off easily, if not continue to knead for another 5 to 10mins.

Roll dough into a smooth round, place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 1 hr or until it doubles in bulk.

Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles.
Divide the dough into 12 portions (about 40g each). Roll each portion into a smooth round. 
Flatten each dough into a small disc with your palm or a small rolling pin, make the edges thinner and the centre portion thicker. Wrap each dough with 20g of custard filling. Pinch and seal the seams. Place dough seam side down on a square piece of parchment paper. Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave buns to proof for 20-25 mins.  

Place buns in a steamer and space them apart so that they do not touch one another. Steam it medium to high heat for 12mins (make sure the water is already boiling before steaming). 

When ready, remove the lid carefully to prevent water from dripping over the buns. Remove immediately and serve warm. Keep any leftovers in fridge (covered with cling wrap or store in airtight containers) and re-steam till hot before serving.

 I didn't use hands to knead the custard (like what Irene Chan did in her video.  Instead I just continue to mash, mash, mash with the masher.  Lazy me lor.....)


  1. the cross section of your paos are so pretty!

  2. Mel,
    Your custard buns looks round and smooth. so pretty!

  3. Wow! Even with just masher you can get it so smooth, very good leh...looks so well made:)

  4. Looks yummy ^^ wish I could have a taste.. don't think I've had this pau before.

  5. Mmm.... I like the pau and the filling, yum!

  6. Mel, your custard buns are so so beautiful! I loved to order these buns whenever I go yum cha.

  7. Hi Mel! The kids and I love custard buns and a must-order when we go yum-char!

  8. Hi Mel, I love custard buns. Tks for sharing.

  9. Mel, the custard filling looks so yummy and love the soft texture of these bao too :) Super GOOD!

  10. hi Mel, early morning seeing your nai huang bao make me drooling :D good to know Irene Chan got a blog. i have started making nai huang bao since 2010 and my kid always very exciting about the bao when he see it! for now, one bao for me please :)

  11. Hi Mel, those paus look very tasty, beautiful custard filling. So, this is how the custard is made, a little different from the french way, thanks for sharing!

  12. Una gran delicia se ve irresistible hermosa receta,abrazos.

  13. Wow, lovely buns! Have seen this at Ah Tze's too! Perfect with a cup of tea!

  14. wow, one of the prettiest custard buns i hv seen ! the surface is very smooth and white too!

  15. Hi Mel

    I refer to to your Nai Huang Bao in which the custard filling included 100g caster sugar, differ from Ah Tze of Away of Mind which used 3 tbspn icing sugar.

    Kindly advise me which is the right one to use.

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Hi Priscilla
      This recipe that uses the 100g caster sugar is the one recipe that I adapted from the original site of Irene Chan. Ah Tze actually found the same recipe of Irene Chan too but Ah Tze watch the video on youtube but didnt indicate the exact recipe measurement and she just assume of measurement ingredient.

      If you do read chinese, you can view Irene Chan's site which I have indicated above the recipe there.
      Well, I feel the 100g caster sugar is a bit too sweet for me, so you have to adjust according to your sweet taste.
      Hope this clarify your doubt.

    2. Thank you Mel for your response. Will follow your recipe of 100g or less caster sugar because I think the custard filling is supposed to taste sweet, not bland.

      Priscilla Poh

  16. These are amazing, I just hope I don't eat too much :)

  17. Thanks Mel, I just made these and they taste great! The perfect quantity of custard too, didn't have any left over.

  18. Dear Mel

    can I make more custard and freeze them?


    1. Hi Rachel
      I think you can freeze the custard filling though I have not try it before. For suggestion, after you have steam and mashed it to smooth the custard, divide the custard and roll it in balls and you can freeze it till you are ready to use it next time.