Friday, September 09, 2005

Siew Pao

Pao is usually steamed but in this case it is 'siew' which means baked and it is actually a pastry - chinese pastry of which 2 types of doughs are used. I prefer to use lard for the oil dough which enhanced the flavor to the pastry. For health reasons, shortening is a better choice.

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Oil Dough

340 g plain flour
220 g shortening/lard

Process all the above in a food processor

Water Dough

550 g plain flour
150 g castor sugar
160 ml vegetable oil
240 ml iced water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp golden syrup

Process the all the above in a food processor.

Glaze – 2 egg yolks


Scale oil dough into 20 gm and water dough into 40 gm.

Wrap oil dough inside with water dough.

Roll flat and roll up like swiss roll.
Roll flat again and roll like swiss roll.

Cut each piece into halves.

Roll out each piece cut side down and put in filling.  Wrap filling and seal well.

Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat oven at 375 f Convection and bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, glaze with egg yolks and bake another 15 – to 20 minutes.

Char Siew Filling

300 gm Char Siew ( finely diced )
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tbsp Flour
¾ cup water
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp Dark soya sauce
4 chopped shallots
1/2 cup green peas
2 Tbsp oil

Heat oil and stir in the shallots.
Add in flour and fry until flour is cooked and brown.
Put in the diced char siew and fry for a short while.
Add in water, all the sauces and sugar.
Cook till the sauces thicken and gluey.
Lastly add in the green peas.
Set aside to cool .


makes 56 siew paos


fooDcrazEE said...

Try frying ur normal pau in hot oil. Just to cook the dough as the pau was steamed earlier. However, make it smaller than usual. Not so oily then.

Enjoy and keep up ur blog. Lovely

lilyng said...


i used to love the fried paos - fried ngan see kueen and they are eaten with braised leg of pork(yuen thai). I did not succeed in making a good ngan see kueen but will try again. The flower buns turned out perfect, maybe i will try frying them. Thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Hi, can you please tell me what is golden syrup? Thanks.

lilyng said...


golden syrup is sugar syrup that has been cooked down until the color is golden. the popular brand for store bought is Lion's.

stef said...

hi lily, just found your blog, recommended by one of my readers. i LOVE your recipes, and can't wait to try some of them! about the fat though, lard is actually better for you (as long as used in moderation) -- unless you're using trans-fats-free shortening. this looks really gooood...

lilyng said...


thanks for the advise.

are you stef from jamie oliver's forum. you are so knowledgable and helpful.

enjoy my tested recipes

mAvErICk said...

wow.. i love ur recipes.. all very yummy.. keke especially this Seremban Siew Pau :)

Anonymous said...

Lily, did you see the post that you wanted me to do?
I am going to try your seiw paus now.
will let you know the outcome.


lilyng said...


no it did not come to my email and also it took more than a day before i can see it for moderating. what is happening to my blog.

did you try the siew pau?

Cassandra said...

Hi Lily

I just stumbled upon your website and now feel like stopping work and just try all the recipes! Some ingredients I don't even know though :-( A real novice at cooking.

Btw, if I do not have a food processor, can I use a blender to prepare the oil dough? Can replace shorterner with butter? If yes, how much butter to use?



lilyng said...


you don't need to mix the dough in the food proccessor, just hand mix and you can certainly replace lard with butter

delia said...

Hi aunty,
Just want to know whether we can use short-crust pastry to make this siew pao?

lilyng said...


you could use short crust but the taste and texture will not be the same as the siew pao that uses this type of chinese pastry.

Lee Ping said...

Dear Auntie Lily,

What is short crust?

Lee Ping

lilyng said...

lee ping

Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-raising flour, however. One suggestion for the 'perfect' pastry is 8oz self-raising flour, 3oz margarine and 2oz lard.

It is based on a 'half-fat-to-flour' ratio. Fat (lard, butter or full-fat margarine) is rubbed into plain flour to create a loose mixture that is then bound using a small amount of water, rolled out, then shaped and placed to create the top or bottom of a flan or pie.

Lee Ping said...

Dear Auntie Lily,

I did it using your recipe. Your recipe for the Siew Pao's filling is absolutely delicious.

Instead of spending a whole day laboring on the skin, I decided to use "shortcrust pastry". The skin is very flaky and it has some layering because I added some flour while I was rolling it out.

I cannot thank you enough for this recipe! I will post my article and photos tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Auntie Lily,

i am new to baking and also to your blog and enjoy going thru all your recipes. i have no time to try any yet but sure look forward to trying your siew pau.
However, I came across a siew pau recipe which uses high protein flour instead of plain flour like u did. may i know what is the difference between the 2 types of flour? Thank you.

siew peng

lilyng said...

siew peng

i too have seen some recipes using high protien flour. i thought that flour with more gluten will make pastry tough.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

The siew paus looks delicious.

How do you keep the siew paus? Do the siew paus require reheating after they are cooled down? i am asking 'cos i will not be able to finish the siew paus and may have to eat them over a few days.


lilyng said...


if you know that you will finish the siew paus in a few days, you could just refrigerate and just reheat in a 350 f oven for 12 minutes. you could freeze them for a longer period and reheat for 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

A very nice blog on food. Keep up the good work!

I am very new to baking or cooking. Would like to know the measurement for flour/sugar/baking powder/spice- ie 1 tsp/tablespoon/cup-does it mean heap or level?


lilyng said...


in most recipes unless specified means level

Anonymous said...

Try your recipe today but i have a problem trying to seal the pleat. Is just won't stick together. How can i shape it into pau shape?

lilyng said...


wet the edges of the circle before you seal. do not overfill and roll the circle at least 3 times the filling, then pleating will be easier

HK Lam said...

Hi Lily

Tried your Siew Pao recipe and getting fantastic result. I have picture of the bun posted in my blog

As mentioned in my blog, I use lard which is much more natural and tastier than shortening. Most shortening contains artificial trans fat.

Thank you for sharing the recipe. I love your work.

Reese Darragh said...

Aunt Lily,

Just so you know, it came out perfect. Although I do have to practice my bun pleating skill :P If you would like to see some pictures of my siew pao, it is here.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,is it possible to replace golden syrup with honey?

lilyng said...


yes, you can

S. H Yeoh said...

Thank you Lily for the recipe. I have done Siew pow many times using other recipes but yours is the best! The skin comes out nice and round so does not need any reshaping. I did the skin when I am free and frreeze it till I am ready to bake. The filling is so moist and delicious.

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