Sunday, November 18, 2012


My Aunty and her daughters operated a coffee shop in Jinjang village way back in the sixties.   They made and sold paus for breakfast in the  morning and later wanton mee in the afternoon. Everything was handmade by them, the eldest daughter in charge of making pau, the second daughter made wanton mee and the wanton, the 3rd and 4th daughters were in charge of the dimsum- only siew mai and loh mai kai.
We loved to visit them during our school holidays - something to occupy us as well as free paus and dimsums! However even without the school holidays, my aunty would always brought the unsold paus for us whenever she came down to Petaling street to buy her ingredients for the next day. She is my mother's eldest sister and our family adviser in matters big and small.  

Jinjang Village had undergone a big change since then and she and 2 of  my cousins had already passed on.
So to get homemade Char Siew Pau, I had to make it myself.

(Recipe adapted  from:The Nasi Lemak Lover's blog)

The ingredients require:  500 gm  pau flour, 2 1/2 teasp  instant yeast (this gold label is very good), 100 ml  lukewarm water, 125 gm caster sugar; 5 tsp shortening, 1 1/2 teaspon double action baking powder and 1/4 teasp salt.
My method of making the dough:

Mix the instant yeast with the lukewarm water and let it sit still it turns forthy (maybe 5 minutes)

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl

When the yeast mixture is forthy,

add to the dry flour mixture
Use hand to bring the dough together.  Turn it out on to the table surface and knead well. Use the heel of your hand to push the dough away and then fold it back to and fro.

after about 5 minutes, add the 5 teaspoons of shortening and knead it into the dough.

You will have to knead around 10-15 minutes to get a smooth and elastic dough. Roll it into a ball and place it in the bowl and cover with a tea towel for about 1 hour (sometimes, I leave it overnight in the fridge too).

After the proving, the dough will double in size.
Take it out of the bowl and gently push down to expel the air.

Divide the dough into 40 gm each and roll them into a ball.
Rest for 15 minutes before filling them with just 1 tablespoon of char siew filling.
Rest the paus for at least 30 minutes or till double in size before steaming over boiling water for 8-10 minutes.   

I had some of Lotus Paste left and use them to make these mini Lotus Paste Paus (25 gm dough and 10 gm Lotus paste).

My version of the Char Siew filling, I usually buy the Char siew and always ask for the  packet of  sauce.

1.  Dice the Char siew finely.
2. Minced garlic and shallot
3. heat wok and add oil and saute garlic and shallot till fragrant
4. add the char siew
5. add the packet of sauce and dash of dark/thick soya sauce and enough water to cover.
6. let it simmer till char siew is soft.
7. adjust seasoning, salt and pepper
8. thicken with cornstarch solution
9. set aside to cool before using.

Nothing beats these homemake paus. 

I also made the meat paus with a quarter of egg  (Sang Yoke Pau)

 Filling - pork, turnip and a wedge of hardboiled egg.

Hope you find the recipe useful and happy pau-ing!.

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