Salted egg custard buns (lau sar bao) 流沙包

It used to be the classic char siu bao in dim sum scene. Over the past decade, somehow this prodigy shifted and now the glorifying crown sets on a new queen which rules over all in the dim sum world. With her heart of molten gold, it's definitely gonna be love at first taste. If there’s another thing we bow to at a dim sum place,  it is sure to be the sweet-salty ooze factor of this iconic salted egg custard buns (lau sar bao). 

For sweet baos, I remembered the white lotus seed versions, then came along the usual un-flowing custard version that popularize the dim sum scene.  A long time ago, when I was still working in Hong Kong, one night. In a dingy looking block of apartment in Causeway Bay. A private kitchen that serves two tables per night with a month long reservation list. Shanghainese food it was, the best I ever had. And by Shanghainese dining standards, starchy stuff such as dumplings or bao are serve at the end of the meal. Meant to fill up and finish you off.  Our filler plate of a big bamboo steamer plop itself on the table. The lid unveils with twelve steamy innocent pillows. Then it was, just like cupid was somehow somewhere near. Love strikes with the first bite. Nobody spoke. There was a two minute silence when everyone seems to conjured up in their moment of bliss.
 Truth be told, just like a whirlpool courtship, I always wanted to conquer this love. Like Queen Ravenna in Snow white, day of desperation and will to have it all to myself. This recipe: I struggled. Experimented quite a number of times until it is perfect. Interestingly weird though, there was not a lot you can gather about this recipe on the web. I wonder if dim sum chefs had to signed some kind of recipe confidential agreement or perhaps, it's the numerous failure of home cooks to ditched posting the recipe. As difficult as it can be, my first few time either turns out not quite flowing or globs of explosive mass in the steamer. Until one day, I finally crack the code and end up with liquid gold inside. This recipe, I promise, is as close to what you get at dim sum place. One thing for sure, you need to wrap them quickly, just in time before the filling starts to melt. 


80g salted egg yolk (6 yolks)

110g caster sugar

55g custard powder

55g full cream milk powder
60g coconut milk
20g corn starch (1 tablespoon)
110g butter, room temperature

Basic Chinese steam bun dough

Start by steaming the egg yolk for 8-10 minutes or until cooked. let cool and mash. Next, In a mixing bowl, cream the butter slightly and mix in the ingredients. Refrigerate the mixture until firm. Portion into balls and freeze till solid. Roll in portioned bao dough and place in paper cups set on aluminum baking cup. Lay the bao in bamboo steamer and let it rise for 15 mins.

Steam on high heat for 10 mins.

Serve hot.

For basic Chinese steam buns, click here.
For char siu buns, click here.

- Till next post, ss.

Labels: , , , , , , ,