Recipe: How To Make Liu Sha Bao At Home

Recipe by Lee Siaw Cheen, dim sum chef of Hai Tien Lo

For the custard:

 – 300g salted egg yolks
 – 250g butter, left overnight at room temperature to soften
 – 80g custard powder
 – 75g milk powder
 – 200g evaporated milk
 – 500g icing sugar

For the dough:
 – 300g all-purpose flour, sifted
 – 50g castor sugar
 – 5g baking powder
 – 5g yeast
 – 130ml water
 – 2 tbsp oil


1. Steam the yolks for 5min until fully cooked.

2. Mash the yolks with a fork, or whizz them in a food processor, until they’re fine and crumbly.

3. In a large bowl, mix the yolk, butter, and custard and milk powders until just combined. Mix in the evaporated milk. Finally, when the mixture looks smooth, work in the icing sugar. Do not over-mix. Freeze overnight, then, with a tablespoon, quickly scoop out and roll the custard into small balls, about 20g each. Cover with cling wrap and freeze again.

4. To make the dough, combine all the ingredients for it in a large bowl and mix until smooth – about 20min by hand, or 10min in an electr ic mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough should “bounce” back easily when you push a finger into it. Flour a clean tabletop. Divide the dough into 30g portions and roll each piece into a ball. Use your hand to roughly flatten the balls into circular discs, about 0.5cm thick.

5. Place a por tion of custard filling in the centre of each disc. Hold your thumb and index finger in a C shape, and rest the dough over this arc. Place your other hand below to make sure the dough doesn’t fall through. Gently rotate your wrist (the hand with the C-shape arc) slightly, such that the twisting motion works the custard into the dough. Pinch close and smooth it down.

6. Transfer the buns onto paper cupcake liners. Arrange the buns in a dim sum basket, cover and let them rest for 40min. Steam the buns for 6min. Serve immediately.
TIP Don’t forget to let the butter soften overnight before using it. Unlike other pastry recipes, you cannot soften the butter in a microwave oven, as the fats might separate, affecting the texture of the custard filling.

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