Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lau Sar Pau

With less exposure of asian food, i am so behind with the 'in' asian food if not for my good friends from the Orient.  They would ask me if i have eaten these or that and thank goodness for the internet, i am able to Google as to what they were asking about.  It might not be first time lucky with google,  like in this case 'Lau Sar Pau'.  You hope that someone might post a recipe but most postings were telling how delicious it was, from this restuarant and that restaurant.  I was the happiest when i found a posting of the name of this pau written in chinese.  With those 3 chinese words, i was able to get a few recipes in chinese and had them translated.  The translations were perplexing and i had many entertaining moments, laughing about the translations.  Finally i asked for help and was explained that the filling of this pau should 'Lau' meaning 'leaking' in cantonese and 'Sar' is 'sand'.  So my conclusion is that the filling should have 'a flowing sandy texture'.  Now the recipes made some sense and i tested a few but the filling does not 'Lau' but kept seeping out of the pau leaving no filling at all, they should be renamed 'Pit Sar Pau'.  Thinking that the high heat in steaming caused the filling to burst and my thought was right, this time the filling was fine when i steamed in low heat.  But, the filling did not 'Lau' as much,  it was a more like a custard and i think that i must have made 'Lai Wong Pau' instead.  I had given up figuring out how the filling should be but it pricked my curiosity again when one of readers asked if i have a "Lau Sar Pau' recipe.  Ok, put on your thinking cap, Lily,  the filling should be flowing like melted candy !!!! - what are the ingredients for candy????  sugar, heavy cream or condensed milk.  Yes, condensed milk must be it cos chinese chefs don't use heavy cream.  And i was right, this time the filling remained 'flowing' even when the pau is cold.


For the Pau

1/2 - 3/4 cup water (more if the flour is too dried)
4 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp shortening
1/2 tsp double action baking powder
2 cups low gluten flour/pau flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast


Put all the ingredients according to the order as above with the yeast last.

Start the dough function and adjust with water so that there is no more loose flour.

Let the dough function perform and dough will be ready in 1 hour 30 minutes.


3 salted egg yolks - steamed
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp fine granulated sugar
3 tbsp condensed milk
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp milk powder


Cream butter and sugar until combined.

Add in condensed milk and salt, mix well.

Add in milk powder and lastly using a garlic press, pass the steamed egg yolk through (alternatively pass through a sieve). 

Leave in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

When filling is frozen, divide into 20 portions and put them back in the freezer.

To make 'Lau Sar Pau'

Divide dough into 20 portions - about 1 oz/ 28 grams each.

Remove a few fillings from the freezer and wrap a frozen filling with one portion of the pau dough.  The filling has to be frozen so that wrapping can easier.  If the edges of the pau dough has some oily filling smeared, it will not close no matter how hard you try to pinch them together.  Place the filled pau, seam side down onto a tiny foil mould or a mini muffin pan, this somehow produces a lovely pau that will not go out of shape. 

Continue to wrap up all the rest of the portions and leave pau to rise for 30 minutes before steaming.

Bring water to the boil and then steam the pau, tightly covered for 3 minutes and then place a chopstick under the cover so as the lower the heat.  (Too high heat will burst the paus). 

Continue to steam for another 3 minutes.  Bigger paus might need longer to steam.

Repeat to steam the rest of the paus.

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