Thursday, March 1, 2012

Velvety Sauce Char Siew Pau/Bao

I have to share this Velvety sauce as this sauce kicked the Char Siew Pau/Bao up a few knotches and moved it to my favorite, will not go back to my older recipe.  The recipe for the sauce makes a fairly large batch and it is worth the while cos it will keep well in the fridge and every time you want to make Char Siew Pau/Bao, half the work is done if you have Char Siew and all you have to do is to make the Pau/Bao dough.  Talking about Pau/Bao Dough, i get all excited when i see a new recipe and what a let- down to the excitement when the result is not up to my expectation.  I still fall back to SuperSoft Pau and if you are lazy and do not want to make the Tangzhong, go ahead and follow Tien Tsin Pau recipe or Pan Fried Pau, they are very good pau doughs which my picky pau eater, Renee approves.

I am posting the Velvety Sauce as the Ingredients and Method for making the Pau/Bao Dough are already posted in the 3 links i have provided above.  You can make
Char Siew following these 2 recipes - Char Siew and Lam Yee Char Siew



3 large thin slices ginger
1 stalk of green onion - cut into 2 - 3 inches length
1 tbsp oil for frying the above
2 cups water


1 tsp chicken powder
1 tbsp dark caramel soya sauce
2 tbsp light soya sauce
4 ozs oyster sauce

1 cup sugar/207 g fine granulated sugar
2 tsp gelatine


2 tbsp tapioca starch
4 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water


Mix B till well combined

Mix C with a fork or whisk and mix it thoroughly otherwise the sauce will be lumpy.

Make a slurry with D and leave aside

Heat a large skillet or wok with 1 tbsp oil and fry ginger slices and green onions.until aromatic.  Add in the water, bring to the boil and cook until the ginger slices and green onions have released their flavor.  Remove the ginger slices and green onions and discard.

Stir in mixed B, lower the heat and contine to stir.

Add in C and continue to stir until sugar and gelatine have dissolved.

Finally add in the slurry D and cook until the sauce thickens.  Turn off heat and allow sauce to cool before putting into the fridge and let it cool and set for 3 hours before using.

To make Char Siew Filling:

Diced 1/2 lb Char Siew into tiny dices.

Mix in the above cooled sauce, the amount is up to you, more sauce or less sauce, your preference.  A word of caution, do not overmix the sauce otherwise it will be runny.  Filling is ready for wrapping into paus/baos.


Fern Ng (Angie Khoo) said...

Lily, thanks for sharing this recipe! I just can't wait to try this. I am now working on my way to formulate a satisfactory recipe in making Laughing (crackling) Char Siew Pau.....

Thank you sooooooooo much!

busygran said...

Sounds like a sauce to die for! Haven't made pau for a long time. Now I'm tempted to start agin. Thanks for sharing! :)

Bobby said...

Thank you Lily! Nothing beats a wonderful steaming CSP. My problem in making it is not attaining the uniquely Kan Sui smell.

What is Chicken Powder by the way??

B. Koh

lilyng said...


chicken powder is flavoring essence in powder form, most recipes shy away from the word MSG. Bouillon cubes are one of these flavorings enhancer but now powder can be found in most asian stores.

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious. Can't wait to make this my first attempt at making Paola. What's the Chinese name for dark camarel soy sauce?

lilyng said...


in malaysia we all call this in cantonese 'hak see yau'. it is very thick and look like molassess. if this is not available you can use the dark soya sauce which in cantonese is called 'low chow'

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

This looks very yummy, really wanted to make it. You mentioned the sauce can keep very well in the fridge, so how long can it be kept? If I need to keep the extra sauce for longer period of time, can I freeze it? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

For the tapioca starch, can I use wheat starch instead? Thank you.

lilyng said...


yes, the sauce can be kept in the fridge, for how long, if you keep them in portions that you need for every making of paus, and in airtight jars, it will keep for at least a month or 2.

i don't think freezing is a good idea, cos of the gelatin.

lilyng said...


it is only 2 tbsp of tapioca starch and i supposed it is ok to sub with wheat starch or use all cornstarch

Reese Darragh said...

Aunt Lily,

I am so going to replicate this velvety char siew filling for my paus. I have been wanting to find a char siew sauce recipe that will hold together while pleating since I love to overfill my paus with char siew filling. (Greedy :p) Thanks for sharing the recipe.



Firjas said...

Aunt Lily,

What is the brand of "hak see yau" and light soy sauce do you use/prefer?


lilyng said...


i can't do without the malaysian made dark caramel sauce, any brand as long as it is made in malaysia. The yuen chun brand is available here in Denver but it is quite expensive. For the light soya sauce, i am using Korean Soya sauce which is quite flavorful.

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