Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lava Custard Bao 流沙包

Dim Sum Series, part 5:

This is another classic steamed bao in dim sum restaurants. I think it is a rather recent addition because I do not recall having it before I immigrated to the US. I still remember my embarrassing moment when I first encountered it. It was quite messy because the custard just burst out like lava from an volcano. The salted duck yolk in the custard adds a different dimension of flavor. It is an amazing and wonderful experience.



Ingredients for making 8 baos:

Bao dough 做包材料:
106g unbleached all-purpose flour 普通麵粉
68g cake flour 低筋麵粉
2.5g/⅔ tsp instant yeast 酵母粉
102g milk 牛奶
1/16 tsp baking soda 梳打粉
1/2 tsp unsalted butter 無鹽牛油
small pinch of salt 少許鹽

Custard filling 流沙餡:
2 cooked salted duck egg yolks 熟咸蛋黃
40g unsalted butter, softened 室溫無鹽牛油
34g powdered sugar 糖粉
20g custard powder 吉士粉
30g milk powder 奶粉
20g coconut milk 椰奶

1)  Make the bao dough:
Put all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix and knead until it forms a smooth dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until double in size.

2)  Make the custard filling:
While the dough is fermenting, make the filling. Use a fork to mash the duck yolks in a small bowl. In another bowl, whip the softened butter, either by hand or using a mixer. Add the powdered sugar, custard powder and milk powder. Mix well. Add the yolk paste and coconut milk and mix until blended. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or until it is firm.

3)  Divide the dough and firmed fillings into 8 equal pieces.

4)  Flatten a piece of the dough and wrap a custard filling. Seal the seam tight to prevent leakage.

5)  Let them rest for about 30 minutes.

6)  Prepare a steamer and steam the baos for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately while it is still hot and the filling is still liquefied.

1)  In order for the lava to flow out of the bao, it is best to serve right after steaming. The filling will solidify and may not flow out after cooling.
2)  It is very very important to seal the seam tight. The lava may flow out if the seam is not securely tightened. What a waste and a mess!
3)  The recipe can be doubled if needed.

1)  先做包皮: 將所有材料放碗內搓至表面光滑之麵團,蓋上保鮮紙,發酵至兩倍大。
2)  流沙餡做法:將咸蛋黃用叉壓碎。另一碗內將牛油攪至軟滑,加入糖粉、吉士粉及奶粉伴勻。再加入椰奶及咸蛋黃碎,拌勻後放雪櫃約一小時至硬身。
3)  將麵團及餡料分別分成八等份。
4)  用搟麵杖將麵團搟平,放入餡料,收口。
5)  讓麵團鬆弛半小時。
6)  準備蒸籠,燒滾水,蒸約八至十分鐘,蒸好立刻趁熱進食。

1)  此包要即蒸即食,否則沒有流沙效果,變成奶黃包了。
2)  很重要的一點:收口不緊實的話,餡料便很容易在蒸的時候流出,到時候又浪費,又要清洗一番。
2)  如有須要,份量可以加倍。


  1. Hi Phoebe, I tried the lava custard bao yday .. the filling is fantastic but the bao skin is brownish colour unlike yours is white ... can u tell me where I went wrong ??? Rachel

  2. one more question, can I replace with Hongkong Bao flour ?? Rachel

    1. Hi Rachel,
      I'm glad that you like the recipe. It seems that a lot of people have issues about the color of steamed bun. Where do you live? I know flour from different regions of the world vary differently. I use national brand flour like Gold Medal and King Arthur here in America. Try using bleached flour and whole milk to see any difference. I have no experience in using HK bao flour but do read the label to see what it is before using. Also, read my other posts on steamed bun: silver thread roll and steamed char siu bao for your reference. Or try putting half a teaspoon of vinegar to the dough to balance the pH.

    2. Hi Phoebe, am from Singapore.. will try out your suggestion and also will replace with HongKong Bao Flour and let you know the result . Thanks again Phoebe . By the way I jus tried out your Pain De Mie bread and I added a tablespoon of wheat gluten. The result was fantastic and the whole family loves its aroma, texture as well as it softness. Rachel

    3. It is my great pleasure to know my recipes work in a kitchen on the other side of the globe ! Happy baking.

  3. Hi Phoebe, Thank you for sharing your wondering recipe! Can the baos be frozen un-steamed and be taken out to steam as needed? Priscilla

    1. Hi Priscilla,
      I'm sure you can freeze them even though I have not tried doing so. My suggestion: let them defrost overnight in the refrigerator section and steam for a few more minutes.

    2. Thank you, Phoebe, for your detailed reply. I will let you know how it turns out.


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