Red Bean Paste Steamed Bun (Dao Sar Pau)

The participants of the Gilmore Church Park Community Kitchen were very excited when they knew that Grace will be demonstrating to us how to make Chinese Steamed Buns from scratch. Grace has recently coming back to the kitchen after she quit her job in the T&T kitchen. She had been working in the T&T kitchen, the Chinese Buns section for more than six months. She learned her trade of making Chinese Buns there. According to Grace, working in the T&T kitchen is very back breaking and the staff have to work for long hours. We are so fortunate to have Grace showing us what she took more than 6 months of hard work to learn.


The Red Bean Paste Steamed Bun is fluffy and lightly chewy, which the Chinese said has a good bite to it, (ko garn).


Nothing beats some freshly made steamed buns from a bamboo steamer in your own kitchen.

Click on the link below for the instructions.


IMG_6142Grace brought some bamboo steamers for steaming of the Chinese buns. These bamboo steamers are stackable and it costs only a few dollars for a piece. A great kitchen tool to have.
IMG_6143We normally use a small piece of parchment paper to hold the bun so that the bun will not stick to the steamer. Grace showed us another way to do it.She traced a parchment paper according to the size of the steamer. She then fold the cutout of the parchment paper into fours. She used a hole puncher to punch holes along the edges of the folded parchments. After that she folded the parchment again and punched more holes.
IMG_6145Here we have a home made steamer liner. This liner can be reused for 5 to 6 times.
IMG_6141Grace prepared the dough from her home because the dough needs time to rise. This way, we can start making the buns right away. However, Grace did show us how to make the dough in the later part of the day. I will blog about it in the next blog. So, stay tune.
IMG_6147You know the dough has risen enough when you see that there is lots of air pockets when you break up the dough.
IMG_6151When you are working with part of the dough, cover the other part with a towel to keep it from drying out.
IMG_6164First divide the dough into small portion. For each of the portion, tuck the sides of the dough underneath until you get a round ball. Grace explained that this way, the dough will have elasticity.Roll the round ball of dough once with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Turn it 90 degrees and roll another time. This way, you will get a round roll out dough. With one hand holding the piece of flatten dough and another holding the rolling pin, roll the rolling pin from outside to inside and back down while the hand holding the flat dough make a 1/4 turn of the dough. Repeat until you have complete a full circle. This way, you have a piece of dough which is thicker on the inside and thinner on the outside. Do not roll the dough too thin or else the filings the bun will split open when steamed and the filing will ooze out.
IMG_6152Cut one of the corner off a bag of red bean paste.
IMG_6153Squeeze a dollop of red bean paste onto the center of the dough.
IMG_6154Place a thumb on the edge of the dough and use the other thumb to press in the filing. Without moving the thumb that which pressing down the dough, use the pointing finger to make pleats in a circular motion.
IMG_6167Repeat until the filing is sealed.One thing I learned is you can’t have long finger nails to do this.With lots of practice, you will be able to make a good looking bun like Grace.
IMG_6169Place the buns in a parchment lined steamer, leaving some space between the buns. Let the buns rise for 30 minutes.
IMG_6181Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the steamers on the pot. Steam the buns for 15 to 20 minutes. Switch off the stove and let the buns stand for at least 2 minutes in the steamer. Slowly open the cover to allow the buns to adjust to the new temperature. In this way, the buns will not deflate.We learned a lot from Grace. Thank you Grace.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Lee Ping

    Dear Suanne,
    It is very kind of your friend Grace to share her knowledge. I like the idea of hole punching, that way, the steam can move upwards.

    By the way, if I am out of parchment paper, I use lotus leaf or cabbage to line my bamboo steamer. A trick I learned from a Church Sister.

  2. Corinne

    Wonderful! I love the pictures, very informative, i would love to try making these after trying them at a restaurant… now i know how!

  3. gaga

    What a great idea with the parchment paper! I’m definitely doing that next time. Your bao’s look great too.

  4. xee xiong

    Can you direct me to where you have your blog on how to make the dough for these Red Bean Paste Steamed Buns?

  5. Priya

    Is there any way to make the buns without a bamboo steamer? I really want to make this but i have no idea to find that or the red bean paste :S

    1. Khun

      Red bean paste can be brought in most oriental food stores. You can use any kind of steamer, it don’t have to be bamboo.

Leave a Reply