Steamed Buns – As Easy As ABC

October 28, 2006

Steamed Buns – As Easy As ABC

August 7th, 2005 – Sunday

Steamed buns

Making steamed buns is as easy as ABC. All that is needed are flour, sugar, yeast, water and lots of elbow grease if you do not have an electric mixer. Below I am sharing the recipe of the steamed buns that I just made. It is really fun and simple. All the ingredients are easily available from the bakery section of supermarkets. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Steamed Buns (Pau)

500g flour
1 tsp instant yeast
� cup sugar
1� cups water

Mix the flour and yeast thoroughly in a mixing bowl. Dissolve sugar in water. Mix the ingredients and knead the dough with hand or with an electric mixer for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and does not stick to the bowl. Separate the dough into 40g lumps. Roll to make them round and line the bottom of each bun with a piece of grease paper. Cover it with a piece of clean cloth and leave it to rise for 60 minutes in room temperature. Steam the buns in high heat for 15 minutes. Use a piece of rolled up wet cloth to seal the side of the steamer. Makes 24 buns.


Vegetarian Recipes Around the World – Chinese Steamed Buns (Mauna Pua)

October 28, 2006

Chinese Steamed Buns (Mauna Pua)
From: Ann Osterhagen

I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes that all my friends love (including meat eaters).
Takes a bit of work, but with the holiday…….
Don’t be intimidated ’cause it is WONDERFUL! Savory and satisfying.
I make large batches and heat the buns up in the microwave with a moist paper towel
– great work lunch with some rice and vegetables.

* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees (I use my wrist for gauging)
* 1 Tbl. sugar
* 2 Tbl. vegetable oil
* 1 tsp. salt
* About 2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour or white flour
* Mushroom-Cashew filling (recipe follows)
* 1 Tbl. margarine (for baked buns)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water; blend in sugar, oil and salt.
Let stand until bubbly (about 15 minutes).
Add flour and mix until dough holds together.
Place dough on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes).
Turn dough over in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).

Meanwhile prepare the following mushroom-cashew filling; let cool and set aside.

* 1/4# chopped mushrooms
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
* 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped bamboo shoots
* 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cashews
* 2 green onions including tops, thinly sliced
* 1 Tbl. vegetable oil
* 1 tsp. sesame oil

In a bowl, combine the following:

* 3 Tbl. soy sauce
* 1 Tbl. dry sherry
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 Tbl. cornstarch

Heat oil in wide frying pan over high heat.
Add shrooms, onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Add bamboo shoots, cashews, and green onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Pour in soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring, until sauce bubbles and thickens.
Stir in sesame oil.
Remove pan from heat and cool.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute.
Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a round about 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
Press outside edge of round to make it slightly thinner than the rest of the dough.
Place about 2 tablespoons filling in center of each round.
Pull edges of dough up around filling and twist to seal.

You can steam or bake the buns.
I have always steamed them so I can’t vouch for the end product when it is baked, but I am sure both versions are good.

For steamed buns:
Place each bun, twisted side down, on a 2 inch square of foil and place on a cookie sheet.
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until puffy and light (about 30 minutes).
Set with foil, in a single layer in a steaming basket over boiling water.
Cover and steam for 15 minutes.
Serve warm; or let cool, then wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
To reheat, steam buns until hot (about 5-10 minutes) or my microwave trick.

For baked buns:
Place buns about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until puffy and light (about 30 minutes).
Melt margarine, brush over tops.
Bake in a 350 degree oven until bottoms of buns turn golden brown (about 15 minutes).

Vegetarian Recipes Around the World – Chinese Steamed Buns (Mauna Pua).

Just My Lil’ Organic Life: As Promised, My Steamy Hot Buns For ALL To See.

October 28, 2006

As Promised, My Steamy Hot Buns For ALL To See.
Although nobody came close to even smelling my Steamy Hot Buns, i’m still giving it away for free. See how generous i am.

I havent made these for more than a year. So, those of you who favor steamed buns over their baked cousins will love this. I’ve sold a lot of these last year, but with Gordon around, it’s difficult trying to get anything done at all. I cheated and used the breadmaker for the kneading and rising save for the final round of shaping and rising. Just use the wholemeal setting. Best when steamed in those bamboo steaming racks, trust me. I’ve tried them all.

Those who love to knead, go ahead and make my day. My only request is that you post a pic of you enjoying it for my viewing pleasure. Can or not?


400g flour
100g wholemeal flour
100g sugar
100g margarine
1 pkt instant yeast
1tsp salt
1 tsp greentea powder
270-280g water
Knead 10 – 15 minutes
Rise 40 – 50 minutes
Knead 10 – 15 minutes
Make 10 50g balls
Rise 30 – 40 minutes
Steam 10 minutes

You can tweak the recipe for variety. I use 250g flour:250g wholemeal for more bite. A healthier version will be to substitute stevia for sugar, butter for margarine & milk for water.

Using steeped greentea bags will yield brownish buns. Therefore i use greentea powder instead. You’ll get wonderfully delicious green-tinged bun. I love them plain. For the more adventurous, make red bean paste as filling when you make them into balls. Eat them immediately…. mmmmm. Gawd, writing this is making me very hungry. Dying for a bite of this.

I use organic ingredients whenever possible. Buy the best. I will pre-measure all the dry ingredients and butter into Tupperwares and put them into the fridge and take them out only when i want to make them. Remember to bring them to room temperature. Add the milk/water and yeast only when you begin kneading. Adjust the milk/water according to texture.

The longer you knead it, the better it becomes. So, dont be lazy. Practise makes perfect.

Just My Lil’ Organic Life: As Promised, My Steamy Hot Buns For ALL To See..

Whole wheat steam buns with coconut custard filling

October 28, 2006

Whole wheat steam buns with coconut custard filling

After reading SAMM’s steamy hot buns post, I was curious to give it a try. Essentially, the dough for baked buns is pretty similar with the steamed one. Instead of plain bun, I added in some coconut custard as filling and made my steam bun the mantou (馒头, a type of Chinese steam bun) style.

Since the recipe calls for green tea powder, and SAMM mentioned that the outcome would be wonderfully delicious green-tinged bun, I was hoping to see such nice colour. However, my steam buns didn’t quite turn out that way. Instead of green colour, mine only picked up the whole wheat colour.

Hmmm, it’s time to troubleshoot. In my opinion, it was either the amount of green tea powder as suggested in the recipe to be too least, or my green tea powder isn’t as ‘powerful’ in bringing out the colour. But the green tea powder I have memang (Malay, meaning indeed) is imported from Japan leh. The steam buns tasted great nevertheless.

So, sifu (Cantonese, meaning Master) from Just My Lil’ Organic Life, FooDcrazEE, Babe in the City, masak-masak, and Pearl of the Orient … can help me in troubleshooting this matter?

My felicity corner xnè=: Whole wheat steam buns with coconut custard filling.

Char Hung Sut Manapua and Dim Sum

October 22, 2006

Char Hung Sut Manapua and Dim Sum

Clockwise from top left: Sweet Rice Cake (white block-shaped item), Steamed Charsiu Manapua (cut in half), Pork Hash & Half Moon. 

My sister’s favorite Manapua source has always been Char Hung Sut in Chinatown, and her recent visit back from the mainland was no exception. She bought over 3 dozen Manapua (95¢ ea.), Pork Hash and Half Moon, as well as some rice cake to take back with her for the family to taste a piece of home. Pictured above are a plated sample of that batch.

All these items freeze rather well in Ziplocs, only requiring a quick blast in the microwave (except for the rice cake) to enjoy them later. These items are all originally cooked STEAMED, so always cover them with a wet paper towel in the micro’ for that fresh-made flavor and texture.

Char Hung Sut 64 N Pauahi St Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Ph: (808) 538-3335

Outros sabores de manapua

October 22, 2006

More manapuas seen at 7-Eleven.

Manpau hehehe

October 22, 2006

Just wrong

One of the funny things about Hawaiʻi is the slow-motion collision between Asia and America that’s been going on here for more than 100 years, with the Hawaiian culture getting squashed between the two. Well, I guess that’s not funny-ha-ha, is it. But it can get funny-weird at times.

The manapua is the Hawaiianized version of the Chinese char siu bao. It’s bigger and breadier than the bao I’ve had in California. In Hawaiʻi, manapua have become such a common local food item that even 7-Eleven carries them. Except that rather than keeping track of the different fillings by little red dots on the top, like a real Chinese bakery would do, 7-Eleven color-codes their manapua. I mean, the dough is actually colored.

But that’s not all. The other day I was in a 7-Eleven and noticed a new manapua flavor:

See, now that’s just wrong.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Manapua

October 22, 2006

Peanut Butter & Jelly Manapua

Seen at 7-Eleven.

“Chunky Peanut Butter with grape jelly. Everyone’s favorite snack!”

Manapua_copiado de um Blog

October 22, 2006

Char Hung Sut

My sincere apologies for not updating yesterday’s post and for posting this without any text.  Tomorrow will be my last day at work before my upcoming trip to Southeast Asia, therefore, I should have time tomorrow night to update both posts. 

I thought I’d present the photos for your enjoyment.  Thank you for your understanding.

By the way, this one’s for Clinton over there in California.  A displaced local who misses the ma tai soo from Char Hung Sut.


It’s been a while since I’ve been to Char Hung Sut.  I guess it’s because I never really leave home early enough to get here before going into the office.  Today, I had a short break at about 9:00 am, and since it wasn’t raining, I thought a short walk would do me good. 


Located in Chinatown across the street from Mei Sum Dim Sum, Char Hung Sut serves local-style dim sum.  Sneaking in one of the doors off to the side, you can see the folks here hard at work.  Looked to me like they were making some ma tai soo.


After walking through the less used entrance, I stood in line behind a few people waiting to order their food and others waiting for their orders to be filled.  If I had come at about 6:00 am, there would have been about 5 times as many people crowding this little shop.  That’s how popular this place is.


Since I had agreed to pick up some food for a co-worker as well, I decided to get two of each of our favorites.  I ordered the following (clockwise from left) — manapua (US$.85 each), pepeiao (US$.50 each), pork hash (US$.50 each) and the famous ma tai soo (US$.50 each).


The first thing I ate was the ma tai soo


I’m not really sure what is in it, but it seemed to be pork and water chestnuts (?) among other things.  The filling is a little crunchy, so I’m only guessing here.  The outer pastry is baked, and can be a bit flakey, but it’s just a little “doughy” near the middle where the filling is and on the bottom of the pastry itself.  Nice and hot, this was delicious!  This is probably my favorite dim sum item from here.

This is the manapua.   


Steamed and filled with shredded pork, this is nothing like what you’d get in any other dim sum house around the country.  Manapua is a Hawaii original.  I’m not really certain of the origin of the word, but it’s been speculated that it was taken from the Hawaiian words, mea (thing), ‘ono (delicious), and pua’a (pig).  Not sure if this is quite the case, but I’ll go with that explanation for now.

The first thing you’ll notice about the manapua is the size.  Unlike traditional char siu bao, manapua are huge.  I would say that it’s about 3-4 times larger than the char siu bao that is served in traditional dim sum houses.  The “bun” here is also different.  Soft, fluffy and a little chewy, this is best eaten hot.  The pork filling is lean and flavorful.

Here’s the pepeiao.


Pepiao (Hawaiian for ear, or the name used for “wood ear fungus”) is steamed and is filled with pork.  It got it’s name because of it’s ear like shape, although to me, it looks more like a pig’s snout. 

Pork hash (not shown individually) is the same as siu mai.  It’s steamed and has a filling of ground pork and other ingredients.  Both of these items are as good as you’re going to get anywhere else in the state.

Char Hung Sut is frequently at the top of most people’s lists for “best” manapua…I can’t argue there.  This place has been open for more than 50 years, and the number of people that crowd this small shop every morning, are a testament to the great food and great value that it offers.

Char Hung Sut
64 North Pauahi Street
Telephone:  808.538.3355

Baked or Steamed at Island Manapua Factory

October 22, 2006


Steamed Pork Manapua (white bun) .85 cents and Baked Charsiu Manapua (brown bun) .95 cents *open image in new window for full-size view

When it comes to baked Manapua, Island Manapua Factory is the first place that comes to mind for many. I must admit, I prefer the traditional steamed white bun variety, but when it comes to IMF, the baked version can’t be beat.

The Charsiu filling taste slightly sweeter than the pork in the steamed version, with an adequate filling-to-bun ratio. It also has a hint of spice that I can’t really pinpoint, but it’s there.

The bun is soft with a slight chew and mild “crusty” flavor on the outside. It’s yellow color makes one think it’s “buttery”, but it’s actually just a slightly sweet, mostly neutral flavor.

If pork/charsiu Manapua isn’t your thing, IMF also offers a variety Manapua filling options such as Curry Chicken, Black Bean Shrimp, Vegetarian, Lup Chong, Breakfast and Custard to name a few.

They also have the other usual Dim Sum such as Pork Hash, Rice Cake and Half Moon (.50 cents/ea.), plus many more Chinese favorites available for catering and take-out.

Island Manapua Factory
Manoa Marketplace
2752 Woodlawn Dr. #5-113
(808) 988-5441

811 Gulick Ave.
(808) 847-2677