Friday 25 March 2016

Lotus Leaf Bun 荷叶包

It has been a while since I last posted a recipe on bao or Chinese bun. Recently, my interest was pique with this Taiwanese Gua Bao which is basically a U-shaped bao whereby you put your filling in the middle just like Western sandwiches. In fact, is was also known as the Chinese sandwich/hamburger. Well, let's not excite you further with this delicious Chinese hamburger today (don't worry, I promise I will comeback to this in coming posts). We are just going to talk about a bun that has that U-shape and functions to sandwich decadent pork bellies and other wonderful fillings - the Lotus Leaf Bun.

Lotus leaf bun is basically a bao shaped to look like a folded lotus leaf with an opening in the middle for filling. It is made with an oval shape dough folded into half. Lines or patterns are then added to make it resemble a lotus leaf. Although I like the authenticity of making it look like a lotus leaf, I like it more without the patterns, just a clean cut U-shaped bun. It is modern and involves lesser work. But for the sake of authenticity, I did doodle a few lines here and there. Not a masterpiece of course.

This bun is a breeze to make compared to the other Chinese buns. As it is plain, it does not require any wrapping or pleating. It requires lesser time to steam and best of all, it freezes well. The bun itself is super-soft.

Bun is so soft it doesn't even tear when I split it open like this.

Lotus Leaf Bun 荷叶包

Makes 12-13 lotus bun


200 g low protein flour/bao flour
130 ml warm water
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
35 g shortening

50 g low protein flour/bao flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp double-action baking powder

a little oil for brushing
flour for dusting

Cooking Instruction

1. Dissolve sugar with warm water and then mix in yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes. The yeast mixture should become foamy like the picture above. If not, that means your yeast is not active anymore.

2. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and add in shortening. Pour the solution in and knead until smooth. Cover and set aside for dough to ferment until it doubles in size.

3. When dough is ready, add in all ingredients in B. Knead until all are well combined. Divide into 12 equal portions.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll into an oval shape about 3 mm thick. Brush some oil on top of dough and fold the bun. Use a knife to score the dough with lines (refer to pix). Cover loosely with clingwrap and proof for about 20-30 minutes or when the bun expanded 1.5 times.

5. Boil water in steamer and steam the bun for about 10 minutes in medium high heat. Switch off fire and leave buns inside for 5 minutes. Remove and serve hot with preferred fillings.

Check out also my Steamed Meat Bun/sang yuk bao here:

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