salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe

Coordination Mia Chenyze Photography Frenchescar Lim Art Direction & Styling Nikki Ho Hai Tien Lo Level 3 Pan Pacific Singapore, 7 Raffles Boulevard (6826-8240)

Recipe by Lee Siaw Cheen, dim sum chef of Hai Tien Lo

For the custard:

300g salted egg yolks
250g butter, left overnight at room temperature to soften
80g custard powder
75g milk powder
200g evaporated milk
500g icing sugar

For the dough:
300g all-purpose flour, sifted
50g castor sugar
5g baking powder
5g yeast
130ml water
2 tbsp oil


salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe - step 1
1 Steam the yolks for 5min until fully cooked.

salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe - step 2
2 Mash the yolks with a fork, or whizz them in a food processor, until they’re fine and crumbly.

salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe - step 3
3 In a large bowl, mix the yolk, butter, and custard and milk powders until just combined. Mix in the evaporated milk. Finally, when the mixture looks smooth, work in the icing sugar. Do not over-mix. Freeze overnight, then, with a tablespoon, quickly scoop out and roll the custard into small balls, about 20g each. Cover with cling wrap and freeze again.

salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe - step 4
4 To make the dough, combine all the ingredients for it in a large bowl and mix until smooth – about 20min by hand, or 10min in an electr ic mixer fitted with a dough hook. The dough should “bounce” back easily when you push a finger into it. Flour a clean tabletop. Divide the dough into 30g portions and roll each piece into a ball. Use your hand to roughly flatten the balls into circular discs, about 0.5cm thick.

salted egg yolk custard bun (liu sha bao) recipe - step 5
5 Place a por tion of custard filling in the centre of each disc. Hold your thumb and index finger in a C shape, and rest the dough over this arc. Place your other hand below to make sure the dough doesn’t fall through. Gently rotate your wrist (the hand with the C-shape arc) slightly, such that the twisting motion works the custard into the dough. Pinch close and smooth it down.

6 Transfer the buns onto paper cupcake liners. Arrange the buns in a dim sum basket, cover and let them rest for 40min. Steam the buns for 6min. Serve immediately.

TIP Don’t forget to let the butter soften overnight before using it. Unlike other pastry recipes, you cannot soften the butter in a microwave oven, as the fats might separate, affecting the texture of the custard filling.

Watch the demo here: