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Red Bean Steamed Buns


Red Bean Steamed Buns

Red Bean Steamed Buns – soft, fluffy and pillowy steamed buns filled with red beans. The buns are so good you will want them every day with coffee!!

This is my second creation using red bean paste. It’s still amazing to me that I made three completely different Chinese desserts using just a can of red bean paste…it’s such a versatile ingredient.

There are many different kinds of bao or steamed buns, but one of my absolute favorite is Tau Sar Bao (豆沙包). When I was little, my aunt used to make them for me. They were great afternoon snack for the family and I would watch and help her whenever she made them. She would knead the dough patiently–and wait for hours for it to rise–before it was ready for the filling. She told me that her secret ingredient was milk (instead of water for the dough), and that milk made the buns extra fragrant.

Other than that, her homemade red bean paste was very dark in color (almost black) with a smooth as silk texture. I learned from her that the darker the red bean paste, the better the taste and I couldn’t agree more with her on that. One of these days, I will have to learn the secret recipe from her.

Anyway, here is my cheated version using canned red bean paste and off-the-shelf steamed bun mix. There is really not much of a recipe to share here as I just followed the instructions of the steamed bun mix, filled the dough with the red bean paste, and steamed. (Click here to see Steamy Kitchen’s picture of the steamed bun mix.)

The red bean paste didn’t ooze out of the steamed bun like a flowing lava but this is just as good as it gets.

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22 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. team bsg

    we always wonder why red beans become really black(like charcoal) in color inside this thing. but yes it’s excellent for those health conscious people who forever talk about fats and cholesterol and worry about (halal or not?). many also given as offerings to chinaman gods right, those with one or two colored dots here & there on top one?

  2. Maninas

    :) I must admit, when I saw your post, I went ‘yes, finally the recipe’… and then ‘oh…’ when I saw there wasn’t one… I really love various baos and would love to have a recipe for making them. i shall have to look further on the internet.

    nice pics, btw!

  3. elmomonster

    Red bean is one of my favorite sweet things…and I don’t often like sweets. The yellow bean paste (similar taste) is also nice. I wonder what the difference is? It’s almost identical (except for the color).

  4. tigerfish

    Suddenly I thought of the “cha shao pao” song and want to replace it by
    “豆沙包” :D …
    what’s next on the list? Red bean paste chinese pancake? ;p

  5. Rasa Malaysia

    BSG – I think the very dark tau sar does have pork lard in it…to make it extra silky smooth.

    Maninas – sorry I didn’t share the recipe. Just try to find the steamed bun mix and follow the instructions and use red bean paste as the filling, that’s it. I threw away the packaging of the steamed bun mix so I can’t remember the instructions anymore. Hehe. :P

    Cooking Ninja – Lin Yong Pau is too sweet for my taste…I still prefer tau dar pao. ;)

    Steamy Kitchen – do you notice that dim sum restaurants here don’t serve tau sar bao? It’s almost impossible to find them here…back in Malaysia, there are many steamed bun stalls that sell various kinds of baos with different fillings. Yum yum.

    Elmo – yeah, yellow bean paste is similar in taste and texture, but I still prefer red bean paste. I think there is a slight difference in the taste if you pay enough attention to it. LOL. ;P

    Anna – yes, finding the ingredients is the first steo to making these.

    Orchidea – it’s always great to discover new ingredients…do try this.

    Tiga – aiya, you are too smart lah, you already bocor (Malay word for spilling) my secret liao. Hehe…I must say great (food) minds think alike. :)

  6. cooknengr

    I failed and would like to pass on the challenge to you and the partner in crime. Can you guys figure out what’s in the 鳳凰流沙包? On the dimsum menu of Happy Valley restaurant ( just upgraded to my best Dim Sum in So. Cal list)at Rowland Height ? That was some heavenly good filing for a pau.

  7. Claude-Olivier

    I have missed such beautiful things……..too bad…but anyway, i will come back ;-) UCLA was just amazing! Cheers

  8. Cutie

    Hehe, sometimes we have to cheat when we are cooking. We are not perfect. I think the most important thing is that the food will taste good. And I think yours is definitely yummy. Gonna try playing cheating in making Red Bean Bun. hehe…

  9. WokandSpoon

    I’m glad you “spilled the beans” on this recipe (hehe!). I love red bean buns and this is a great way for me to make them quickly ;-)

  10. Nate 2.0

    We tried making steamed bao in our bamboo steamer but they don’t come out all white and fluffy like the ones we see at the dim sum places. How was the color / texture for yours?

  11. Rasa Malaysia

    Cooknengineer – it’s salted egg yolk, that’s the secret inside the 流沙包.

    Claude – yes, do come back to LA and stay a few days longer so Melting Wok and I can take you to some good places to eat. ;)

    WMW – No lah…I will reveal it soon. ;)

    Cutie – I agree, I always cheat…who has time to cook everything from scratch. As long as it tastes good and authentic, it’s OK to cheat. :P

    Wok and Spoon – Haha, I have another bean to spill…my third recipe…stay tuned.

    Nate 2.0 – I agree, it’s not as fluffy and white as the ones in the restaurant. First of all, restaurant uses bleached flour, hence they are white, as to fluffiness, I guess they knead the dough a lot or the restaurant steamers are very big? I don’t know. LOL.

    Amy – yes, steamed boas for breakfast or late-night supper is good.

    Unka – Shui Mai ar…sap sap shui lah….next time I make. :)

  12. zcheng

    after i c the interview of Kwong Hwa, I quickly cum n c n get many useful recipe ya it’s a good website…

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