Thursday, February 10, 2011

Baked BBQ Meat Pastry - Siew Pao

In every sense of the word with the baking project today, EUREKA................................

It started out that my sista friend, Esther and I decided that we will be doing something special for Chinese New Year. Actually, we were just looking for an excuse to have a party. Who doesn't love a party? So, the said menu was planned and everything is in progress.

Being myself as usual, I love to surprise my family and friends. I know Esther has been hankering for some Malaysian baked goodies for a while. She has mentioned Baked BBQ pastry for a while...a long while. I decided to bake some for her and placed it in the homemade Chinese New Year baked goodies basket for her.

And so the project began since last weekend. Going to the Asian store to get all the ingredients for the upcoming weekend Chinese New Year feast plus some surprises.

These babies came out so good that it is worth all the work put into making it. Once again, I refer to my Asian food guru, Aunt Lily of the famed blog Lily Wai Sek Hong to come up with the recipe, with a few twist. I have to scale down the recipe as her original recipe makes 56 siew pao. Not that I have a problem making all 56 of them, I just do not have enough people in my house to eat all 56 paos.

Step 1 is to make the Barbeque Meat.  This can be made the day before you plan to make the siew pao.You can use pork or chicken, it really depends on your preference or you can just buy some char siew at the store if you are living near one. (Read: I truly envy you people).

On the day itself, start by making the pork filling. 

(Adapted from Lily Wai Sek Hong)

100 gm Char Siew ( finely diced )
1 tbsp sugar
1/3 tbsp tbsp Flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/3 Tbsp light soya sauce
1/3 tsp Dark soya sauce
1 chopped shallots
1/4 cup green peas or diced carrots
1/2 Tbsp oil

Heat oil and stir in the shallots. Turn heat down to low. Add in flour and fry until flour is cooked and brown. Put in the diced char siew and fry for a short while. Add in water, all the sauces and sugar.
Cook till the sauces thicken and gluey. Lastly add in the green peas or carrots. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: Prepare the doughs. As with chinese pastry, there will always be a combination of oil dough (A) and water dough (B).

I find it to be easier by labeling them, just in case I have them mixed up in the process of rolling and wrapping later. The water dough is always on the outside, encasing the oil dough.

Oil Dough
85gm all purpose flour
55gm shortening

1. Mix flour with shortening by using a pastry cutter or your hand.
2. Mix till it comes together. Gather all the flour mix and pack it tightly into a ball.
3.  Wrap it in a plastic wrap and label it as A.
4. Let sit for 30 minutes on the counter.

Water Dough
138gm all purpose flour
38gm sugar
40ml vegetable oil
60ml iced water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp golden syrup or corn syrup

1. Mix all flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. In a separate measurement cup, mix in oil, water and golden syrup.
2. Make a well in the center of flour mix and pour all wet ingredients in the middle.
3. Using your hand, mix all ingredients together and knead to combine.
4. Wrap a plastic wrap on the dough and label it as B.
5. Let sit on the counter for 30 mins.

Once the dough are well rested and the meat filling has cool, proceed to work on the pastry. This process will be tedious and not for the faint of heart. However, it is worth all the hard work.

Step 1: Start by weighing 20gm each of oil dough. You should be able to get 7 equal size portion of it.

Step 2: Next, measure out the water dough into 40gm a piece. Again, you should get 7 portions of these.
Step 3: Begin by stretching a piece of dough B, your water dough. Make it as wide as you can to ensure that it can cover the oil dough, A, in the center.

Step 4: Place oil dough, B, in the center of water dough, A.

Step 5: Crimp edges to seal.

Step 6: On a piece of wax paper, flatten the dough with your palm.

Step 7: Roll the dough out with a rolling pin.

Step 8: Roll the dough up as though making swiss or jelly roll.
Step 9: Place the shortest side of the dough towards you.

Step 10: Flatten dough with a rolling pin.
Step 11: Repeat Step 8 to 10 for 3 more times.
Step 12: Once you have done the last step of rolling, roll the dough up again into a log or swiss roll like. Sliced the dough in half.
Step 13: Separate the dough and work on the first half.
Step 14: Place the dough, cut side up.
Step 15: Press the dough with the palm of your hand to flatten. Roll it out with a rolling pin to a circle, about 3.5cm in diameter.

Step 16: Place the filling in the center and pleat the dough as you will with dumplings.
Step 17: Repeat till all dough and meat filling is used.
Step 18: Preheat oven to 375F or 190C. Bake for 10 mins. Take it out of the oven and glaze lightly with a beaten egg yolk. Placed them bake in the oven for 12 mins. Meanwhile, prepare a simple sugar syrup by combining one tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of sugar. When the timer goes off, remove the siew pao from the oven and glaze with the simple sugar syrup. Bake for another 3 mins.

Let cool, if possible, and serve. Makes 14 bite-size siew paos.

This recipe creates bite-size siew pao like the one you get in dim sum place. However, if you prefer the bigger  siew pao, all you have to do is omit step 12 and 13. The siew pao came out perfect with the sweet meat filling and flaky pastry. If you would like to make the full 56 siew pao recipe, please refer here

Note: I have make some adjustments to my recipe. If you are referring to Aunt Lily's recipe, you can still apply some of the adjustments I have made, like resting the dough for 30 mins, to allow the water to redistribute to all the flour, making handling easier. Also, I have added sugar syrup as a glaze for the siew pao as I like the sheen and subtle hint of sweetness on the outer crust of the pastry.

Happy Baking!


  1. lovely siew pao and bet you they tasted the best.

    these siew paos freeze well. just heat them up in 350 f oven when you need them

  2. Dear Aunt Lily,

    I am so honored that you take the time to read this post. You are my biggest inspiration. Thank you so much. And yes, you are absolutely correct. They taste awesome!

    I already have some in the freezer, :P