Food & Drink Magazine

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with Fat-reduced Filling)

By Zoebakeforhappykids @bake4happykids
I think we have mastered the ultimate art of enjoying egg custard steamed buns...

Hold a warm steamed buns with both hands...

Feel the warmth...
Take the most tiny bite on the edge of the bun, then...
Slurp... Slurp... Slurp the oozing egg custard filling!
Now break the bun into bite sizes...
Lick... Lick... Lick the custard-coated side of the bun. Satisfy? Place the rest of the bun into your mouth.
Chew... Chew... Chew

As we were slurping and licking the oozing flowy egg custard filling from our Liu Sha Boa, my trying-to-lose-SOME-weight husband is a little concerned with the fat content of the delicious custard filling that we were enjoying...

For the sake of my husband and our waistlines, I have found and tried a fat-reduced custard filling recipe which is surprisingly GOOD too! Due to its fat-reduced content, the texture of this custard is more jelly-like and NOT as rich and creamy as the ones we had in our previous Liu Sha Bao. In fact, the texture of this filling can hold itself pretty well and doesn't ooze out like crazy as we have our first bite. For this reason, I wouldn't call these custard buns Liu Sha Bao as I think they are just Lai Wong Bao.
Liu Sha Bao (流沙包) vs Lai Wong Bao (奶黄包)? What is difference? Liu Sha Bao meaning flowing filling buns (Chinese) is actually a variant of Lai Wong Bao meaning custard steamed buns (Chinese). Typically, Liu Sha Bao contains a flowing molten filling whereas Lai Wong Bao contains non-flowing firmer custard filling.
Fat-reduced custard filling? Yes that this custard filling is fat reduced because it mainly made of custard powder, cornflour and minimal amount of egg yolk. To minimise its fat content, I have used light coconut milk which 13.4g/100g and 99% fat free condensed milk and these ingredients work well with this recipe too. Overall, this fat-reduced custard filling in each bun contains 1.5g of butter and 1/10 an egg yolk which is about 4x lesser in its fat content, comparing to the previous Liu Sha Bao filling that I have made which each either contains 6g of butter and 3/10 an egg yolk or 6.7g of butter and 1/3 an egg yolk.

Fat-reduced or not??? Honestly, I like both. I can always run extra to burn off any extra fat easily but my husband can't... LOL! I have to admit that these fat-reduced custard buns are not as creamy and heavenly as the full-fat ones but they are clearly kind to our hips and thighs and are perfectly good enough to give lots of slurp...slurp... lick... lick...satisfaction. 

Love to make these buns again.... for my husband? *smile* For all of you, Happy Valentine's Day!

lai wong bao egg custard steamed buns

Chinese steamed custard buns with fat-reduced filling

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

The ingredients that I used

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

... cook until mixture stiffen, remove pan from heat, then whisk in egg yolk ...

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

... cook custard again until it forms smooth and firm texture like this, then chill

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

Meanwhile, make bao dough

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

Shaping the buns

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

Ready! ... steam, steam, steam!

Lai Wong Bao / Egg Custard Steamed Buns (with fat-reduced filling)

Just 8-15 minutes and the buns are ready!

lai wong bao egg custard steamed buns

slurp... slurp... lick... lick... chew... chew...

Before proceeding on to the recipe of these buns, I like to mention that not all bao recipes work well with molten custard bun fillings. I have tried a few, even some curiously with shortening but they are not as good as this one from The 350 Degree Oven. Is this bao recipe the best? Yes. So far until today, this is the bao best that I have ever explored. Best of all to me, it doesn't contains any shortening! Nevertheless, the curious me will never stop exploring... In particularly, I like to try this highly-reviewed recipe from Kimmy, Cooking Pleasure to taste a wide variety of different bao texture.

Here is my recipe (with my notes in blue):

Makes 10 buns
Reduced-fat custard filling, mostly adapted by Viet World Kitchen
1/8 tsp salt
30g custard powder
20g icing sugar
20g cornflour

1 tbsp condensed milk
(It is ok to use the 99% fat free ones or any regular ones)
60ml coconut milk
(It is ok to use the fat reduced ones or any regular ones)
15g butter

1 large egg yolk
Make the filling one day ahead.
Sift salt, custard powder, sugar, and cornflour into a saucepan. Whisk in coconut milk and condensed milk. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Add butter and stir until the butter has melted.
Keep stirring while mixture thickens substantially. Continue to stir and cook at medium-low heat until mixture thickens to form firm texture and leaves itself off the side of the pan. Remove the pan off the heat and whisk in egg yolk. This will thin the mixture out slightly. Return the pan to the heat and keep stirring to ensure that the yolk is well-incorporated and mixture thickens again.

Transfer the filling to a bowl and allow it to cool down completely. Once it is cooled, cover the surface of the custard with cling wrap to avoid any condensation form on the cling wrap dripping on the custard. Chill mixture for 1hr or more in the fridge.
Bao recipe, mostly adapted from The 350 Degree Oven

280g flour, preferably with 7-9% protein content
(I used Lighthouse low protein, self-raising bleached flour which is also suitable to make steamed buns.)
1/2 tsp baking powder
(If you are using flour which is NOT self raising, please add this. Otherwise, please omit this.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
15g sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
125-140ml water (depending on the humidity of the day but I usually use 140ml)
To make bao dough, place the sugar, salt, oil, and water in the bottom of the breadmaker pan. Top with flour (with or without baking powder). Add yeast the last and switch on the machine with "dough” setting.
If breadmaker is not available, combine all bao ingredients and knead to form a smooth dough (at least 20 mins) and then let it rise for 1 hr.
When the dough is ready, divide into 10 portions. Meanwhile, set water to boil in a steamer.
Flatten the dough pieces with your hands, and place about 1 tbsp custard filling in the center. Pinch up the sides of the dough to completely enclose the filling.
Place each bao on each paper cup liner or a small piece of baking paper with its seam sides down. Rest the bao in warm mist for 10-15 mins.
Steam baos for about 8-15 mins until done. The steam timing varies if you have multiple layers of baos to steam. The layer that is closest to the direct steam will take 8 mins to cook.
Serve immediately but beware that filling can be steaming hot!
Happy Steaming!
I'm submitting this post to the Hong Kong / Macau event of Asian Food Fest (AFF) organised by Wendy, Table for 2 and hosted by Annie, Annielicious Food.

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