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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Flowery Meals

I was reminded of the specialties at a famous Shanghainese restaurant in town when I saw these flower buns at Terri's blog, which I stumbled upon because of her participation in an event organised by Royal Selangor Pewter.   We frequently ordered them (instead of rice) to go with their other specialties like Sour Plum Sauce Chicken, Tung Po Meat and Sze Chuan eggplant.

My flower buns may not look so perfect but I am pretty pleased with them :)  They taste equally good too.   It has a nice soft texture that was a little chewy when eaten.  It reminded me of those that my Ah Mah used to make, unlike some of the commercial ones that one gets these day, which can be dry and crumbly.  I used my breadmaker to do the kneading.  The dough turned out to be one smooth ball that was easy to handle and shape.  I think I have found a simple and nice pau recipe that I will stick to.

I made Sour Plum Chicken to go with the flower buns.  The slightly crispy chicken  and its tangy sauce went well with the flower buns.     I added some canned pineapples chunks left over from making hawaiian pizza. Actually, I think anything with a good sauce/gravy, be it sour, sweet, savoury or spicy would go well with the buns (We ate them with Fish Curry for dinner to finish up all of them :) )

I am keeping the recipe here for my own reference, if any of you are interested to try this out, do hop over to Terri's blog for a more detail step by step instruction.

Flower Buns (makes 10 large or 15 to 18 small buns)
Source A Daily Obsession

* Note : Wordings in red denote my variations from the original


A Ingredients
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp water -Mix A ingredients together
B Ingredients
  • 350g Bao or HK flour or Rose (plain) flour (All purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp double-action baking powder
  • 50g (or less, say 30 g) fine sugar (35g fine sugar)
  • 200-250 ml water (250ml without and omitted water in A Ingredients)
  • 1 Tbsp shortening or vegetable oil (shortening)
*If you use 250 ml and you are kneading by hand, add 200 ml first and knead in the remainder slowly, 10 to 15 ml each time, so that the dough is not too sticky to handle.
  1. Sift the flour and baking powder together . If using shortening, rub it into the flour evenly.
  2. Mix A with all the B ingredients in a mixer bowl and knead at medium speed till very smooth, about 6-8 minutes. The dough should be quite soft. Never mind if it's slighty sticky. Continue kneading until it isn't sticky. If kneading with hands, put dough back into the bowl and cover with a cloth. Rest for 30 min or until doubled, depending on room temperature. (Put all ingredients A & B in breadmaker, starting with wet ingredients followed by dry with yeast last)
  3. Divide dough into 50g portions for larger buns or into golf-ball portions for dainty buns.  Dust your hands and the work surface lightly with some flour. (30g portions, need no dusting)
  4. Flatten each ball, roll into a small oval shape as long as your hand and about 3 to 4 cm wide. Use a metal pastry cutter and cut the dough into thin strips of 1/2 cm, thinner than that if you are making mini buns.
  5. Brush the cut strips of dough with veggie oil (Olive oil, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds)
  6. Take the ends of the dough, one end in each hand, and twist around your thumb and tips of your forefinger.Stretch the dough by pulling gently as you twist it around the tips of your thumb and forefinger. Tuck the end underneath the bun by pulling the last bit down to meet the other end that's at the bottom. (Sounds difficult? Don't read, just watch this video)
  7. Place the buns on a small square of baking paper to proof. Let the buns proof for 30-45 minutes or until doubled. Do not overprove or buns will wrinkle when steamed.
  8. Steam at high heat for 4 minutes for small buns, 5 to 6 minutes for larger buns. A bamboo steamer basket gives best results because the steam can escape instead of dripping onto the buns and messing them.

Sour Plum Sauce Chicken

  • 3 free range chicken whole thighs
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
Sauce (Mix all ingredients)
  • 100ml water
  • 4 tbsp plum sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Deskin, debone and cut chicken into bite size.  
  2. Marinade chicken with seasonings for 30 minutes.
  3. Fry chicken with minimum oil.
  4. Stir fry chopped garlic. 
  5. Pour in sauce ingredient.
  6. When sauce thickens, add in chicken and coat well.  
  7. Lastly, add in some pineapple chunks if preferred.

Before I end, I take this opportunity to wish good luck to Terri and all the other participants of the Royal Selangor 30-day ‘Get Your Jelly On’ challenge in aid of breast cancer awareness!   Do hop over to their blogs and lend your support not only to them but also for the cause of the challenge! Let's do what we can, cheers 


I would love a bowl of plain congee with those lovely flowery buns (and a bit of pickles). oh boy...they look so delicious!

I'm admiring these flower buns. They are very beautifully crafted and they really look like a piece of art...just like beautiful flowers.

they are beautiful, trust me!i would be very pleased too if i can get my paus looking like these! i'm always excited seeing a pau recipe, i would like to kiv for them for reference and try them out when i'm able to. i think gert from my kitchen snippets would be very excited too if she sees your pao recipe here cos i remember she said it's difficult for her to get hk or pau flour over there.

Angie, Zoe and Lena,
Thanks for dropping by and the compliments too, they mean so much to me :) Angie, i love the idea of eating it with congee, will try it next time!

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