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'Mui Choy Kau Yoke' Pao

'Mui Choy Kau Yoke' Pao

If you like ‘mui choy kau yoke‘, try make this steam pao– I promise it won’t disappoint you. The plain pao wrapping balances the rich taste of the filling. I tried ‘mui choy kau yoke‘ with ‘siew pao’ baked pastry version, and it was good… but steamed pao matches the flavor even better!

As far as the pao dough, this is my first attempt and I find it not difficult at all. Just like any other yeast/leavened dough, it just takes some time to rise. Steaming is quick and the pleating part is fun; it’s much easier to pleat leavened dough than the pastry dough for making ‘siew pao’ (pastry dough tends to shrink back and thus requires really good pinching and sealing skills). I used unbleached all-purpose flour so my pao’s are not snow white like those selling at dim sum places, with a pale yellow look on the outside. Anyhow, this experiment boost up my confidence of making steam pao’s. I’m sure I’ll be making steam pao’s more often in the future.

'Mui Choy Kau Yoke' Pao

'Mui Choy Kau Yoke' Pao

‘Mui Choy Kau Yoke’ Pao Recipe (makes 24 pieces, about 3.5″ diameter each)


for filling:
Mui Choy Kau Yoke— cut the meat into smaller pieces, and add more cornstarch water to thicken the sauce to a gluey stage. Cool completely before use.

for dough:
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
3/4 tsp dry yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp shortening

24 parchment paper– cut into 4″x4″


  1. Dissolve sugar in warm water (use microwave to speed up dissolving if desired). Sprinkle yeast and gently stir a couple of times. Let it stand for 10 minutes until the yeast floats to the top and becomes foamy.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a big bowl. Add in shortening and yeast mixture and mix well. Add more water if the dough is too dry; add more flour if the dough is too moist.
  3. Transfer dough onto a work surface and hand knead until smooth– I kneaded for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Place the dough back to the big bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until trippled in bulk.
  5. Gently knead the dough a few time to get rid of air pockets, then roll it into a long log. Divide into 24 equal portion.
  6. For each small dough, first roll it to a round ball then flatten it with your palm. Roll it out to a round circle using a rolling pin (thinner around the edge while thicker dough towards the center). Scoop in about 2 tbsp filling then pleat to seal the opening. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Rest pleated pao on parchment paper, and let it rest 10-30 minutes (no more than 30 minutes or the pao might collapse after steaming).
  7. Place rested pao loosely (pao will expand to double size during steaming) on a steamer tray with holes. Steam on high heat over rapid boiling water for 10 minutes. (Always steam pao over boiling water on high heat. otherwise the pao will taste doughy and sticky).

Comparison of size-- before steaming (right) and after steaming (left)

Comparison of size-- before steaming (right) and after steaming (left).

After steaming, the pao is the size of my palm (about 4 inches across).

After steaming, the pao is the size of my palm (about 3.5 inches across).

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