Soft and supple, somehow cathartic.


REQUIRED: Steam Basket, and cupcake liners

You can find steam baskets online. Our Asian market sold a large one for about $15. On Amazon they’re a lot more. But worth it.

Steam basket

Source video if you need a visual guide.

Custard Filling:

  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature 蛋黄, 室温度 3个
  • 150 ml (1/2 cup + 1-1/2 tablespoon milk) 牛奶 150毫升 1/2杯 + 1-1/2汤匙
  • 75 grams sugar (1/3 cup +1/2 tablespoon ) 白糖 75克 1/3杯 + 1/2汤匙
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoon) cake flour 低筋面粉 20克 3汤匙
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) salted butter 咸黄油 50克 1/4杯 (butter has to be salted, if not the butter will separate from the custard)


  • 160 grams (1-1/4 cup ) superfine flour/plain flour/all purpose flour 细腻中筋面粉/中筋面粉 160克 (1-1/4杯)
  • 40 grams (1/4 cup + 1-1/2 tablespoon) cake flour 低筋面粉 40克 (1/4杯 + 1-1/2 汤匙)
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) wheat starch 澄粉 30克 (1/4杯)
  • 45 grams (1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon) icing sugar 糖粉 45克 (1/3杯 + 1茶匙)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 泡打粉 1/2茶匙
  • 3/4 teaspoon yeast (instant) 速溶酵母 3/4茶匙
  • 130 ml (1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon) water (room temperature) 水,室温度 130毫升 (1/2杯 + 1茶匙)
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoon) vegetable oil 菜油 30毫升 (2汤匙)

There’s very little leniency, don’t substitutions if not already listed. If you need vegetable oil substitution, keep it as a neutral oil and you’ll probably be fine.


  1. Whisk your egg yolks in a bowl, then add sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture is a lighter, pale yellow
  2. Add 20 grams cake flour, set bowl aside
  3. In a pan, add 50 grams salted butter and 150 ml milk (whole preferred I think)
  4. Medium heat, until bubbles form. Remove from heat.
  5. Pour slowly into your bowl mixture, stirring continuously
  6. Pour back into the pot
  7. Heat at medium heat, stirring continuously
  8. Once custard thickens, immediately reduce to lowest heat
  9. Once custard gets lumpy, remove from stove
  10. Place custard filling in covered bowl. Put in fridge overnight, or at least 3 hours.
  11. Using a baller or small ice cream scoop, shape the custard into 10 balls and line covered container with them. Put in fridge.


  1. Add 160 grams of your flour choice to bowl
  2. Add 40 grams of cake flour
  3. Add 30 grams wheat starch
  4. Add 45 grams icing sugar
  5. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  6. Add 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  7. Mix with a fork or chopsticks while adding 130 ml water.
  8. Transfer to a work surface. While kneading, add your 30 ml in 3 increments of 10 ml, with a minute or so. At first the dough will tear easily. After about 10 minutes it should feel bouncy and elastic.
  9. Split dough into 10 balls of equal size. About 43-44 grams each.
  10. Cover with cloth.
  11. Rest for 5 minutes.

Fill ‘em and steam ‘em

  1. Pull one dough ball out at a time from under the cloth. If sticky, sprinkle with flour. Flatten into a disk shape, 9.5cm (3.74 in) in diameter. The middle should be thicker (since you’ll be sinking it down with custard) than the edges.
  2. Cup it with your fingers, and put a custard ball in the center. Sink it in with a spoon. Gently fold it closed to form a ball with the custard inside the dough. Pinch off, roll on surface, make it as pretty as you can.
  3. Flatten a doubled up cupcake liner, stick the dough on it.
  4. When done with all 10 balls and they’re in your liners, transfer them to your steam basket. For a large basket, they’ll all fit in one layer. The liners can touch, but leave space between the dough as they will rise.
  5. Put the lid on, and let proof. For Prima Top Flour, takes about 10 minutes. For other kinds (plain/all purpose) it takes about 20-30 minutes. If your room is colder, it will take longer. Dough should feel soft, supple, and fluffy. The skin will be smooth and plump.
  6. Set the basket on a bot or wok filled with some water. Do not preboil or preheat in any way. Set timer for 12-15 minutes, and turn heat to high.
  7. Do not peak or you will lose moisture!
  8. Take off the stove, let rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Now take the lid off. Pull one out, let it cool for a second, then enjoy. Take cross-section photos for the family.