Last Saturday night, my wife and i found some time to make some vegetable pau to bring over for Ching Ming on Sunday morning. The process was fun but somewhat time consuming.
Here are some simple pictorial instructions.
First, to make the vegetable fillings, get some sengkuang, water chestnut and carrots.
And soak some mushrooms if you have some laying nearby. These add flavours to the end product.
Once washed and peeled (please ignore the sloppy job above hehehehe), then grate them into fine strips. This step requires some hard work and patience, trust me on that. And yeah, it could get a little messy too.
Anyway, you should get something like this.
Once you have everything ready, stir fry the vegetables and the mushrooms with oyster sauce and dark soy sauce. Of course, this is to taste, so you can judge this yourself.
As for me, i like mine salty, very hamsap hehehehe
Once you feel the filling is good enough, set it aside.
Now time to work on the dough.
Get the ingredients ready: Pau flour, plain flour, sugar, corn oil, a dash of salt.
The Pau flour could be easily purchased at your local convenience stall.
Pour all the ingredients into the Breadmaker ™ and wait for it to knead the dough.
Yes, if you are wondering, in this day and age, we don't need to manually knead the dough.
With our hands.
Just toss everything into the Breadmaker ™ and with a press of a button, everything will be done for you in 30 minutes.
Perfectly kneaded dough to start making the pau.
The texture feels like abit like Play Doh (for those of you with a luxurious childhood) or plasticine (for those poorer people like myself with a not-so luxurious childhood)
Ok, now is the time to get your hands dirty.
As my lovely wife demonstrates below, divide the dough into smaller lumps (depends on how big you want your pau to be, either xiao long pau or Yip Chee Mei Tai pau, whichever tickles your fancy).
Then use a rolling pin to flatten the dough consistently. Or you could do this by hand.
That is if you have been training under a pastry chef for the past decade.
Else i would still suggest you go with the rolling pin.
Then, scoop up some vegetable fillings and place it in the middle of the dough.
Then slowly fold the dough edges back into the center, covering the fillings so that they get encased within the dough.
If you are having trouble with this step, good luck.
All i can offer you is a picture of my lovely wife doing it.
Got it? Easy right?
Ok, let's move on.
So the end product you should be getting would look like this. We still did not managed to get the correct way to twist the pau (you know how the pau at restaurants have those pleats, looks very professional), so if you have any tips, please let me know.
Once done, they are off to the steamer.
Our Elba 3-tier steamer can only manage 21 pau at one go.
Pop them in there for 20 minutes.
We had to switch the trays periodically as bottom tray gets hot and moist faster than the top, so switching them will make the steaming more consistent (not liked it mattered anyway, since everything will get cooked all the same. just do it cos you will feel more professional, knowing that you have followed the steps explained here hehehehe).
Oh, did i warned you on the burning steam?
Yeah, apparently playing with steam is a big no-no if you are below the age of 18. And if you are above 65.
I still have the scars from this to show, if you are curious.
Ok, enough crap talking.
Once the steaming is done, carefully remove the pau from the steamer. Remember the pau is freakin' hot (felt like picking up molten lava, some burning scars is inevitable here, so get ready some hand gel or toothpaste)
Place all the pau on a tray to let them cool down. We made around 35 pau this time.
There you go, simple steps to make vegetable pau.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Lastly, i'll leave you with a close up shot of the final product.
Happy pau making.