Custard Cream Buns (Sa-la-pao Sai Cream)

Salapao Sai Cream is Chinese Steamed Buns.  White steamed buns called ’salapao’ are a popular snack in Thailand. They are sold at hawker stalls and roadside eateries as well as Chinese restaurants. Fillings for the buns can be savoury or sweet.  The sweet buns are often favoured by overseas visitors and are usually available at 7-Eleven stores for around 10 to 15 Baht. The sweet salapao (’sai waan’) may consist of crushed mung beans such as a cream filling (’sai cream’).

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½  cup cake flour
  • ½  cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½  tsp ammonia
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼  cup vegetable oil
  • sheets of paper cut into 2"x2"squares, used as a base
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup fresh milk
  • ½  cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¼  cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾  cup butter
  • Combine the sweetened condensed milk, fresh milk and sugar together, stirring well. 
  • Add wheat flour and stir thoroughly until all lumps are dissolved. 
  • Beat the eggs until fluffy, then add the batter and stir to mix well. 
  • Transfer to a double-boiler; simmer over low heat until the mixture thickens. 
  • Add the butter stirring regularly and simmer until thick and done. 
  • Remove from the heat.
  • Mix the yeast, lukewarm water sugar and salt together Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Mix both kinds of flour with ammonia, pour in the yeast mixture and oil. 
  • Knead until a smooth dough is formed. 
  • Place the dough in a greased mixing bowl, cover and let stand until it doubles in size.
  • Divide the dough into 20 gram portions, roll into balls. 
  • Flatten each ball, and make a dome in the center Spoon I tbsp of the custard filling into the center; gather the sides to seal closely. 
  • Place each bun on a sheet of paper and arrange on the dim sum trays. 
  • Bring the water in a steamer to a boil; place the dim sum trays in the steamer and steam for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove and enjoy while hot.


    Lewri said…
    Can you explain why you need ammonia for the recipe? Or is it meant to mean something else? (Considering ammonia is applied to crops and hair!)