How To: Coconut, Peanut Pandan Bao Buns

Hi Nibblers!

As some of you may have known – those that follow my Instagram, may have seen me post pictures of my adventures in Nha Trang, Vietnam a few months ago. I loved everything about my trip and was inspired by some of the awesome street food I came across. One thing that definitely caught my eye were these green buns that appeared every so often at a street vendor. I was always too full strolling the streets to try anything but these buns stayed in my mind. From the description of the buns, I gathered that they had coconut and mung bean paste as the filling. As much as I love that combination, I decided to do my own take on the buns. I loved how my buns turned out. Amazingly soft on the outside and the coconut/peanut filling just oozes when you rip the bun oven. It’s the most delicious treat that warms the heart but is also great a few days later. Just pop into the microwave in a damp towel for about 30 seconds and you have a freshly baked steamed bun again; or better yet, freeze these babies in an air tight container and enjoy whenever you want – no need to thaw, just pop in a damp towel again and microwave for a minute or re-steam!

How To: Coconut, Peanut Pandan Bao Buns
Makes approximately 24 buns

What you’ll need:
Pandan Bao Bun:
– 600g self -raising flour with extra to dustimg_9255
– 1 1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil
– 375mL milk
– 2 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 200g granulated sugar
– 2 tsp. pandan extract
For the filling:
– 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 cup or 250mL water
– 4 tsp. cornflour (with 2 tsp. water to mix)img_3342
– 1 cup desiccated coconut
– 1 heaped Tbs. sesame seeds (optional – for decoration)

How To:
1. Mix self-raising flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together until well combined then create a well in the centre of dry ingredients
2. Add oil to well
3. Mix pandan extract with milk until well combined
4. Add pandan/milk to well
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients together until a dough like mixture formsimg_3346
6. Knead either in a stand mixer or of a floured work top for approximately 10-20 minutes or until dough feels like elastic – should be able to be pulled for at least 5-10cm before breaking
7. Set aside in a lightly greased bowl with a wet tea towel to cover an set aside to proof for at least 1 hour
While waiting to proof – make filling!
8. Lightly toast crushed peanuts in a saucepan for about 5 minutes or until lightly golden brownimg_3348
9. Remove saucepan from heat then add water (to avoid splashing) then place back on medium high heat
10. Add sugar to mixture and stir until dissolved
11. Add desiccated coconut to mixture and stir until well combined
12. Mix cornflour with water until dissolved then add to saucepan
13. Stir until filling lightly boils and thickensimg_3349
14. Stir and leave to thicken for about 3 minutes then set aside to cool completely (leaving to cool allows for a much easier assembling process)
15. When ready to assemble and steam, fill steam up to 3/4 full and allow water to come to boil before reducing water to a a medium high simmer an leave until ready to use
16. After resting the dough, it should now be quite smooth and pliable. Roll dough into a long log and cut into 24 roughly equal piecesimg_3350
17. Lightly dust clean working space with some flour and roll out first dough piece until you have a circle with a diameter of about 10cm and a thickness of 5mm – thinner around the edges
18. Spoon about 1 heaped tablespoon of filling into the centre of pandan dough circle
19. While holding one side of the circle with one hand, pull the remaining sides of the circle outwards and upwards gathering it all with your starting side and into the centre

This side is the base of bun

20. Firmly press the gathered dough point into bun shape to camouflage as much as possible – lightly flour base and top then set aside on baking paper until steamer is ready
21. Repeat steps 17-20 until all buns are formed
22. Optional – lightly paint the top of each formed bun with a splash of water then sprinkle and lightly press sesame seeds on top
23. Place uncooked buns on baking paper within steamer and leave in steamer for approximately 20 minutes to cook – will need to do in batches depending on steamer
24. Remove from steamer and allow to cool for 5 minutes before consuming!

I can’t stop eating these buns! They look so lovely and green and full of flavour. I can’t help but think of Elphaba from the ‘Wicked’ musical every time I glance at these. It makes me want to break out into a song. If you do give these a try you know the drill – leave a comment below. Until next time, I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

Nibble Away,



One Comment Add yours

  1. Wow this is awesome recipe

    Liked by 1 person

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