Chinese steamed Buns – Galapao, Salapao



CHinese steamed buns somehow made its way into southeast asian cooking. The Thai people call it Salapao and some Hmong people call it Galapao. My mom used to make steam buns all the time growing up. So now every time I make galapao, everyone always snatch two or three buns so they do run out quickly. make sure you snatch yours first before calling your family out to eat! Sidenote: you can use prepared flour mix in substitute if you do not want to make it from scratch.

Ingredients for 16 steamed buns

Dough ingredients:

  • 3 3/4 cups of Unbleached flour
  • 1.5 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 TB of Oil
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of milk or water, heated to warm temperature
  • Stuffing ingredients:

    • 1 Ib of ground pork
    • a small handful of black fungus (~1/4 cup)
    • 4 broiled eggs cut in 4 (yes, you keep the yolk too)
    • 4 chinese sausages
    • 1 whole garlic minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
    • 1/2 Tsp of sugar
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 3 TB of oyster sauce

    1. first boil your eggs (~20min) and soak your mushroom fungus while you prepare the dough. in a small skillet, heat milk on high heat for a couple minutes. pour the milk into a small bowl along with the dry yeast and mix. set it aside
    2. in a big mixing bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, flour and mix. then add the milk and dry yeast and mix until you get a dough like texture. knead for 10 minutes. saran wrap your bowl, and let the dough sit in a warm and dry area (like the oven or just on the counter) for 30 minutes. the dough will double in size.
    3. meanwhile, let’s prepare the filling. drain your mushroom and transfer your pot of eggs to the kitchen sink. run cold water in and let it cool for now. Cut your Chinese sausages, with the end result of 1/4 inch thick small circles. In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients above (except the egg) and mix. rub you finger on the surface of the meat to taste and add a few more pinches of salt if desire.
    4. steam the filling on a piece of aluminum foil and transfer it to a steamer and cook for about 10 minute or until it’s half way cooked then transfer it to a bowl to cool. crack your broiled eggs and clean and chop them into 4 equal parts and set them in a small bowl.
    6. prepare a working surface with the filling in one bowl, and the dough in another. take 1 TB of flour and dust the surface to avoid any stickiness from the rolling. You will do two batches – roll the dough to a long rope, cut in half and put one half back in the bowl and cover it. divide it in 8 pieces.
    7. roll one piece into a ball, flatten it with your palm then with a rolling pin flatten it even more with a diameter of 5-6 inches. Put 4 TB of fillings along with one piece of egg. make sure there is about 1 inch left of dough around the fillings so that you can close it up.
    8. lift the ends of the dough up together then twisting it to one side and pinching the tip together for closure.
    do this for the rest of the dough pieces. when you are finishing up your 8th bun, start your steamer on high heat. place your 8 buns on either parchment paper or square cut blank papers. transfer them into your steamer and cook for 12-14 minutes. meanwhile, make your last 8 buns.
    10. it is cooked when you poke one with your finger and the bun does not feel gooey. When your first batch it done, do your last batch the same way.

11 thoughts on “Chinese steamed Buns – Galapao, Salapao

  1. i usually make it from the back of the box but it never came out as good. thanks for the tips i will try this out soon

  2. I have heard the vinegar is added to the water to help whiten bao and to lso stiffen the steamed buns. The only certain thing i know is that as long as you use white flour your steamed bun will come out white and fluffy.

  3. Questions: Perhaps I am too new at this, but when you wrote down 1.5 dry yeast, did you mean 1 1/2 tsp or simply 1/2 tsp? And the second question is, on direction 3, you stated to add baking powder, but never gave the amount; therefore, how many tsp or tbspn should be mixed into the dry ingredients? Thank you for your help and for writing these wonderful Hmong recipes!

  4. Hi there

    Adding vinegar in water for steaming Steam Buns is foolproof
    to making buns white. The only way is to use HongKong white flour which is found in Chinese groceries.

  5. for the chinese sausage, if u can’t get any of those, is there anything else u can substitute for the sausage?

  6. Chinese sausage (lapchang) has a unique sweet salty taste that would give a dish much flavor. if you do not have a local asian store, perhaps try sweet ham or a sweet sausage but I really haven’t tried any substitutions myself.

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