Chinese Custard Bun Recipe : Nai Wong Bao 奶黄包


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Here we are in China to discover the Chinese Custard Bun Recipe! We are in the Guangdong region to taste the Nai Wong Bao, one of the dishes that compose Dim Sum, one of the dishes of Cantonese cuisine. These custard filled buns are truly a delight, warm and fluffy like a cloud. They have a very special butter custard heart. To make it so, there are 20 g of preparation for custard, and I assure you that it really makes a difference! The steamed dough is really soft and remember that of the Mantou, even if it has some differences. But one thing is for sure, they are addictive, you can’t stop until you finish them!

egg custard bun recipe

The Dim Sum Buns

The Nai Wong Bao (translated milk cream sandwich), is a typical Chinese bread that is eaten during the dim sum meal. Formerly only at breakfast accompanied with tea, but today it’s eaten at any time and it can also be found frozen. There are two or three versions. I searched a lot on the internet and asked for information to clarify the various names and attribute them to each variant, but I found quite different answers, but finally I clarified my ideas. 

The Nai Wong Bao are called the original ones, because they are the first to have been created, and have a hard filling. Then there are the more modern Lai Wong Bao, where the filling is liquid, in both cases, can be prepared with salted duck egg yolk, a typical Chinese preparation that makes the Bao very tasty and special. One thing that emerged clearly, is that version of the Chinese Custard Bun Recipe with the liquid cream is definitely the favorite, so I’ll definitely have to try that too!

steamed custard bun

How to Make Custard Filled Buns

In any case, the best creme egg bum is the one just made. So to enjoy them at their best, I recommend you eat them as soon as they are removed from the steamer. The preparation of this chinese sweet buns is not complicated at all. Just a few tips:

If you use the planetary mixer to make the dough, take care to knead it by hand for a few minutes to obtain a smooth, homogeneous and elastic dough. When dividing it, weigh it and divide the weight by the portions you want to prepare, to have all the same buns. Prepare the cream before the dough, so that it cools completely by rming. When it is time to make the balls, weigh the cream and divide the weight as for the pasta. To make the balls, grease your hands or as I did, wet them with water. Close them very well, otherwise the filling may come out during steam cooking.

Put the lid of the steamer on a towel and tie the edges of the latter near the knob. This will prevent the condensed steam on the lid from falling onto the sandwiches and ruining them. Especially if the steamer is not made of Bamboo. If you want bigger Baos, you will simply have to divide cream and dough by a smaller number. In case you prepare them rst or you want to heat the advanced ones, heat them with steam. It’s time to get your hands on the dough and prepare delicious Chinese Custard Bun Recipe!

5 from 1 vote

Chinese Custard Bun Recipe : Nai Wong Bao 奶黄包

"Small and soft buns with an intense creamy taste, perfect to eat with a cup of tea…"
Servings 12 buns
Prep Time 50 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Leavened 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins



  • 20 g Custard Powder
  • 45 g Wheat Starch
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 30 g Butter
  • 60 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Yolk



  • Beat the eggs. In a saucepan, put the wheat starch, sugar and custard mix. Put the saucepan on low heat and add the milk while stirring constantly. Once completely mixed add the eggs slowly, mixing and finally add the butter.
  • When the cream starts to harden, turn off the heat and continue stirring until it is completely firm. Let it cool completely and put it on in the fridge to firm up.

Dough and Leavening

  • Heat the water until it reaches about 35 °C. In a bowl put sugar, yeast and hot water and wait 10 minutes to activate the yeasts.
  • Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them with the water and yeast. Knead until a smooth and elastic ball is obtained. Grease a bowl and put the dough to rise in a warm place covered with plastic wrap for 2/3 hours or until the dough has doubled.

Prepare the Bun

  • Ready the dough, put it on a floured pastry board and crush it so that all the air comes out. Knead it vigorously and weigh it. Create a dough cylinder. Divide the weight by the portions to be prepared and create equal balls and cover them with a cloth or plastic wrap. Do the same with the cream and shape the balls.
  • Take a ball and crush it with the palm of your hand, now with a rolling pin spread it in a circle with a diameter of about 8 – 10 cm so as to leave the center a little thicker and the thinner edges. Put the cream ball in the center and close it tightly forming a ball. Place it on a square of baking paper. Repeat for each Bao.


  • Place the Bao in the covered but off steamer, to rest for 10 – 15 min according to the temperature. Cook them on high heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave them covered for another 5 minutes. Now you can serve them.


* approximate calorie calculation
Chef: recipesjourney
Calories: 146kcal
Course: Sweets and Desserts
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Steam Cooking
Difficulty: Easy


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 146kcal (7%) | Carbohydrates: 26g (9%) | Protein: 4g (8%) | Fat: 3g (5%) | Sugar: 4g (4%)
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