Chinese Coconut Buns

Asian Bread.

Asian Bread Balls.

Whenever I translate things from Chinese to English...something always gets lost. 

I have a lot of favorite things to eat in Taiwan. 

(In my opinion, there are really two things to do in Taiwan. Eat. Shop. Repeat.)

But one thing, without fail, that I have to eat for breakfast...or Asian Bread! More specifically, the ones with coconut inside! 

I remember shuffling to the heavenly bakery around the corner from my grandparents' house and pointing out to my mom which ones I wanted to eat. 

More recently? Since I was on my own and my reading skills are lacking/non-existent, I relied on my sense of color and logic to pick a birthday cake for my grandmother.  

She likes taro. Taro is purple. Choose a purple cake.  

But really, these bakeries along with the sushi trains, night markets, little noodle places, and crazy good food courts are some of the best things about Taiwan.   I'm drooling just thinking about all the yummy-ness. 

In the past year, I have definitely embraced my inner Asian -through cooking and baking! There were scallion pancakeshua juan (steamed breads), and  sao bing.  I've made my own dumplings and now I know how to make wontons -thanks Kay! The scallion pancakes are super tasty and the sao bing are my go-to breakfast the day after Thanksgiving, but these Chinese Coconut Buns are a family favorite.

Kicking off perhaps the best-weekend-ever, L taught me how to make these coconut buns.   After we took them out of the oven, she gave me a piece that blew my mind. It was perfect.  They smelled amazing and are totally worth the time. 

Seeing as we made these while totally brain dead and only messed up twice (we do not know how to do math) I would call it a great success!

P.S. Using a scale to measure out the ingredients really makes a difference. 

Recipe~40 g/bun; makes about 30 buns

Roux: 24 g bread flour and 120 g water
540 g bread flour 
86 g sugar
8 g salt
11 g instant dried yeast
2 eggs
59 g whipping cream
65 g milk
49 g butter at room temperature

Coconut Filling
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour

Cream ¼ cup softened butter with ½ cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Stir in ¼ cup dry milk powder and ½ cup coconut.
 Add ¼ cup milk and ¼ cup flour.

Make roux starter: 24 g bread flour + 120g water

Heat at medium low until think (can draw line through it)
Cover with plastic (touching top) let go to room temp.
Large bowl: 540 g bread flour, 86 g sugar, 8 g salt, 11 g instant dried yeast, and mix.
Add in 2 eggs, 59 g  whipping cream, 65 g milk, and roux starter.
Mix together; and knead in 49 g room temperature butter until passes window pane test. 
Window pane test...essentially stretch the dough out and if it doesn't break, you're good! For a better explanation... check it out
Place in lightly oiled bowl and cover w/ towel for 1 hour or until doubles.
Separate into # buns and let rise for 15 min.

Preheat to 350 degrees. 
Take each portion and flatten into circle. 
Place a teaspoon or less of the filling.
Pinch and twist the edges until sealed. 
Place the bun, seam side down, on a baking sheet. 
Brush with egg wash and bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Ever hear about jello art? 

Since getting my wisdom teeth removed and living off jello for a just isn't the same. 
But this is pretty cool!

Courtesy Sam Bompas and Harry Parr

Check out this slideshow for some more jello-amazingness!


  1. [1] Speaking of things getting lost in translation, 'Wow Bao' takes advantage of this. Their tagline? Hot Asian Buns.
    [2] Wait a minute, wait a minute. Is that real jello? And how do they carve it? I bet they freeze it first. There is NO WAY you can carve jello when it's mushy. No. Way.
    [3] You know, I've never had any Asian coconut buns before, M. I think I only discovered them through you!
    [4] Best...weekend...ever! When's the next one again? :P
    [5] I hope to make that wonton post soon...

  2. 'I'm crazy for COCO-nut buns.' This should be you on a cereal box.

  3. See two aboveSeptember 28, 2011

    Dang it, the Google Commenting is different than the Disqus commenting. My plan was ruined.

  4. YESSS i was waiting for this post!! how is kimmy so fast?!
    taro cake is the best
    best. weekend. evar.

  5. wow..absolutely irresistable..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  6. these look incredible...

    I nominated you for the Versatile blogger award!

  7. Yum! These look awesome :)


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