Growing up, I would spend a lot of time at my god-mum's house. If by chance my god-grandma was up from Muar, I would be a happy girl as she would make these delicious steamed buns. Slightly different from the standard fluffy buns, these were sweet, chewy as well as the fluffiness you would expect from steamed buns.
The Hakka called it Xi Ban and the Hokkiens call it the Ki Ka Ku. Don't ask me why I only know it as my god grandma's specialty. You can find these in the local stall selling kuih in wet markets.
So we were back in Malaysia during the Christmas break and I was very lucky to be able to make a pit stop in Muar for a day!! My 86 year old god grandma woke up early to prepared these buns for us! My boys loves it so much that they could eat 5 to 6 in one go!
I vaguely remember how to make these buns as I've seen her making it once when I was little. But I have no idea what exactly went in there. All I remember was her kneading the dough in a red basin.
Anyhow, I asked my godmum for the recipe. And yes you got it right it was agak agak here and there, in another words, go with your instinct as there were no actual measurements involved. I have also googled to see if I can find similar recipes to give me an idea. Every recipe I stumble upon added oil in their dough, however ah ma's recipe doesn't require oil until the very end. Anyhow, I figured out the correct measurements and would love to share this recipe with you all!
The original ki ka ku are steamed using banana leaves, however if you do not have banana leaves, you can substitute it with baking paper.
(makes approximately 21 steam buns)
300g plain flour
150g glutinous flour
150g castor sugar
270ml of water
2 teaspoon yeast
few drops of red colouring
banana leaves or baking paper.
If you are using banana leaves, you'll need to wash and soak in hot water for at least 40mins or till it softens.
Mix together the water and red colouring.
In a clean mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in the red coloured liquid slowly. Knead till the dough is soft by hand or using a mixer.
Apply some oil on the palm of your hands and roll the small dough into a ball. Place it on the baking paper or banana leave. Press it down with the palm of your hands.
Cover with gladwrap or wet towel for an hour.
Steam over high heat for 15minutes. Let it sit in steamer for an extra 5 minutes so that the water doesn't drop on to the buns.
These buns can be kept in an air tight container over 2 days and it's still soft, no reheating required!
Happy steaming everyone