Monday, September 27, 2010

Pumpkin Mantou (金瓜馒头)

Yesterday was my first time making mantou (馒头) or chinese buns. I was doubting whether I should post such a ugly picture. Well, the purpose of this blog is not just to showcase how "well" I can cook or bake (note the inverted commas), it serves also to present some of my failures. Failures in baking, cooking or understanding instructions and of course taking pictures with my lousy camera. LOL. The failures shouldn't just go to the chickens or my stomach, but they also deserve some mentioning so that I will not repeat the same mistakes again.

Well, the pumpkin mantou were actually very nice in terms of taste, soft and chewy, but somehow I couldn't achieve a smooth skin surface. Blame it on my steaming skills. The skin surface of my mantou looked like some old wrinkly grandmother's buttocks. Ok, sorry, I don't mean to insult any grandmothers, cos eventually I would be old and would have wrinkly buttocks too, but you know what I mean.

It was my first time steaming buns. I didn't have a proper wok big enough to steam on a large scale, so I relied on my tiny little wok which I prepared as a steamer. I also put some buns in my Toshiba ricecooker for steaming, turned out the buns steamed better in my ricecooker than in my wok-turned-steamer. 

We ate the buns together with the Singapore Indian Curry that I cooked last night. In the end, the 9 small buns were finished between the two of us, husband and wife, and not to forget, His Majesty also had a bun to himself. 

So eventually it was still a success, if you don't mind the appearance of those wrinkly looking mantou. I would try making them plain the next time, and eat them with my Tau You Bah. :)

Recipe of Pumpkin Mantou is adapted from Jane's blog (in Chinese)


  1. Yum! I love eating mantou. I stuff myself with one and then eat another one even though I feel like I might explode. haha, that's how much I love eating them. My dad also makes them. He made them very often during the summer and I loved eating those. I would share the recipe, but he just estimates so I'm still trying to figure it out. Btw, your mantou look very good for a first try! Sometimes, even though my dad is almost a "professional", we still get wrinkly, prune-like mantou. The thing that causes this for my family is the water dripping on the mantou while you're steaming it. So one day we heard this tip from a friend that if you add a little baking powder, it helps the mantou not become ugly. We tried it out and it seemed like it worked. However, the texture was affected a bit (maybe more loose I think). Keep on trying. :)

  2. Hi x3Baking

    Great if u can share ur dad's recipe. As u said, I think the wrinkles are a result of water dripping on the mantou. Maybe I should put a damp tea towel on top? Or maybe I should steam at a lower fire? Will have to figure out :)

    1. I made some mantou yesterday and one batch came out wrinkle like old grapes and the second batch did not have any wrinkles. Difference - shorter steaming time for the second batch (12 minutes vs 15 minutes). I think the first batch was a case of steaming them for too long (and I lifted the lid to peek and water dripped onto the buns). I will have to test that out again on another day to see if the timing was the issue or it was just dumb luck that the second batch came out better.


  3. lol! I love the way your chickens get to eat failures! I've never thought of feeding them baking offcuts!?!? Mine are truly spoilt as I buy them cabbage for treats but not any ol' cabbage! They are fussy! It has to be Sweetheart cabbage or they will not touch it!

  4. My 2 silly chickens eat practically everything. When I first started baking, my chiffon cakes were complete failures cos I didn't have a proper chiffon cake tin. I had a lousy chiffon tube pan with a non-removable round bottom which was pretty difficult to unmould. So everytime the cake would collapse into an unrecognizable spongy mass, and I would feed that to the chickens. The chickens love my pandan sponge cake btw ;p

  5. ha ha ha! I'm told by my hubbs that the chickens lurve to eat prawn crackers!!!?!? If he is lucky enough for me to fry a batch of mixed prawn crackers (I have chinese prawn crackers - light and melt in mouth, vietnamese prawn crackers - thicker with more sustenance to them and the spicy thai prawn crackers - very moreish!) 'cos I hate dealing with a vat of hot used oil, he seems to 'accidentally' (on purpose) drop prawn crackers outside for the chickens!!! Hence, he's not had prawn crackers for a year. :0D

  6. I've not tried my hands on mantou making yet.

    BTW, I don't bake chiffon cakes in chiffon pans as I don't have space for extra pans. My chiffon cakes are all baked in my regular 7" and 8" round cake pans.


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