Dissolve sugar in water. Drop in yeast. Let stand for 10–15 minutes until frothy.
Sift powdered ingredients into a bowl. Add salt. Gradually pour in corn oil and yeast liquid, stirring with a wooden spoon. When mixture becomes too difficult for the spoon, use hands to form firm dough. On a lightly floured board, knead dough for at least 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour occasionally to prevent dough from sticking to the board.
Return dough to bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Leave for about 90 minutes until dough doubles in volume. Punch dough down and let rise again for 20–30 minutes. On a lightly floured board, knead dough until smooth. Form two rolls, each 4 cm in diameter. Cut 2cm wide pieces.
Flatten each piece with a roller. Put a teaspoonful of filling on the centre. To gather edges, lift one side and form pleats in one direction. Twist pleats together at the very top to secure.
Place buns (pow) on rounds of greaseproof paper. Arrange well apart in bamboo baskets. Bring water in steamer to the boil over high heat. Steam for 12 minutes.
Char siew filling
Wash pork, then dry with a tea towel. Cut 2.5-cm strips. Season with salt, sugar, and soy sauces. Add food colouring. Marinate for at least 120 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Place pork pieces on wire mesh. Oven grill with a pan of water on the bottom shelf. Turn pieces occasionally until cooked. Remove pork from mesh and reserve gravy. Dice cooled pork.
Combine 4 tbsp gravy, oyster sauce, sesame seed oil and corn flour in a wok. Bring to the boil. Stir in diced pork and coriander. Dish out. Leave to cool.
Recipe from Asian High Tea, By Betty Saw, Published by Marshall Cavendish International. Click here to buy the book.
For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.