How to Make Hawaiian Manapua

Опубликовал Admin
2-10-2016, 12:30
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Heavily influenced by the Chinese version of the bāozi, the manapua is a very widely popular treat in Hawaii. Made with different fillings, mostly Asian and local Hawaiian ingredients, it can be found in either Asian restaurants or in the freezer aisles of Asian supermarkets. Manapuas can be either steamed or baked and enjoyed hot. Makes 12 manapuas

Prepare the dough

  1. Use the 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave it on the side to allow the mixture to soften.
  2. In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cooking oil with the 2 cups of warm water. Let the mixture cool down before adding the yeast mixture to it.
  3. Start making the dough by putting the flour in a large bowl with majority of the yeast combination mixture you just made.
  4. Mix and knead the ingredients together as a dough starts to form. Add the rest of the liquid and continue to knead. You will know when the dough kneaded enough when long strands start to show.
  5. Place the dough on the counter. Thoroughly rinse out the bowl used and add the sesame oil to it. Put the dough back in the bowl and gently rub the dough around to give the outer portion a thin layer oil "bath".
  6. Tightly wrap the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm room for about an hour. Wait until the dough rises to double in size.
    • You can develop the flavor of the dough by placing it in the refrigerator for at least three to six hours.
    • Bring the flavor out even more by gently pushing the dough back down and allow it to rise again.

Prepare the filling

  1. Combine the water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a pot.
  2. Mix continuously with a whisk until the ingredients are dissolved in the water.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Fold the char siu and food coloring in.

Inserting the filling in the dough

  1. Prepare the wax paper. Cut 3" squares out of them to make 12 individual papers. Spray a light coat of non-stick cooking spray on one side of them.
  2. Use your fist and punch the dough down. Divide it into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  3. Create a flatten 6" circle out of the pieces in your palm. Make sure that the dough is thin in height, but keep the center area on the bulk side.
  4. Add the filling on the dough.
    • Have the dough slightly cupped in your hand, as if you're carrying a baby bird.
    • Add a few tablespoons of the filling in the center of the dough circle.
    • Make "pie-like" edges on the dough, by pinching the edges with your forefinger and thumb of the other hand.
  5. Fold over the edges to cover the dough. Be sure to continue pinching the edges together and twist them at the same time.
  6. Add each filled wrapped dough on the greased side of the wax paper.
  7. Allow each manapua piece to rise for about 10 minutes.

Steaming the dough

  1. Add the manapua into the steamer. Be sure to leave the wax paper on them. Arrange them so there is at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) apart from each paper.
  2. Steam the manapuas for 15 minutes on a high heat. Place a tea towel over the manapua below the lid if you're using a metal steamer, as this will catch any steam from above.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  4. Finished.


Manapua dough
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil or shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
Manapua filling
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound char siu, diced
  • Few drops red food coloring, optional


  • If you don't have a steamer, you also have the option of baking them. Use a baste brush with a little canola oil on top of each manapua. Bake at 350ºF/190ºC for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • There are endless possibilities of the filling ideas that you can use. You can use shredded kalua pig, azuki beans, shredded chicken or barbecued pork, etc.
  • Manapuas are best served fresh and hot. You can eat it cold, but the dough will tend to be harder to break and chew.

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Small bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Steamer
  • Wax paper
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