Salted Egg Yolk Lava Bun [Liu Sha Bao]

Salted Egg Yolk Lava Bun

Salted egg yolk lava bun is my all-time favorite dimsum item. In Chinese, it is called liu sha bao that literally means “quicksand bun”. It refers to the molten lava filling that makes this steam bun uniquely tasty. Personally, I often rate a dimsum restaurant based on how good their lava steam bun is. It really is the kind of food that leaves a lasting impression.

Every bite is addicting with this salted egg yolk lava bun, especially the ones that are creamy, savory, and melt in the mouth. It’s not only addicting but also satisfying to look at the lava-like center oozing out. In fact, the vibrant color of the custard center comes naturally from the salted duck egg yolk.

A little fun fact I found is that a duck egg has more than twice the cholesterol level of a chicken egg. To be precise, a single duck egg yolk can supply 1 day recommended limit of cholesterol (wow!). But it’s also higher in fat, vitamin, and protein so can be slightly more nutritious. Having said this, I should hold back eating a mountain of these buns in a day.

A little tip, try adding a teaspoon of milk to the filling if you want a thinner lava center.

Do you share the same excitement for dimsum? Check out my two other dimsum recipes: sesame ball and egg tart

Salted egg yolk lava bun

Salted Egg Yolk Lava Bun
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Servings 14 buns



  • 2 salted duck egg yolks
  • 50 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 20 g milk powder
  • 20 g custard powder


  • 150 g warm water
  • 4 g (1 tsp) granulated sugar for yeast
  • 3 g (1 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 300 g Hong Kong flour / low protein wheat flour
  • 3 g (½ tsp) table salt
  • 8 g (2 tsp) granulated sugar
  • 7 g (1½ tsp) vegetable oil



  • Steam the egg yolks for 10 minutes, then mash them into fine crumbs.
  • In a medium bowl, cream the butter until softened. Add the yolks and the remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate to firm for about 45 minutes.
  • Divide the filling into 14 equal portions (about 13g each). Keep them in the fridge until needed.


  • Combine warm water (about 110°F/43°C) and 4 grams of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until it gets foamy and activated.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and 8 grams of sugar until combined. Make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and oil, then mix until the dough comes together.
  • Transfer onto a work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic and smooth for up to 20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 14 equal portions (about 33g each). Roughly shape each dough into a ball. Cover and rest them for 15 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Take 1 dough. Roll out the edges keeping the center thicker. Place a portion of the chilled filling onto the center and wrap it. Tightly pinch the seam to prevent any leakage.
  • Round it into a ball and place onto a piece of parchment paper. Set aside with a cover. Repeat with the rest.
  • Let them sit and ferment for 45 – 60 minutes or until the size is 50% larger.
  • Steam the bun over medium-low heat (or medium heat depending on your type of steamer) for 6-8 minutes. I suggest doing a test with 1 bun to determine the right timing because the filling will explode when overcooked. Also, wrap the steamer lid with a cloth to prevent water droplets on the buns while steaming.
  • Wait 10 minutes after the heat is off before opening the lid. This will prevent the buns from collapsing. Serve warm to get that tasty molten filling.