My mum loves to make haebi hiam, and I can remember her making it so frequently, there’s really no need for a recipe. As usual, there’s only one purpose in doing so: to keep a record for my children. Like the daughters say, it beats having that small little booklet gong gong (公公) left behind for me at his death bed. Honestly, there were less than 10 recipes, and lots of memories of what my dad and mum did.

This is a one-proof bread, very soft, and the key is to keep covering and minimum loss of moisture. It therefore means no flour when kneading, and keep the dough covered like your preci
ous skin, and the bread will be soft soft.

The ethos of making bread is to treat unbaked dough like the way you would treat baked bread, and always do the window pane test. Google that if you don’t know what that is.

As for the haebi hiam… get the best dried prawns!12741922_10208711267569207_80937826282155692_n


Haebi Hiam Bread

Haebi Hiam Bread



250ml water at 40C

12g instant yeast

80g raw sugar

1 egg

3 Tbsp milk powder

300g bread flour (12C% protein)

300g HK flour (or plain flour)

5g salt

1/4 cup milk

80g butter

Haebi Hiam (Spicy Dried Prawns

1 cup dried prawns


1 big onion

5 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp belachan

3 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3 kaffir leaves

20 dried chilies

squeeze of lemon juice or vinegar


    Dried Prawn filing
  1. Soak the chilies and dried prawns for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Grind or pound the sambal into a fine paste.
  3. Grind the dried prawns.
  4. In a medium heat pan, heat up 2 tablespoonfuls of cooking oil and add the sambal.
  5. When the oil separates from the paste, add the pounded dried prawns.
  6. Fry until dried up.
  7. Add sugar and salt according to taste.
  8. Bread
  9. Mix the water and yeast and let it froth for 5 minutes. If it doesn't, the yeast has lost its efficacy, don't continue, try again.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the butter and beat until shiny.
  11. Add the butter and knead until the dough passes the window pane test.
  12. Shape them into 40g rounds.
  13. Flatten dough with the sides thinner than the center. Wrap the dried prawn filings. Put a piece of cheese on the top of the bun.
  14. Proof the bread for 40 to 1 hour, until it is double its original size.
  15. Bake at 200C for 9 minutes. Rebrush the top with butter if desired.