Pang Susi (Eurasian Sweet Potato Buns with Spiced Meat Filling)

Pang Susi are a great tea time treat for the Eurasian and Nyonya communities in Singapore and Malaysia, and are especially popular at Easter and other festivities.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

2 pang susi, sweet potato buns on a side plate with cup of black tea
Pang Susi, Eurasian Sweet Potato Buns

What is Pang Susi?

Sometimes also spelt pang Susie, it’s a sweet potato bun filled with a spiced minced meat filling. The buns have a very slightly crispy crust with a soft, pillowy crumb.

The minced meat filling has a hint of sweet about it, which perfectly complements the sweet potato buns. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet as you know.

I have so many great memories of having these Eurasian treats for tea with a healthy dollop of Maggie chilli sauce on the side. That was before I grew up and discovered Lingham’s!

These would always make an appearance at birthday parties along with curry devil and baguettes!

What does Pang Susi mean?

Literally, Susi’s buns, in the Eurasian patois known as Kristao (pronounced Kristang).

  • pang = buns, a local derivative of the Portuguese word for bread, pão.
  • susi = female name

Pang is a also sometimes taken to mean sister in the local dialect, so some families insist the name means susi’s sister. But that just doesn’t make sense, does it? But who knows? If you do, drop me a comment!

pang susi, Eurasian sweet potato buns arranged in flower shape around a tiny bowl of sweet chilli sauce
chilli sauce is always good with it

Pang Susi Recipe

It’s a pretty easy recipe to make. This is what we’ll be doing:

  1. Peel, chop and cook the sweet potato.
  2. Mash the sweet potato and leave to cool.
  3. Make the dough and leave to rest for 1 hour.
  4. Stir fry the mince for 15 – 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
  5. Divide the bun dough and fill each bun.
  6. Leave to rest for another 30 minutes.
  7. Bake for 17 – 20 minutes, glazing the top of the buns.

What do you think? Doable?

Is Pang Susi Bread or Pastry?

I get asked this question a lot by my readers and students. Let me tell you we definitely consider pang susi to be a type of bread or bun and definitely not pastry.

I’ve seen the dough described on some food sites as being rich because of the butter used and so it’s pastry. It’s not either.

In the recipe here, we’re only using 80 g (2.8 oz) of butter to the 300 g (10.5 oz) of flour. Then there’s also about 200 g (7 oz) of mashed sweet potato in the dough. So the ratio of fat to total starch is only 1:6 (rounded off).

On top of that, there is only 1 egg yolk, unlike the Eurasian sugee cake which loves eggs!

That does not make for a rich dough at all. And pang susi is definitely in the bread category.

pang susi meat filling
I love a very filled bun, you can go less if you prefer


Let’s take a look at the ingredients we need to make our pang susi from scratch. There are 2 parts to the recipe, the dough and the filling.

Pang Susi Dough


Some families use all purpose flour, while others use bread flour for the pang susi dough. It’s all good and to some extent is really just how we grew up making these buns.

Ordinarily, when making bread, we’d use bread flour with its higher protein content, to achieve a lighter and airier crumb (that’s the inside). If you want the science, drop me a comment and I’ll explain, but we’ll skip it for now!

However, because our pang susi dough doesn’t have much liquid and relies more on the butter and eggs for structure, all purpose flour gives the best results. But that doesn’t mean bread flour will yield anything poor. See what I mean, it’s all good.

I’ve been making pang susi since I was in my early 20s, so that’s at least 30 years. In that time, I’ve used all kinds of flour to make them, including Italian 00 flour. And for me, all purpose flour gives you the best pang susi in terms of texture.

Sweet Potato

These are sweet potato buns, so you definitely want sweet potato in the dough. What colour sweet potato for pang susi? It really doesn’t matter. But the most traditional would be the red or yellow ones.

If you use purple sweet potato, you know this will affect the final colour and you’ll end up with slightly purple buns. If that’s your thing, then by all means.


We’re using dried instant yeast in our dough to allow our buns to rise. We need the instant version as we are not activating it before using (not soaking it first).

White Sugar

A little white sugar is necessary for both the yeast and the slightly sweet flavour of these buns.


Butter is the fat of choice when cooking pang susi at home, or margarine for some. I use salted butter because it produces better tasting dough without the need for a pinch of salt.

Egg Yolk

1 egg yolk is all you need for the dough itself, and it contributes flavour, structure and colour to our dough.

Then we have another beaten egg yolk to use as an egg wash, to glaze the rolls about 2 minutes before the end of baking time.

Evaporated Milk

Another piece to the puzzle, evaporated milk adds a little more flavour, giving a delicious light, creamy hint as you bite into each bun. Full fat or semi skimmed, it doesn’t really matter.

I also add a little evaporated milk to the egg wash.


Brandy is such a popular ingredient in much of Eurasian cooking as it is in many other cuisines. But this is purely optional. You can replace it with just water or a little more evaporated milk. I give you the exact amounts in the recipe card below.

meat filled buns dipped in sweet chilli sauce
some like it hot!

The Filling

Minced Meat

The filling is quite often minced pork flavoured with a freshly made curry powder mix. But many, many families quite often use minced chicken and even minced beef, as I like to do. You can also use lamb or turkey, there are no hard and fast rules here.

Mince with a little bit of fat on will produce a filling that’s moist and not on the dry side. I’m using 10% fat, which is just perfect.

For vegetarian or vegan pang susi, scroll down.

Pang Susi Spice Powder

When I was still living in Singapore, we’d toast and grind the spices from scratch for pang susi filling. This mix would have coriander powder, ground nutmeg, cumin, turmeric and maybe cinnamon or cloves.

But over the years, I’ve switched to using homemade Feng Curry Powder, which is highly aromatic and so, so good for so many other recipes. Especially here. It has just the right amount of warmth and high notes.

You’ll find my homemade feng curry powder mix here on the Curry Feng recipe page.

However, want to cut corners without sacrificing flavour? Any good quality mild South Asian curry powder will do perfectly. Or garam masala, if I don’t have any feng curry powder on hand, and am in a hurry, I’d definitely choose garam masala over a regular curry powder.

If you’re interested, LinsFood’s homemade garam masala is right here (on

Aromatics, Vegetables and Herbs

We’ve got a little onion to start frying our filling with.

Then I love adding a little diced carrot to the mix too. Some families (not many) will also add the usual mixed vegetables you can buy in the shops that will comprise of diced carrots, corn and peas.

If you want to do this, by all means, but not too much. The overriding flavour of the filling has to be that of the mince.

And finally, I add just a few coriander leaves for a bit more flavour and aroma.


We’ve got dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, a little white sugar and the usual salt and pepper. But I like to use white pepper in this.

Candied Winter Melon (not in Eurasian Pang Susi)

I wanted to mention this here because I had a query recently about this on Instagram from Nicola.

Candied winter melon is not an ingredient we use in the Eurasian kitchen. So we don’t use it when making Eurasian pang susi. It’s a Chinese and Nyonya ingredient and that’s what you’d be making.

So Pang Susi Serani doesn’t have candied winter melon, but the Baba ones do.

Serani = Eurasian in Malay, Baba = masculine for Nyonya.

Vegetarian Pang Susi

So my kids are vegetarian, as you may have heard me mention a time or two. I make vegetarian pang susi for them with either a combination of mixed vegetables or some vegan mince.

Vegan mince will require a little more seasoning just to get the right spiced flavour.

How to Store Pang Susi

Pang Susi will keep at room temperature for 2 days, as long as you store them in an airtight container. I warm them up for 20-30 seconds each in the microwave before serving.

You can also freeze them for up to 1 month. Open freeze them on a tray for 1 hour. Then place in a bag, getting rid of as much air as possible, before placing them back in the freezer.

To reheat, wrap them up in foil and place in a preheated oven for 7 minutes, at 180C (350F).

And now, shall we get cooking, good looking?

If you enjoy the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know. And if you are feeling like a star, don’t forget that 5-star rating! 😉Thank you!

If you make this recipe, post it on Instagram or Facebook and tag me @azlinbloor and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

2 pang susi, sweet potato buns on a side plate with cup of black tea

Pang Susi Recipe (Eurasian Sweet Potato Buns with Spiced Meat Filling)

Azlin Bloor
Get my traditional, easy to follow, Eurasian pang susi recipe, made with mashed sweet potatoes. Perfect at Easter or at teatime any day!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Proofing Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Party Food, Snack
Cuisine Eurasian
Servings 16 (makes 16 buns)
Calories 203 kcal


Pang Susi Dough
  • 250 g sweet potatoes pre peeled weight
  • 300 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried instant yeast
  • 60 g white sugar
  • 80 g salted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp brandy or 1 Tbsp water or evaporated milk
  • ½ tsp vegetable oil for greasing bowl
Pang Susi Filling
  • 300 g minced beef or meat of your choice (I'm using 10% fat)
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
Aromatics, Vegetables & Herbs
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots about 60g pre peeled weight
  • 1 small carrot about 60g/2 oz in weight
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
Spices and Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp Feng curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 generous pinch salt
  • 3 dashes ground white pepper or freshly ground black pepper
Egg Glaze
  • 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated milk


Sweet Potatoes

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil with 1 tsp of salt.
    Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 5cm/2" cubes.
  • When the water is boiling, add them to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until a knife glides through easily.
  • Drain using a colander and leave in the colander to air dry for 5 minutes. Then tip them back into the saucepan and mash with a potato masher.
    Leave to cool to room temperature before using.

Marinate the Mince

  • Tip the mince into a bowl and pour over the 2 soy sauces. Mix well, squeezing the mince to ensure it's all fully covered with the marinade.

Pang Susi Dough By Hand

  • Sift the flour and sprinkle the dry yeast and sugar all over. Mix with your fingers by lifting the flour up and dropping it back from a height.
    Add the room temperature butter and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, rubbing, lifting and letting it fall. Do this until the flour mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Make a well and add the mashed sweet potato, egg yolk, evaporated milk and brandy (or substitute). Mix this with your fingertips until you have a rough mixture.
    Tip out onto your work surface and knead to bring it all together to form a dough.
  • Knead your pang susi dough for 5 minutes, at the end of which, you'll have a smooth dough. If it's too sticky, sprinkle just a little more flour all over and knead that in.
    Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave somwhere warm to rise for 1 hour.
    In the winter, I turn the light on in my oven and place the bowl in there without turning the oven on. The warmth from the light is perfect.

Pang Susi Dough in a Mixer

  • Sift the flour into your mixer bowl, then add everything else in.
  • Using a dough hook attachment, mix everything until you get a dough. Keep the machine on for 2 minutes on medium to knead the dough.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour.
    In the winter, I turn the light on in my oven and place the bowl in there without turning the oven on. The warmth from the light is perfect.

The Filling

  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
    Peel or scrub the carrot. Dice it up into little cubes of no more than 1cm in size (less than ½ inch).
    Finely chop the coriander leaves (cilantro).
  • Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on medium heat and fry the onions for 1 minute.
    Add the carrots and fry for another minute.
  • Add the curry powder and fry for 20 seconds.
    Tip in the meat, along with any liquid in the bowl and fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, breaking the mince up. A potato masher will break it up easier.
  • Add the salt, sugar and white pepper, stir, and reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often to ensure that it's not burning.
    We want the meat cooked and dry, with no liquid or "gravy" in the pan.
  • When done, taste it and add more salt if necessary. It should be fragrant, with a full on spice flavour and just a hint of sweetness. You shouldn't need to add anymore sugar.
    Take it off the heat, stir in the chopped coriander leaves and leave to cool to room temperature before using.


  • Tip the dough out onto your work surface and divide it up into 16 portions.
  • Take one portion and flatten it out.
  • Be sure to cover the rest with the damp tea towel. Place it in your palm and place about 1 heaped teaspoon of the filling in the middle.
  • Pinch the 2 edges together to seal, shaping the bun into an oval shape like a rugby ball (American football). Pinch the edges flat, no pattern necessary.
    Turn it over and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet, with the seam side down.
  • Repeat with all the other portions, then cover with tea towels and leave to rest for 30 minutes. You'll need two baking sheets.
    Depending on how much filling you used, you may have a little extra. It's great with noodles, rice or in a sandwich. And will keep until the next day, covered, in the fridge.
    I am very, very generous with the filling, as I prefer my pang susi with more filling than bread.

Bake the Buns

  • 10 minutes before the end of baking time, turn your oven on to 180℃/350℉.
    Lightly beat the egg yolk and evaporated milk together.
  • Bake the buns in the oven for 15 minutes. Take them out and glaze the top generously with the beaten yolk and evaporated milk mix.
    Place them back in the oven to bake for another 2 minutes.
    Depending on your oven, you may need 20 minutes in total if they're not quite golden brown enough. But you don't want them too dark.
    You can serve them immediately, but be careful of the hot filling.



It takes me about 30 seconds to flatten, fill and seal 1 bun.
I always give you pre peeled weight for onions and garlic, because it’s easier for you to know what you need. Otherwise you’d be peeling and weighing, then peeling again. And weighing, and there’s bound to be extra.


Serving: 1bunCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3246IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg
Keyword kristang recipes, pang susi, serani
Tried this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your Photos!Mention @azlinbloor or tag #linsfood!

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4 thoughts on “Pang Susi (Eurasian Sweet Potato Buns with Spiced Meat Filling)”

  1. Thanks Lin, been waiting for this recipe. I want to make this vegetarian. How much of the spice mix should I use?

    1. Stick with what’s in the recipe (for the same amount) but increase the soy sauces to 1 1/2 Tbsp. Then after cooking increase the salt if necessary. Let me know how it goes.

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much Lin! For the recipe and for clearing up the candied melon topic. I made this for the family Easter Sunday get together today. Everybody loved it. My grandma had 3 and asked me to make more next weekend!

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