Pork Steamed Buns

These steamed buns are soft and airy, and filled with a pork filling, Chinese sausages and eggs. They make a great snack to go and fill you up when you need something ASAP. My brother, SuChann, loves steamed buns. It brings back memories of our grandma, who bought them frequently when we were young. SuChann buys steamed buns any time he gets the chance to, whether at the store or flea market. Though the store-bought ones are good, it’s always more fun to DIY! This isn’t a quick recipe; In fact, you should plan on an afternoon, but it’s well worth the time and investment, especially if you’re making them for someone who loves them 🙂 A shout out to Christa Vang for requesting this recipe!

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A few weeks ago, Sam and I went to California to visit our family in Fresno. We stopped by Lee’s Sandwiches in Las Vegas for a late dinner and Sam ordered a pork steamed bun. I noticed that the filling included 1 or 2 slices of Chinese sausages, which I’ve never had included before. I was inspired to incorporate Chinese sausages into my recipe as well, except, a whole lot more than Lee’s did! 😀 By the way, Lee’s Sandwiches has some of the best Banh Mi sandwiches I’ve ever had! I recommend their grilled pork sandwich! Mmm…

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Yeast is an essential ingredient for steamed buns, as it helps the dough to rise. To activate the yeast, you must dissolve it in a warm liquid. In this recipe, I microwaved milk for 45 seconds before adding the yeast and sugar. Mix well and let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes before adding to the dough mixture. If you’re lactose intolerant or don’t want to use milk, water is another option.

To make the dough, combine the all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and baking powder into a bowl. Then create a hole in the center of the bowl and pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil along with the ready yeast mixture and mix everything altogether.

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The dough should start to form. Talk about an arm workout! Knead the dough for 10 minutes then roll into a ball. Getting the dough right is tricky and may take some practice. Don’t let this part discourage you though! As you work the dough, it should gradually become softer and more elastic. If it feels hard, dry or not blending well, add a little water at a time as you knead the dough. Water is often the solution to many of life’s problems 😉

Spread the last tablespoon of oil over the dough and put a damp cloth over it. Let the dough sit for 1 hour in a warm place. This allows for the dough to rest some more and expand in size. *Note: If you have a KitchenAid, you can use that instead of kneading the dough by hand.

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After an hour, knead the dough one more time. The dough should start to feel moist and airy. Then spread out the dough and cut into 12-14 equal parts.

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Shape the pieces of dough into balls and let them rest under a damp cloth for another 15 minutes. The damp cloth helps lock in moisture, preventing the dough from drying.

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Flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Make sure that the center of the dough is thicker than the outer edges. The thicker center gives padding to the filling and keeps the juices from escaping. The thinner outer edges help to create more beautiful pleats during the folding process. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t form a perfect circle. What matters most is that the dough has enough room to wrap around the filling as you fold. *Tip: Keep the rest of the flat dough under a damp cloth to prevent them from drying until you’re ready to use them.

Here’s a short video clip below of how I fold a steamed bun 🙂

How to fold a steamed bun:

  1. Place 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of the flattened dough.
  2. Place the Chinese sausages around the filling. I like to think that it looks like a flower 😀
  3. Place half an egg on top of the filling face down.
  4. Pull the outer edges of the dough towards the center one by one, creating pleats around the filling while also twisting at the top to create a beautiful spiral.
  5. Twist off any excess dough from the top.

There are many techniques to fold a steamed bun and this technique worked best for me. How do you fold your steamed buns? 😀

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Let the buns rest for another 15 minutes under a damp cloth before steaming. Steam for 20-25 minutes.

Use parchment paper to prevent the bottoms of the buns from sticking to the steamer. Make sure there is a good amount of space between each bun when you place them into the steamer. As they cook, they will expand in size and you don’t want them to stick onto each other. Wrap a towel over the lid to prevent water from dripping over the steamed buns.

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Steamed buns have a way of filling you up quickly. If you have too much and don’t know what to do with the rest of them, share them with your family, friends or neighbors! Or you can wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them refrigerated for up to a week. When you’re craving for a steamed bun again, remove the plastic wrap and heat the steamed bun in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute. They tastes best warm. 🙂 My husband, Sam, loves these as a quick breakfast option, but I’m sure you’ll love them however and whenever you choose to eat them. Thanks for following along! Have fun in the kitchen and stay inspired.

Pork Steamed Buns
Serves 14
These steamed buns are soft and airy, and filled with a pork filling, Chinese sausages and eggs. They make a great snack to go and fill you up when you need something ASAP.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
2 hr 55 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
2 hr 55 min
Ingredients
  1. Yeast Mixture
  2. 1 1/4 cup of warm milk
  3. 2 teaspoons of instant dry yeast
  4. 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  5. Dough
  6. 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  7. 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  9. 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  10. Filling
  11. 1 lb ground pork
  12. 1/2 cup of carrots, diced
  13. 1/2 cup of shitake mushrooms, diced
  14. 1/2 cup of white onion, minced
  15. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  16. 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  17. 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
  18. 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  19. 1 teaspoon of corn starch
  20. Other
  21. 3-4 Chinese sausages, thinly sliced
  22. 7 hard boiled eggs, peeled & sliced into halves
Instructions
  1. To make the yeast mixture, mix all the ingredients together that can be found under "Yeast Mixture". Let it sit for 5 minutes to help the yeast activate.
  2. To make the dough, mix the flour, powdered sugar and baking powder together into a bowl. Then create a hole in the center of the bowl and pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil along with the yeast mixture and mix everything altogether. Knead the dough for 10 minutes then roll into a ball. Spread the last tablespoon of vegetable oil over the dough and put a damp cloth over it. Let the dough sit for 1 hour in a warm place.
  3. While you wait for the dough to rest, make the filling by combining all the ingredients found under "Filling" together. This is the part where you can also prepare the eggs and Chinese sausages.
  4. After an hour, the dough should have expanded in size. Knead the dough again for 1-2 minutes then stretch out the dough. Divide the dough into 12-14 pieces and shape them into balls. Cover the balls with a damp cloth for another 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes have passed, use a rolling pin to flatten the pieces of dough. The outer part of the dough should be thinner than the center. This gives the center of the dough strength to hold the filling while making the outer edges easier to fold into pleats.
  6. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the center of the dough. Place the Chinese sausages around the filling and half an egg on top face down. Pull the outer edges of the dough towards the center one by one, creating pleats around the filling while also twisting at the top to create a beautiful spiral. Twist off any excess dough from the top. *To see a demonstration of this, watch the video above.
  7. Cover the buns with a damp towel for another 15 minutes before steaming.
  8. After 15 minutes have passed, steam the buns for 20-25 minutes. Use parchment paper to prevent the bottoms of the buns from sticking to the steamer. Make sure there is a good amount of space between each bun when you place them into the steamer. As they cook, they will expand in size and you don't want them to stick onto each other. Wrap a towel over the lid to prevent water from dripping over the steam buns.
Notes
  1. Yields: 12-14 pork steam buns
  2. Special materials: rolling pin, parchment paper & steamer
sheiladipity http://www.sheiladipity.com/
** Referring to step 3 – I made the filling in advance, which is why the pictures of the filling come first and don’t match the recipe above. After making this, I realized that I could’ve saved time by making the filling while I waited for the dough to rest instead.

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