Chinese steamed pork buns served on a plate as part of a dim sum style lunch
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3 from 4 votes

Chinese Steamed Pork Buns

Pork Buns (鲜肉包子 or bao buns) are a Chinese dim sum tradition consisting of soft steamed buns with a juicy and flavorful pork filling inside. They're a great grab-and-go snack, and also fit nicely into any Asian-themed meal or potluck. So good!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: pork buns
Servings: 24 buns
Calories: 222kcal
Author: TipBuzz

Ingredients

Chinese Sweet Bread Dough

  • 1 cup warm water 105-110°F / 36-38°C
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast 2 envelopes
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour about 14 2/3 ounces
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Pork Filling

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork or minced pork tenderloin
  • tbsp  soy sauce  low sodium recommended
  • 2 tbsp sherry or cooking sherry - optional
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce or oyster sauce
  • 3 tsp  sugar optional
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tbsp  vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic minced
  • ½ cup water
  • tbsp  cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • tsp  sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup green onions minced

Instructions

Chinese Sweet Bread Dough

  • In a large bowl, whisk together warm water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a large wooden spoon until a dough forms. 
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, or into a large stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes in the stand mixer.
  • Return the dough to the large bowl and rub thoroughly with vegetable oil.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size (see note 1). [Meanwhile, make the pork filling.]
  • Punch down the dough with your fist and turn onto a clean work surface.
  • Sprinkle the baking powder on top and knead for 5 minutes until incorporated. Set aside.

Pork Filling

  • In a medium bowl, add ground pork, soy sauce, optional sherry, hoisin sauce, sugar and salt. Mix with a fork and set aside for 10-20 minutes to marinate.
  • Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add oil, garlic and ginger and saute for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add pork mixture to skillet and saute 5-7 minutes until no longer pink. Add water and bring to a boil, simmering for 5 more minutes.
  • Add the cornstarch/water slurry to the pork, and stir for a minute to thicken. Then stir in sesame oil and green onions. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pork Bun Preparation

  • Take your dough - if it has risen, punch it down again - and cut in half. Then cut each half in 10-12 equal pieces. Cover lightly with a towel to avoid drying out.
  • Form a piece into a ball with your palms. Then place on a floured work surface and roll into a 4-5 inch circle using a mini rolling pin if available.
  • Place 2 tbsp pork in the middle of the circle. Pull up the edges with your fingertips and pinch several times in the middle to seal.
  • Repeat previous two steps for remaining pieces. Once you have 10-12 pieces, you can steam the first batch.
  • Cut 2-inch/5-cm square pieces of parchment or wax paper. Place one beneath each bun and arrange 1/2-inch apart on a steamer basket.
  • Place one quart of water in wok and bring to a boil over medium-high meat. Cover steamer basket with lid and place on wok to steam for 15 minutes until puffy.
  • Remove steamer basket from wok. Add more water and repeat for second batch.
  • Let buns cool for several minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

  1. The dough is ready if you poke it with two fingers and indentations remain.
  2. Avoid overcrowding the steamer by leaving a 1/2-inch / 1 cm gap in between the buns to allow for expansion during steaming.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1.8mg