This Chinese Steamed Pork Buns recipe were probably my biggest challenge during China week on The Foreign Fork because, as much as I’d like to be (and as much as I’m learning), I’m not phenomenal at rolling steamed buns. I’ve been watching YouTube videos and practicing techniques, but I still have a lot to learn on my steam bun rolling skills.
Even though they’re not the prettiest, these Chinese Steamed Pork Buns are SO yummy. I had never been introduced to hoisin sauce before experimenting with this recipe, but I can now confidently say that I am OBSESSED.
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What are Chinese Steamed Pork Buns?
Good question! This recipe is like a mix between a dumpling and a bun. The bun dough is my favorite recipe from The Spruce Eats. It’s easy to make ad easy to fold, and I loved following along with someone else’s recipe instead of having to make up my own.
This bun dough is filled with a pork filling (duh), and are then steamed (duh) to cook. Steaming the buns allows the bun dough to take on a bread-like texture. It may not look like it in the photos, but biting into these buns is almost like biting into a yummy, pork-filled sandwich.
What Ingredients are in Chinese Steamed Pork Buns?
Chinese 5 Spice
How Do I Roll my Buns?
Is there anyone out there that wants to teach me to roll my buns better than what I’m already doing? Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic. I really would like help learning.
Until then, I would trust this person (below) more than I trust myself to teach you how to roll buns. I rolled mine while watching this video and some of them allllmost turned out like they were supposed to! Thank you Maomaomom Kitchen!
How Do I Steam my Buns?
Oh good, I have a much better answer for this one. At the time that I made my Chinese Steamed Pork Buns, I didn’t have bamboo steamers. Normally, bamboo steamers are the best options for steaming your pork buns. Making this recipe a few times without the steamers actually prompted me to go out and buy my own set.
At the time, though, I had never used the bamboo steamers, which means I needed to come up with an alternative route. To steam my buns, I filled the bottom of a large pan with a few inches of water.
I placed a vegetable steamer on top of the water, making sure that the water wasn’t high enough to come through the vegetable steamer and drown the buns. I then topped the steamer with parchment paper to ensure that my buns didn’t stick to the metal of the steamer.
This method worked really well for me, and I was happy with the outcomes. If you don’t have a vegetable steamer, you could also opt to put a small bowl in the bottom of your pot, and then place a plate on top of that. This will create a shape that vaguely resembles a cake stand, and will also allow your Chinese Steamed Pork Buns to steam in the pot.
Can I Substitute Something Else in for the Pork?
Of course! I love ground pork, so I wanted to use it in my recipe. If you don’t like pork or can’t eat it for whatever reason, you can use any other kind of ground meat you’d prefer. I think my next favorite option would be ground chicken or ground turkey.
How Do I Eat the Buns?
You can eat the buns plain if you’d like. I’ve never been a big fan of soy sauce, but I actually really enjoyed eating these steamed buns once they were dipping in soy sauce. It was flavorful and salty, and gave the outer rim of the buns some flavor, while I waited for the beautiful blast from the ground pork.
Did you like this recipe? If so, check out my other Chinese Recipes, including:
Thanks for reading everyone! Make sure to leave a comment if you enjoyed reading this post! I’ll talk to you all soon.
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns
- ⅓ cup water, very warm
- ⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- ¼ cup water, boiling
- 1 large egg, fork-beaten
- 2 ¼ cups white bread flour
- ½ lb ground pork
- 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
- ½ bunch scallions, chopped
- ¾ cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp Chinese 5 Spice
- 1 tbsp water
- Stir the warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a small dish until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast.
- Stir sugar, the salt, and cooking oil in a large bowl. Add boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the egg and the yeast mixture.
- Slowly work in enough flour until soft dough forms. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover it with greased waxed paper and a tea towel. Let it stand in the oven with the oven light on and the oven door closed for 1 ½ to 2 hours until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down the dough. Cover. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Shape it into a 12-inch/30 centimeter long log. Cut it into 12 pieces.
Filling and Assembly Instructions
- In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients together.
- Follow the YouTube video above to roll your buns.
- In a large pot, heat a few inches of water until boiling. Place a vegetable steamer (or bamboo steamer) in the bottom of the pot and line with parchment paper. Place about 6 buns at a time, taking care not to overcrowd them.
- Steam the buns for about 12 minutes each, until they puff up and the meat is cooked though. Replenish water when necessary.
- Enjoy! Leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know what you thought.