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The Best Steamed Pork Buns (Baozi)

Tried and true recipe for authentic steamed pork buns! Fluffy bao buns filled with savory and juicy pork filling. Perfect for a comforting and filling meal.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword authentic, buns, Chinese, lunch, napa cabbage
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 30 buns
Calories 113kcal

Ingredients

Dough

  • 600 grams all-purpose flour around 5 cups
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 280 mL lukewarm water around 1¼ cup

Pork Filling

  • 450 grams ground pork around 1 pound
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • cup water
  • 170 grams Napa cabbage, shredded 6 oz
  • 2 tbsp scallion, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced less if desired

Instructions

Dough

  • Mix flour, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl until combined. While mixing, slowly pour in water until it is absorbed and forms a shaggy dough.
  • Stand Mixer: using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, knead on low speed for 5-8 minutes until dough comes together
    By Hand: knead with your hands either in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface for 10-15 minutes.
    The dough should be soft and smooth.
  • Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. It will take between 40 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the room temperature.

Pork Filling

  • Combine pork, soy and oyster sauces, five-spice powder, salt, ground white pepper, and cooking oil in a bowl. Mix, stirring in one direction, until well combined. Gradually add in water one tablespoon at a time until no more liquid is visible.
  • Right before assembly, add in napa cabbage, scallion, and cilantro. Mix until uniformly combined. The filling should be a sticky and cohesive mass.

Assembly

  • Knead the dough until it deflates and returns to its original size. Divide dough into 30 equal portions - dividing by halves each time to ensure uniformity. Roll each piece into a disk-like wrapper approximately 3-4 inches in diameter. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of a wrapper then fold into a bao shape. Leave all the assembled buns to rest for another 15 minutes or so. This ensures that they will not deflate after steaming.

Steaming

  • Line a steamer basket with parchment paper. Place buns at least 1 inch away from each other and the edge of the steamer. Start with cold water over high heat. When the water boils, steam for 15-18 minutes.
  • Serve baozi hot on their own or with dipping sauce. You can freeze cooked buns. To serve, defrost in the fridge then steam for 8 minutes, or steam for 15 minutes without defrosting.