Steamed pork buns are the reason for happiness at any moment. They make gray skies blue and crying babies giggle. Or maybe its because I’ve been craving them at every waking moment of Miami traffic for the last 3 weeks…. who knows.
But with good reason! They’re incredibly versatile, and as long as the filling is flavorful, whatever you put in it will be fantastic. Making them at home is easy, and if you love variety, you can have a myriad of experiences with the Chinese Pork Bun, you’re not limited to anything. Crispy Pork Belly? Yup! Chicken Curry? Any old day. Smoked Duck, mushrooms and scallions? Go nuts! It’s the dough that counts.
The Basics: wheat flour, leavening, liquid, fat and sugar.
And like anything in life there are 3 kinds:
These are the terrible ones: stodgy, dry, and cloying. They mostly come from the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. The preparation and preservatives don’t allow the filling to shine.
At home, the poorly made variety may taste a little bitter with too much baking powder. If steamed too long or too hot, the dough can cave in or wrinkle after cooking.
These are the kind you get at a good chinese shop
Bao Wow! (couldn’t help it!)
Its snowy white, cracks open, spongy, slightly chewy dough, will leave you sleepless. Basically David Chang- Momofuku style. Just an experience with dough that’s consistently good and plays harmoniously well with the ingredients inside.
Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment
Note: I’ll keep adding more recipes ideas to Steamed Buns! But first everything starts with a good dough, and we’ll build on that together.
Did you try it? Leave me a comment!! I’m going to quick pickle some veggies now and figure out how to make some serious pork belly for the filling. Let’s talk buns!Print
- 1⁄2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 1⁄4 cups bread flour
- 3⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 tbsp. lard (1 3⁄4 oz.), well chilled
- 1 cup milk
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cornstarch.
In a stand mixer, mix yeast, milk, sugar, and melted butter. With the dough hook attachment, mix on slow speed and start incorporating the dry ingredients. Turn to high until the dough pulls from the sides.
Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for and hour.
Divide into discs for stuffing, and let rise for 15 more minutes.
Anything goes! Suggestions to follow. Just close them up and pinch the seams.
Put a saucepan with boiling water and place the steaming baskets on top. You can use lettuce or cheesecloth to protect the buns from sticking to the basket. Steam for 7 minutes, let rest, and you can eat!
You can replace melted butter with lard or canola oil if you need to modify for special diets like Kosher or Vegan.
Ditto for the milk, you can sub it for water, though milk adds a softer, more pillowy structure.
A little about me
I’m a chef and a former psychologist. I spent years studying how we experience food to make the best eating experiences possible- and I show you how to eat well on this site. I host secret popups in Miami, FL teaching people how to approach good food that’s never been done before.