Steamed Pork Buns Recipe



  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for oiling the bowl
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch of table salt

Pork filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds (2, if you like to have some extra to snack on), country-style pork ribs, bone in or boneless
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine (Sherry is a good substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated gingerroot
  • Lettuce or cabbage leaves (of any sort) for steaming

Steamed Pork Buns Recipe



  1. In a small bowl, combine the water and yeast; when foamy add the oil and whisk to combine.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large bowl and make a well in the center, add the yeast mixture and mix into a soft, pliable dough. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, pliable and elastic (Dough should not be sticky at this point. Knead in small amounts of additional flour if it is.) Place dough into a medium size oiled bowl (or place on a Silpat and cover with the oiled bowl like in my photo), cover with plastic wrap and place it in the warmest part of your kitchen to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Thank you for this tip Chef Celeste.

Pressure cooker method:

  1. Heat a pressure cooker to medium-high and add oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper. When the oil is shimmering, add the pork and sear on all sides until golden brown.
  2. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the hoisin sauce and the remaining ingredients, whisking well to combine. pour sauce over pork, lock the lid and cook for 45 minutes on high once pressure is reached.

Alternate Cooking Method:

  1. Place salt and pepper seasoned meat into a pan that has been preheated with 1 tablespoon of oil. Brown on all sides, add hoisin mixture, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until meat is fall apart tender, approximately 1 – 1/2 hours. This can also be done in a 325 degree oven.
  2. Once meat is cooked, transfer to a medium bowl and shred the pork using 2 forks. Add 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid and remaining 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce to the pork and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and more cooking liquid if mixture seems too dry. Set mixture aside while preparing dough.

To Assemble Buns:

  1. Line a bamboo or metal steamer with lettuce or cabbage leaves, leaving areas open to allow steam to pass through.
  2. Divide dough into 8 – 12 equal portions, depending on how big you want your buns to be. Roll each portion into a round ball. Shape the balls into discs about 4″ in diameter, leaving the middle just a bit thicker than the edges. Spoon about a tablespoon in the center of each round. Pull the edges up and pleat the dough around the filling, pinching as you work your way around the entire circle. 

To Steam Buns:

  1. Pour water into a wok or large pot to a depth of 3 inches and heat over a medium high heat to a strong simmer. Stack bamboo steamers in the wok or place a steamer insert into the pot. Steamer should not touch the surface of the water. Arrange buns in the steamer at least 1″ apart. Cover steamer and steam buns for approximately 15 minutes or until they are puffed and fluffy.
  2. Serve immediately.


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