If you’re a fan of Asian cuisine, then you’ve probably come across the delicious steamed buns. These soft and fluffy buns are a staple in many Asian countries and are often enjoyed as a snack or meal. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner, making steamed buns is a fun and rewarding experience that you can easily do at home. With a handful of ingredients and a bit of patience, you can make your own steamed buns that are even better than the ones you find at the store.

To start, you’ll need to gather your ingredients. The main ingredients for steamed buns are all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, and milk. You’ll also need baking powder, salt, and oil. Once you have your ingredients, it’s time to prepare your dough. Mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add in your milk and oil. Combine your ingredients and knead your dough until it’s soft and smooth. Cover your dough and let it rest for at least an hour to allow the yeast to activate and the dough to rise. Once your dough has risen, it’s time to divide it into small pieces and shape them into balls. Then you can flatten them out with a rolling pin and stuff them with your desired filling before steaming for a few minutes until they are fluffy and cooked.


Making a steam bun might seem daunting at first, but it is very manageable if you have the right ingredients on hand. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1 TBSP of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk
  • 2 TBSP of vegetable oil


1. Combine the dry ingredients
In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt. Whisk these ingredients together until well combined.

2. Add the wet ingredients
Next, add the warm milk and vegetable oil into the dry ingredients. Mix everything together using a spatula or a wooden spoon.

3. Knead the dough
Once the ingredients are well-combined, use your hands to knead the dough for at least 5-10 minutes. This will result in a smooth and elastic texture.

4. Let the dough rise
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size.

5. Divide the dough
After the dough has risen, divide it into smaller portions, and roll each ball of dough into a circle, using a rolling pin. Each circle should be about 3-4 inches in diameter.

6. Add the filling
Once you have your circles in place, add a small amount of filling to each one. This can be anything from meat to vegetables or fruit.

7. Pinch the dough
After placing the filling on the dough circles, start pinching the edges of the dough together until the filling is fully enclosed.

8. Place the steam buns on a baking sheet
Lightly brush the steam buns with oil and place them on a baking tray, leaving enough space between each bun for it to expand during cooking.

9. Steam the buns
Place the baking tray inside a steamer, making sure that the water in the steamer doesn’t touch the buns. Steam the buns for 10-12 minutes or until they are cooked through.

10. Serve and enjoy
Once cooked, you can remove the steam buns from the steamer and serve them hot. Garnish with any herbs, spices, or dipping sauces you like. Congratulations! You have now made your very own steam buns from scratch.

Ingredients needed to make steam buns

When it comes to making steam buns, the first and foremost thing that you need to ensure is that you have all the necessary ingredients. The good news is that the ingredients required to make steam buns are minimal, and most of them may already be present in your pantry. In this section of our guide, we will discuss in detail the ingredients needed to make steam buns.

1. All-purpose flour

All-purpose flour is the key ingredient in making steam buns. One of the important things to keep in mind is that the flour that you use should be fine in texture. Coarser flour may make the steamed buns dense and heavy.

2. Yeast

Yeast serves the purpose of leavening the dough, and without it, the dough won’t rise. Make sure that you use fresh yeast, and it is an active one.

3. Sugar

Sugar is needed to make the dough a little sweet. It is an essential ingredient that balances the salty filling inside the bun.

4. Salt

Salt is needed to balance the sweetness in the dough. It also regulates the yeast’s action and makes the dough manageable.

5. Oil

Oil adds moisture to the dough and helps it become elastic, making the dough easy to handle.

6. Warm water

Warm water is needed to activate the yeast and helps in forming the dough.

7. Baking powder

Baking powder helps the dough to rise when steamed. It is an essential ingredient in making the buns soft and fluffy.

8. Cornstarch

Cornstarch helps the dough to remain moist when steamed, preventing the buns from becoming dry and crumbly.

9. Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar is an optional ingredient that is used to make the steamed buns white and glossy.

10. Filling

The most important part of steam buns is the filling that goes inside them. Different types of filling can be used, such as ground meat, veggies, or sweet fillings like red bean paste.

Now that we have discussed in-depth the ingredients required to make steam buns, we can move on to the next section, which covers the steps to make the dough.

Ingredients needed for making steam buns

Making steam buns involves using a list of ingredients that makes them an absolute delight to serve. As much as the process of making these buns can be a bit time-consuming, gathering the ingredients is simple. You’ll need the following for our recipe:

All-purpose flour3 cups
Sugar1 tablespoon
Baking powder1 tablespoon
Active dry yeast1 tablespoon
Salt1/4 teaspoon
Baking soda1/4 teaspoon
Vinegar1 teaspoon
Milk1/2 cup, lukewarm
Warm water1/2 cup
Vegetable oil1/4 cup

Flour to water ratio

Getting the ratio of flour to water right is essential when making steam buns. It’s important to note that not having the right ratio can lead to the steam buns coming out too hard, flat, or even with a gooey texture. For our recipe above, we use 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of both lukewarm milk and warm water. You can adjust the water and flour ratio depending on the level of humidity in your area.

Preparing the Dough

Preparing the dough for your steam buns requires following a delicate process to ensure they come out perfect. First, mix the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk in a bowl and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s frothy. Add the sifted flour and mix well before adding the salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until smooth and gradually add the vegetable oil as you knead the dough. Once the dough is well kneaded, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rise for about an hour.

Shaping the bun

Shaping the bun is where the fun part begins. Once your dough has risen, punch it down to release the air and lightly dust a flat surface with flour. Roll the dough into a log shape and cut a small section of about one inch. Roll the small portion into a round ball by using your palm while flattening the sides evenly. Flatten your larger dough and fold it once before placing it over the small dough ball. Pinch the dough together and place it over a piece of parchment paper.

Steaming the buns

Steaming the buns requires some patience and precision. First, set your steamer to boil and line it with the parchment paper containing your steam buns. Leave about an inch of space between the buns to allow them to expand. Steam your buns for about 10-15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let them sit for about 5 minutes before removing them from the steamer. Serve and enjoy!

That’s it! You’ve made a Steam Bun

Congratulations, you’ve made a great and fluffy steam bun! Don’t be afraid to experiment with fillings and sauces. You could try pork, chicken, or vegetable filling, and maybe even make some dipping sauce to go with it. I hope you had a fun time making this recipe and learning about the culture behind this famous dish. Thanks for reading, and please do come back again for more exciting recipes and stories. Until then, enjoy your tasty steam buns!