I Went To Chinatown To Perfect My Homemade Steamed Buns

By Alex Chung
Writer for Pro Home Cooks

After heading out to Chinatown and trying all different kinds of surprisingly delicious buns and even being able to head back to the kitchen of a Chinese bakery was so inspiring that I went back to the studio to give making steamed buns a shot. I grabbed all the ingredients I needed and got to work. They ended up coming out deliciously soft and fluffy just like in the Chinese bakeries! You can check out how they came out in my video here. But, it’s crazy how many ways you can make them. You can fill them with different meats, custards, top them with pork floss, cover them in a sugar dough, baked them, or steam them! I made two different variations from a steamed lamb bun to a creamy baked taro bun. I even steamed taco buns for a party that I posted on my Instagram story @lifebymikeg that you can check out! However, any route that you decided to go on you will make a killer Chinese bun! You can click here to watch my Chinatown adventures and check out the recipe!

For the steamed buns:

Ingredients: · 30 grams of warm water · 1 tablespoon of dry yeast · 1 teaspoon of honey · 400 grams of flour · 40 grams of cane sugar · 10 grams of salt · 200 grams of milk · 1 tablespoon of cooking oil


1.In a small container combine the dry yeast, warm water, and honey until it blooms. About 5 – 10 minutes.

2.Next in a kitchen aid mixer combine flour, cane sugar sugar, salt, milk and oil. Once the yeast has bloomed add in the yeast mixture. Mix everything together for about 5 minutes.

3.Take the dough out of the mixer and knead it for another couple minutes and shape it into a ball. Set it in a greased bowl to proof for 1½ to 2 hours or let it sit overnight.

4.Once the dough has risen punch it down and cut it into 50 gram balls. You should get about 10 – 15 buns.

5.From here you can either fill them with meat and steam them off or you can bake them and fill them with a sweet purple yam filling afterwards. I made both sweet & savory but you can check out both options below!

For the savory filling:

Ingredients: · 1 red chili, diced · 2 cloves garlic, diced · 1 teaspoon ginger, diced · 1 onion, diced · 10 shiitake mushrooms, diced · 1 tablespoon of oil · 1 tablespoon cooking wine rice · 1 pound of lamb · 1 teaspoon black vinegar · 1 teaspoon soy sauce · 1 teaspoon sesame oil · 1/4 cup of chopped basil


1.In a hot skillet, pour in the oil into the pan along with the red chili, minced garlic, and ginger. Let that cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

2.Next add in the diced onion and shitake mushrooms. Let this caramelize on medium heat for 5-7 minutes.

3.After the onions have caramelized add in the cooking wine to deglaze the pan. That’s where all the flavor is! 4.Let this mix cool off while you get the lamb ready.

5.In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, black vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup of basil.

6.Next throw in your onion mix and combine the two together. Then cool it off in your fridge for 30 mins.

7.Once the buns have been rolled out into 50 gram balls, flatten them out into a circle. Fill each dough circle with about 2 tablespoons worth of filling and pinch it closed. Click here to see how I wrapped the steam buns!

8.Steam for 12-15 minutes or until the dough is light and puffy and the meat it cooked through.

For the purple yam filling:

Ingredients: · 2 medium sized purple yams · 1/2 pack of tofu · 4 tablespoons of sugar · Pinch of salt


1.Roast the two purple yams at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Let it cool off so that you can scoop the meat out of the shell.

2.Then in a food processor blitz half a pack of tofu, the roasted yams, 4 tablespoons of cane sugar, and a pinch of salt until you get a homogenous mixture. It will have the same consistency as a snack pack!

3.Place it into a piping bag so that when the buns are done you can pipe in the filling.

4.Once the buns are cooked and cooled make a small hole in the side of the bun.

5.Next, grab the piping bag filled with the purple filling and squeeze in the filling.

By Alex Chung
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
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