If you’re Asian, you most likely have had a steamed bun at least once in your lifetime. Whether they are plain or stuffed, these buns are addicting and extremely gratifying. The best buns are ones with a moist and soft exterior and a delectable filling (we prefer savory rather than sweet filling). While they are somewhat time consuming to make, the final product makes all of the hard work worthwhile! After you eat one, you can’t stop!
Steamed Stuffed Buns (A Consult the Couple Original Recipe)
1 package of “steamed bun” (bánh bao) flour mix
Milk (according to package instructions)
Vegetable/canola oil (according to package instructions & to stir fry)
Sugar (according to package instructions & to season)
All purpose flour (to sprinkle work area when kneading/shaping buns)
1/2 lb ground meat of your choice (we prefer chicken)
1/2-1 cup chopped/shredded Chinese tree mushrooms (dried or fresh)
1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas & carrots
Cooked quail eggs (canned or fresh)
1 link of Chinese sausage (“lap cheung”/lạp xưởng) sliced oblong thinly
1 sweet white onion (finely diced)
1-2 tsp sesame oil
Salt, pepper, and sugar to taste
White vinegar (for steaming water bath)
1. Prepare dough according to package instructions. We recommend the “Pyramide” brand. If you go to your local Asian grocery store, they should definitely have it in stock. It is a very popular and cheap item that most stores carry. You can also order it online.
2. Add oil to a wok/pan and heat until hot. Use medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms and cook. [If using dried mushrooms, make sure you have already rehydrated them with hot water and let drain.] Add frozen peas & carrots and stir fry until ingredients are all warmed through. Take off heat and let cool.
3. After vegetable mixture has cooled completely, add the ground meat to it. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. If you are a novice cook and are unsure how much to add, we recommend starting with 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of sugar. You can cook a little bit of the mixture in a pan with some oil and taste to see if it needs any extra seasoning. Once you are satisfied with the flavor, add a little bit of sesame oil to enhance the aroma.
4. Shape buns according to instructions as shown below. Add 1 quail egg and 1 piece of Chinese sausage with the filling. If you cannot find quail eggs, you can use hardboiled eggs and cut them into quarters. For Chinese sausage, we prefer “Kam Yen Jan” brand, in particular the Chicken & Pork variety (“Chinese Style Sausage made with Pork and Chicken”) – it is much “lighter” and more delicious.
(Image courtesy of Andrea Nguyen’s book, Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More.)
5. Steam for 25 minutes. Add a little bit of distilled white vinegar (maybe 1-2 tsp) to the steaming water bath to get a “whiter” dough.
– Cut small squares (4×4″) out of parchment paper to line each of your buns with.
– Do not steam too many buns at a time. Remember to give these buns room to expand!
– The most important thing when shaping the buns is to make sure they close at the top and the dough isn’t so thin that it will rip during steaming.
– The onion is very important because it helps ensure that the meat in the filling isn’t dry and also enhances the aroma.
Please feel free to ask clarification questions if needed! Good luck!