Go Back
+ servings

Chinese Steamed Pork Buns (Baozi)

Recipe by Connie Veneracion
Baozi, or simply bao, is a steamed bun. The filling may be savory or sweet. We're skipping the rather ubiquitous char siu filling (it seems to be the only baozi filling known in America) for a raw ground pork and vegetable mixture. As the filling cooks inside the bun (almost like pressure cooking), no juices are lost. Instead, meat and vegetable juices soak the inside of the bun making it even more delicious.
Use ground pork with at least 20% fat. Fatty pork binds (and tastes) better than lean pork.
To add a little crunch to the pork filling, chopped water chestnuts are traditionally added. If you can't find water chestnuts, jicama may be substituted. If using jicama, allow it to dry out for a day or two before using. Peel and chop, sprinkle with salt, squeeze out to remove excess water then add to the pork mixture.
A stand mixer makes it easier and faster to make the dough. It is not absolutely necessary, however. You may knead the dough by hand. The process will take longer but, if done right, the result will be just as good.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Proofing the dough 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 16 steamed pork buns
Steamed pork buns showing the filling

Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • Steamer
  • 16 2" x 2" greaseproof paper

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups full-fat milk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided

Pork Filling

  • 250 grams ground pork
  • ½ cup finely sliced chives
  • cup chopped carrot
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chopped ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • ½ cup chopped jicama or water chestnuts

Instructions
 

Make the dough

  • Disperse the yeast in the milk and set aside.
    Adding yeast to milk
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, measure the flour, add salt and sugar and whisk.
    Adding salt and sugar to flour in mixer
  • Make a well in the center, pour in the milk-yeast mixture and one tablespoon oil.
    Adding milk, yeast and oil to flour
  • Mix everything together with a wooden spoon just until no longer wet.
    Making dough in stand mixer
  • Attach the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes.
  • Pinch a piece of dough to feel if it is soft and elastic. If not, knead for another minute.
    Mixing dough with dough hook
  • Coat the inside of a large bowl with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
  • Dust your work surface with flour, dump in the dough and form into a ball.
  • Place the dough in the prepared bowl, rolling it around to coat the entire surface with oil.
    Dough before and after rising
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to rise until double in volume, about an hour.

Make the pork filling

  • While the dough rises, place the ground pork, chives, carrot, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a bowl, and mix well.
    Mixing ground pork with chives, carrot, garlic and ginger
  • Add the ground coriander, five-spice powder, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame seed oil, and stir to combine.
    Seasoning ground pork for steamed buns filling
  • Add the chopped jicama and mix until evenly distributed.
    Adding chopped jicama to ground pork filling for steamed buns

Make the pork buns

  • Punch down the dough, put back into the mixer and knead (at lowest speed) for about two minutes.
    Punching down dough and kneading a second time
  • Sprinkle flour on your work surface, dump in the dough and roll unto a log about a foot long and three inches wide.
  • Cut the log into halves vertically then cut each half into eight equal pieces.
    Cutting dough into portions
  • Take a piece of dough and flatten into a disc about 1/8 inch thick using a rolling pin.
    Flattening dough with a rolling pin
  • Place the dough on the palm of one hand and drop a tablespoon of filling at the center.
    Placing pork filling at the center of flattened dough
  • Using the thumb and forefinger of your free hand, fold and pinch the edges of the dough.
    Pinch edges of dough to seal pork filling
  • With your other hand cupping the filled dough, turn it around slowly while your other hand continues folding and pinching the edges.
    Sealing pork filling inside dough
  • Continue turning, folding and pinching until the filling is sealed.
    Chinese pork bun before steaming
  • Lay the sealed dough on a piece of greaseproof paper.
  • Repeat until all pieces of dough have been filled.
  • Arrange the buns in steamer baskets, cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise for about ten minutes.
  • Arrange the baskets over the steamer pot and cook the pork buns over briskly boiling water for 20 minutes.
    Pork buns in bamboo steamer basket
  • Serve your steamed pork buns immediately.

Notes

Suggested dipping sauces: sweet soy sauce, chili oil sauce and Chinese black vinegar.
Keyword Bread, dim sum