Baozi (Bao, Pau) are Chinese buns made from a yeast dough stuffed with various fillings from savory to sweet. They are often eaten for breakfast and as snacks. I filled the Baozi with seasoned pork, onion, mushroom, and spinach. They are steamed until puffy and the filling is cooked through. I actually do not currently own a steamer basket, so I used the steamer rack in my rice cooker to make 3-4 Baozi at a time. A multi-level bamboo steamer basket would be nice to cook many Baozi at once.
I used my small rolling pin to roll out the dough. It helps to roll out from the center towards the edges, gradually adding a little more pressure, so the edges are slightly thinner than the center. Having the center a little thicker helps hold the filling.
This was the first time I have ever made steamed buns, so my pleating needs quite a bit more practice. They don’t have to be perfect, but here is a video showing the technique. Make sure the dough completely seals the filling inside.
After filling, the Baozi can be frozen for future use. I place them on the parchment squares, then in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Once frozen through, they can be carefully transferred to a freezer bag. I added about 10 minutes to the steaming to make sure the pork filling is completely cooked through. I will occasionally insert a meat thermometer into the center of one to make sure the pork is heated enough.
Baozi (Chinese Steamed Pork Buns) Recipe
Adapted from Just Putzing Around the Kitchen
Baozi (Chinese Steamed Pork Buns)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water 105-115 degrees F
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 1 cup diced mushrooms
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt to taste
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water. Let sit for a minute, then stir to combine. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Process or mix in the yeast with water and vegetable oil until dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Cover and let rest while filling is prepared.
- In a large wok or pan, drizzle vegetable oil over medium heat. Once heated, add onion, mushroom, and spinach. Cook until onions and mushrooms are soft and spinach is wilted. Remove to a large bowl and allow to cool.
- Once the vegetables have cooled, add the pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and salt. Mix until combined.
- Cut out 4x4 inch squares of parchment paper.
- Take a piece of the rested dough and flatten on work surface. Use a small rolling pin to roll into a 1/8 inch thick circle. Place a heaping tablespoon to 2 tablespoons of filling in the center. Fold the edges of the circle upward to cover the filling. Gently twist and pinch the top to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place each bun on prepared parchment squares. Cover the buns with a towel and let rest for about 40 minutes.
- Place buns with parchment in steamer basket and steam over high heat until puffy, firm, and center is cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Repeat with remaining buns.