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a bowl of japanese steamed bun
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Japanese steamed pork bun recipe

The best steamed bun recipe is the Japanese pork bun. It's very fun to make too!
Course Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword Bun, Pork
Prep Time 30 minutes
Rise and marinate 8 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Joost Nusselder
Cost $4


For the dough

  • 7.5 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the filling

  • 1/3 lbs sliced pork shoulder finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • cup napa cabbage finely chopped
  • cup green onions finely chopped
  • 8 parchment paper squares


Preparations – the night before:

  • First, you need to prepare your dough. To do that, mix all your ingredients in a stand mixer with a mixing bowl and a dough hook attachment, then mix everything together. Add in your lukewarm water slowly. If you notice that the dough sticks to the bottom of the mixing bowl after you've poured in all the flour, add some more flour slowly, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Continue mixing at low speed (2 speed setting) until your dough is tacky and smooth.
  • Once you finish kneading your dough, make it into a round ball, and then put it in a bowl covered with saran or plastic wrap to prevent it from drying. To get the most flavor from your steamed bun, allow your dough to rise overnight while refrigerated,
  • As your dough rises, start preparing your filling. You can choose to prepare your steamed buns the same day, but it's advisable that you marinate the filling overnight so you can get more flavor. Mix all the filling ingredients in one bowl and then cover it with a saran or plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight to marinate.

Making the steamed buns:

  • To make your steamed buns, remove the refrigerated dough out of your fridge. You'll notice that it's doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to remove the excess gas. Then roll it out into a long circular tube. Divide it into 8 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece to make a ball and then allow it to rest on a baking sheet for around 10 minutes. Cover with a damp towel to prevent the dough from drying out.
  • Next, roll every dough ball into a flat circle using a rolling pin. Then scoop a bit of the pork filling into the dough ball; maybe a tablespoon.
  • Using one hand, pull one side of your dough upwards, towards the top of your filling. Hold it in place and then pull the remaining sides of the dough upwards so that they can meet at the top of the dough. Make sure that you twist the top to create a seal. You can continue doing this to each side of the dough until you have concealed your filling inside the bun. Repeat this process for the remaining 7 pieces.
  • Next, place your buns on a piece of parchment paper square and then allow it to sit for the second phase of fermentation. To prepare for this second fermentation, allow your bamboo steamer to boil and then turn off the stove. Place the buns in the residual heat by using a steam basket and then covering it with a lid. Cover the lid with a towel to prevent excess condensation from dripping into the buns. Allow it to rest for around 10 to 15 minutes until the size increases slightly to complete the second fermentation.
  • After the second fermentation, boil your water and then steam the buns for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the steamed pork buns from the steamer and enjoy!