Pork Steam Bun Jump to Recipe
A fluffy and delicious bun filled with juicy pork, mushrooms, Chinese sausage and a hard-boiled egg. A huge Steam Bun makes the perfect meal or snack to-go.
What is a Pork Steam Bun?
Originating from Guangdong, Chinese pork buns are also called “dai bao”. Its name literally means “big bun” and it makes sense. They’re about the size of a grapefruit, three times the size of regular steam buns! For some people, a single pork steam bun giant can act as an entire meal.
It’s usually filled with seasoned ground pork, a hard-boiled egg, Chinese sausage (lap cheong) and mushrooms. There is another type of pork steam bun called “cha siu bao” that is much smaller and filled with BBQ pork instead.
You’ll mostly find these buns at dim sum restaurants or at your local Asian supermarket. They’re a popular breakfast food but can be eaten at any time of the day.
The bread itself is special as well. It’s sweeter and more cake-like compared to other kinds of buns, but still fluffy. For some people, the bread tastes better than the filling!
Making the Buns
This Pork Steam Bun recipe makes smaller buns than the traditionally huge bao. You can still make the large versions using this recipe though. Just remember you will need to increase your steam time to make sure the filling is fully cooked.
An important step to note is to use lukewarm water and sugar. You might want to skip the sugar but it’s needed to activate the yeast. The sugar is also what makes the bun taste so good. Make sure you let the dough rise enough before you start filling them. You can also use the dough recipe for other types of buns.
You can also opt to make the buns without the egg, mushroom or Chinese sausage. The dough for this recipe can also be used in other steam bun recipes!
Of course, the pork steam bun isn’t the only type of Chinese bun. Visit your local Chinese bakery to discover all the different kinds! You can try making other types of Chinese buns at home, like our Hot Dog Buns or Mantou recipes.
Pork Steam Bun Recipe
- ⅔ cup lukewarm water
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup bread flour, plus more if needed
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 5 large dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 Chinese sausage (lap cheong)
- 1 ½ lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- ground pepper, to taste
- Combine the water, instant yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Use a whisk to mix until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Then, let the mixture sit for about 4 to 6 minutes until it becomes foamy and blooms. After, stir in the vegetable oil and set aside.
- While you are waiting for the instant yeast mixture to bloom, sift the bread flour, salt and baking soda together in a separate bowl.
- When the yeast mixture is ready, add it into the bowl of dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to mix everything together. If the dough feels too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour at a time.
- Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and begin kneading. Continue kneading until the dough looks smooth.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough proof for 1 ½ to 2 hours in a slightly warm dark area. The dough should double in size.
- Punch the down to flatten it and then portion it into 18 smaller balls. Let them sit for 5 minutes to rest.
- After, flatten the dough balls into a flat circular shape, 5-inches in diameter and approximately ⅓-inches thick.
- Start on the filling while you are waiting for the dough to proof. Begin by rehydrating the dried shiitake mushrooms using hot water. After they have softened, remove the stems and then marinate in oyster sauce. Cut each mushroom into 4 parts. Set aside.
- Boil the eggs until they are hard-boiled, about 10 minutes. Put the eggs in cold water to cool them down before peeling. Cut each egg into 4 parts. Set aside.
- Boil the Chinese sausages for 10 to 15 minutes until they cooked. Then, cut both into 9 equal pieces. Set aside.
- To make the pork filling, combine the ground pork, dark soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, Shaoxing cooking wine, sesame oil and ground pepper. Mix well.
- Divide the pork mixture into 18 equal balls. Add a piece of egg, Chinese sausage and mushroom to each ball.
- Put the arranged filling in the center of the flattened dough balls. Gather the edges of the dough toward the center, wrapping it around the filling. Pinch and twist the edges together at the top of the bun to make sure the bun doesn’t fall apart during steaming. If you’d like, you can make it fancier and try to wrap the buns in different styles. Check out this video.
- Once all the buns have been wrapped and sealed, it’s time to steam. Cut out 18 pieces of parchment paper each 3-inches by 3-inches. Place each bun on a piece and then put them into the steamer basket. Make sure the buns are about an inch apart to allow them to expand.
- Cover the entire steamer basket with a moist towel and let the buns rest again for 10 to 15 minutes.
- While waiting, bring some water in your steamer to a soft boil over high heat. When the buns are ready, remove the moist towel and steam for 20 minutes.
- You may have to steam in batches. Keep the unsteamed buns under a moist towel while they wait for their turn. When the buns are finished steaming, let me cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!