I bought the Hong Kong flour eons ago and did not have the motivation to make steamed buns, but the flour was going to expire real soon and so I decided to just do it! My bun pleats are really ugly, but I think I might just need that bit more practice to make them nicer. The buns were delicious though! The skin was chewy and the pork filling was lean and flavourful. I froze some so I can have steamed buns anytime of the day. Recipe is from nasilemaklover with minimal changes.

(makes 21 small buns)


For the bao skin

  • 500g Hong Kong flour
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 110 ml water
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 5 tsp shortening
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1.5 tsp double acting baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp salt

For the black pepper pork

  • 350g pork (cubed)
  • 1 big onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 0.25 tsp salt


  1. Prepare the bao skin first since it will need to rest for an hour.
  2. Add the yeast to the 100 ml of warm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the hydrated yeast to 130g of flour and knead till it form a soft dough and leave to stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, place the remaining flour, sugar and salt and stir to combine.
  5. You can use a mixer from this step on, but I used my hands to knead. Add the shortening, yeast dough and water and knead to bring the dough together.
  6. When the dough comes together, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead using the palm of your hands till the dough becomes smooth and does not stick to your hands anymore.
  7. Leave the dough to rest for about an hour and in the meantime, you can prepare your fillings.
  8. Saute the onions in some oil till fragrant and translucent.
  9. Add the pork cubes and cook for while.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients and leave to cook for a while.
  11. Remove and leave the filling to cool.
  12. Turn the rested dough onto a work surface after it has rested for 60 minutes and knock the air out and give the dough a few kneads.
  13. Measure 40g dough and shape into balls.
  14. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into flat discs and a tip is for the middle to be thicker than the ends to make pleating easier.
  15. Add a spoonful of the fillings to the middle of the flat disc and pleat away. A useful tip is to watch a few videos on how to pleat a bao. It does help.
  16. Steam the buns for about 20 minutes and they are ready to be enjoyed.
  17. If like me, you are not going to consume all the buns, you can freeze them till you want to eat them. Just allow them to thaw in the non freezer compartment overnight and come to room temperature before steaming them to consume.

The bao skin is chewy and the filling very tasty. I will definitely make them again, plus, I get to choose the lean cut of the pork.