Minced Pork Buns recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • Bread rolls and buns

These bread rolls are guaranteed to please. Perfect for snacking on.

17 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 16 buns

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons easy bake yeast
  • 125ml warm water (45 degrees C)
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 60g wholemeal flour
  • 200g bread flour or as needed
  • 450g minced pork
  • 30g ranch dressing mix
  • 90g finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 small courgette, grated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 75g red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 15g butter, melted

MethodPrep:50min ›Cook:35min ›Extra time:1hr proofing › Ready in:2hr25min

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. Beat in the sugar, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and wholemeal flour with an electric mixer on low for 3 minutes. Stir in the bread flour, 60g at a time, mixing well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a light cloth and let rise in a warm place (27 to 35 degrees C) until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is rising, heat a large frying pan over medium heat and cook and stir until the pork is crumbly, evenly browned and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess fat. Stir in the ranch dressing mix until meat is well-coated. Add the cabbage, courgette, onion, red pepper, carrot and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a knife to divide the dough into four equal pieces - don't tear it. Roll each portion out to an 20cm square, then cut each large square into four smaller squares. Place about 3 tablespoonfuls of the pork filling into the centre of each square. Bring the corners over the filling and pinch to seal. Secure with a cocktail stick if needed. Spray a baking tray with cooking oil spray. Place the pouches on the prepared baking tray about 7.5cm apart. Cover the buns with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from tray and discard cocktail sticks. Brush each pocket with melted butter. Serve hot.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(21)

Reviews in English (16)

by gderr the dysfunctional

wow this was awesome...i was pressed for time and used phylo dough. this is great as left-overs, if you have any! ya give this a shot terrific way to get some veggies out of the garden and into those discerning rug rats! thx larkspur!-27 Jul 2010

by lovecakes

I'm rating this on only the filling. I was in a rush and wanted to try this, but didn't have time to make the bread, instead I used refrigerated biscuit dough and stuffed those with the yummy filling. These were great. The kids ate them! Will make these again and again! Finally got the kids to have some veggies. Thanks Larkspur!-12 Jul 2010

by CC<3's2bake

I made these exactly as written, and they were worth the effort! So good! This is one of those recipes that has you saying "why didn't I think of that?" Very original and very, very tasty. These are kid friendly and freeze well. I make them in batches for the freezer. Perfect for a quick and easy 'good for you' addition to lunch boxes.-08 Jul 2010


  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour, divided
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 3 slices fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1 spring onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper to taste
  • 7 ounces Chinese barbeque pork, cut into very thin slices
  • ½ cup corn flour
  • ⅜ cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ⅜ cup white sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cooking oil

Combine 1/2 cup water, yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon cake flour in a large bowl let stand until top is beginning to form a layer of white foam, about 20 minutes. Add remaining cake flour (2 cups minus the 1 teaspoon) and stir gently using chopsticks until dough comes together. Knead dough until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let first dough stand in a warm place for 4 to 6 hours.

Mix 2/3 cup water, ginger, spring onion, oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon corn flour, sesame oil, and white pepper in a saucepan over medium-low heat cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Cool filling to room temperature refrigerate.

Spoon chilled filling over pork mix well.

Sift 1/2 cup corn flour, 3/8 cup cake flour, and baking powder together into a bowl. Add 3/8 cup sugar and cooking oil and mix well. Mix corn flour mixture into first dough, kneading until smooth. Roll dough into a ball. Cover ball with an inverted bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 to 15 pieces and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls into rounds. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons filling into the center of each round and fold round around filling and seal. It's fine if the top is a bit thick, it just helps create the top flower look.

Line bamboo steamers with parchment paper and arrange buns on top. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes. Close lids tightly.

Bring 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water to a boil in a wok or large skillet for 10 minutes. Place steamers in the wok and steam buns over medium heat until cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes.


How to get Siopao/ Steamed buns white?

I got several people saying that adding some vinegar to the water for steaming would result in whiter buns. I tried it and well I am not so convinced that it makes any difference. Maybe I need to conduct a thorough comparison test.

Those super white steamed buns are produced using specialty flours that are (super) bleached with low gluten level.

I also replaced some of the water with milk and I think that contributed more to my bao buns looking brighter.


2. How to make the char siu bao dough

Here are the steps:

A. Prepare the starter
  • Sprinkle the dry yeast in warm water. Wait for about five minutes or until it is completely dissolved.
  • Combine the flour, icing sugar with the yeast liquid.
  • Mix well and cover for an hour.
B. Knead the dough
  • Add the baking powder, flour into the starter mixture and knead for 8 minutes.
  • Add the shsortening and salt and continue kneading it until homogenous, non sticky and shining.
  • Cover the dough with a piece of damp cloth and let it proves for 30 minutes, or until the size has doubled.
  • Divide the dough into 50g portions.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 10 minutes before wrapping the filling..

More tips on how to make the dough

A. Use leavening agents to ensure it is soft and tender

There are three leavening agents used in the recipe.

Both baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) and yeast are used to achieve a bouncy and soft texture. Both are quite common in baking, but you may be unfamiliar with ammonium bicarbonate.

Ammonium bicarbonate ( commonly known as 臭粉 In Chinese ) is a leavening agent nowadays seldom used. It is also hardly used in any western baking products. It is used in the recipe to serve a special purpose- to produce the signature bursting surface of the Pao. The professional finishing of Char Siu Bao should be burst ( 开花 ) into three or four parts on the surface, much like the crevices on top of a hot cross bun. It is created by using ammonium bicarbonate instead of cutting lines on the surface as for bread.

You can omit ammonium bicarbonate as it does not contribute to the flavor of the Char Siu Bao. The only difference is that the surface may not burst into parts, the &lsquoprofessional&rsquo finishing of Char Siu Bao.

B. The right way to knead the dough

The technique of making the dough is similar to that of making bread. The main difference is to use, multiple types of leavening agents to achieve the tender, bouncy, and bursting surface. Of course, it is steamed, not baked. The buns are cooked in less than ten minutes due to the intense heat generated by the steam in the enclosed steamer.

Some chefs prefer to prepare a starter just like for making bread, as in this recipe. In this case, part of the flour will be used to prepare the starter. The flour will ferment longer which results in a better flavor.

C. Is lye water necessary in the recipe?

Lye water ( 碱水 )- some recipes suggest adding lye water into the dough. Our recipe has no lye water. There is a problem if you add too much lye water as it will leave a bitter taste to the Pao. I do not use lye water in this recipe.

D. How about include wheat starch in the recipe?

Wheat starch ( 澄面粉) can be added to the recipe in a smaller amount. Wheat starch can produce a very soft and bouncy texture since wheat starch has no protein. The Pao made by following this recipe is quite soft and there is no need to add wheat starch.

E. How about adding vinegar to the recipe?

Vinegar is added for a purpose. Since wheat starch has no protein, and Pao or Hong Kong flour has a low protein content, the development of gluten that contributes to the strength, and texture will be limited. The ideal pH for gluten development is 5-6. This will encourage gluten development and produce a more extensible (easier to stretch) dough. Vinegar helps to maintain the pH of the dough so that it is not too alkaline due to the use of baking powder and ammonium bicarbonate. This will produce Pao with good texture and yet is bouncy and soft.

However, I have tested my pao recipe and noticed that as long as the oil and the flour are white, there is no need to add any vinegar. Therefore, I do not include vinegar in my recipe.

How to make the bun whiter than snow white?

A number of recipes suggest that vinegar can whiten the dough. However, we have tried to make Pao with and without vinegar, and the color of the Pao is identical.

The answer to the snowy white Char Siu Bao lies in the color of the flour and oil that you use. Hong Kong flour and Pao flour are bleached and will produce white Pao. If you use the standard cake or all-purpose flour, the color of the Char Siu Bao will be slightly yellowish.

The type of oil you use will affect the color of the Pao. If you use vegetable or animal oil, the Pao will be slightly yellowish. We used shortening of soy origin to produce a snowy white Pao. If you want to use a healthier alternative, use unbleached flour and vegetable oil instead of bleached flour and shortening, The flavor will not be affected. But the Pao will not be as white as those from a professional dim sum shop.


Recipe Summary

  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 cups diced barbecued pork, or to taste
  • ¼ cup finely sliced green onions
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce, or to taste

Pour water into a bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. Add vegetable oil, sugar, and self-rising flour. Mix using a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough comes together.

Turn dough out onto your counter and knead into a smooth ball, about 10 minutes. Transfer dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl. Flip to lightly coat. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Combine pork, green onions, cayenne pepper, sesame oil, and hoisin sauce in a separate bowl. Mix well and refrigerate.

Add a couple inches of water to a Dutch oven and set a bamboo steamer on top.

Poke dough down to deflate and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut dough in half and roll each half into a long tube. Divide each tube into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and press into a disk. Roll each disk until about 1/8-inch thick and 4 to 5 inches wide. Roll out edges so they are slightly thinner than the center.

Transfer a spoonful of filling onto the center of each dough circle. Pinch edges together to form multiple small pleats, moistening edges with water if needed. Squeeze pleats together at the top to seal in the filling. Place pork buns on individual squares of parchment paper. Transfer them to the cold steamer, cover, and let proof until noticeably puffed, 30 to 45 minutes.

Bring the water in the Dutch oven to a boil over high heat. Set timer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave buns covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and transfer to plate.


Hoisin Pork with Steamed Buns (Gua Bao)

This easy sautéed pork belly with hoisin goes well when served with common steamed buns, known as Chinese lotus leaf buns (a name because of the shape). Besides, you can decorate it with a fork just like this one.

There are always busy days when I just want to finish up the meat dishes of the meal in a quick way. And my favorite solution is to sauté pork, chicken or roasts a fish marinated in the previous day. I highly recommend you trying this if you have to serve a big group in the next day or you are possibly out of time for the coming meals.

You will need

  • Small chunk of pork belly or pork butt (250g)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • half of a middle size red onion
  • oil for brushing the pan

Steamed buns

  • 2 cups (250g) all purpose flour
  • 125ml water, room temperature or 150ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Other serving ingredients

  • Coriander, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Pickles, any type and minced
  • Dip sauce if you prefer

Freeze the pork belly for around 1 or 2 hours until it is firmed and then cut into thin slices, as thin as possible.

Add salt, Chinese five spice, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce and honey. Stir slowly for couple of minutes until all the pieces are well coated. Mix with red onion and cover the plate with a plastic wrapper and then refrigerate overnight.

In a sand mixer, mix flour, yeast, water(milk), sugar and salt together, mix with low speed for around 8 minutes until the dough begins to gather in a ball. Shape the dough to a round ball with hands and then cover with a wet cloth and set aside until the dough is double in size (place the dough in warm place).

Transfer the dough to a slightly floured board and then knead forcefully until there are no more small holes inside the dough. Shape the dough into a long log and then divide into 10 equal portions. (I skipped the detailed pictures for this process, if you need extra help, check Chinese steamed buns- Mantou )

Knead each of the portions for 1 or 2 minutes until they are smooth. And then roll each of the small balls to an oval like shape.

Slightly dust the oval and fold the dough over by the middle.

Place them in steamer and let it stay for 15 minutes (second proofing). In cold water days when the room temperature is quite low, turn up the fire and heat for 2-3 minutes, turn off the fire and wait for 10 to 15 minutes. After the second proofing, start the fire and steam the buns for 10 minutes after the water boils.

Brush some oil in the pan and lay the pork slices (try to spread and avoid folded pieces). And then start the fire and fry over medium to slow fire. Turn over the well-fried pieces immediately.


No steamer? No problem! This video has a great tutorial for steaming pork buns without a steamer.

Cooked buns can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge or 4-6 weeks in the freezer. To reheat the buns from frozen or refrigerated, let them come to room temperature. Steam the buns for 5-7 minutes or until hot.

Cooked buns will keep in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or 4 to 6 weeks in the freezer. To reheat: If frozen, let the buns thaw and come to room temperature if refrigerated, let them come to room temperature. Then steam the buns in bamboo steamers until very hot, 5 to 7 minutes.

You’ll also love these other Japanese recipes:

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think! I’d love it if you could add a star rating ★ and a comment below. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, too!


How to Steam Pork Buns

Line a steamer basket with parchment paper. Place buns at least 1 inch away from each other and the edge of the steamer. Start with cold water over high heat. When the water boils, steam for 15-18 minutes.

Serve the buns HOT with optional dipping sauce for more flavor (sometimes we opt for a soy sauce/chinkiang vinegar mixture). They should be savory and so so satisfying. My absolute favorite part is that the filling coats the inside of the bun – almost like a soup dumpling (xiaolongbao) – which amplifies the flavor.


Minced Pork Buns recipe - Recipes

Not too easy but not hard to make if you know how to knead bread, this is a simple meal by itself, and delicious too. This one of my favorite from childhood time, we usually have these buns on festival or family gathering, talking, eating and drinking tea, what a lovely day (even I finished consuming too many buns, I still love it). This is quite a huge recipe for a small family so I include the half recipe so you can make and enjoy them without having too much left because this bun is more delicious when freshly made. And when you have a lot of creativity, you can use other kind of filling, like custard, shrimp, sweet bean paste and etc. So, don’t be timid, give it a try and you will love to have a little ethic bun at home (and you make it by yourself too).

Note: It will be good if you can find pastry flour because the pastry flour will give the right among of gluten in this recipe but you can use half cake flour and half all purpose flour instead of the pastry flour.