Steamed Bao – Chinese Steamed Buns

Steamed Bao by The Aimless Cook

Steamed bao are Chinese buns which are made by steaming a simple bread dough. They can be made plain or have a variety of tasty fillings like custard, meat or bean paste. In this recipe, I make the buns for my favourite Taiwanese style slider, gua bao. Enjoy!

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Combine water and milk in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Slowly stir in the water mixture, and when absorbed, stir in the shortening and vinegar. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough and let sit under plastic for 1 hour.

Makes 16 bao.

What is your mealtime staple where you live?

6 Responses to Steamed Bao – Chinese Steamed Buns

  1. Brian S says:

    We are a mixed family, I’m from a nordic background and my wife is from Mexico. That means we have 2 staples depending on who is cooking. I will tend to use some form of potatoes and my wife almost always includes a component of rice. Keeps us from getting into a rut.

  2. Kathleen DiTommaso says:

    Totally it’s rice. Always have to have a pot of rice around. Day old rice goes to stir fried rice….etc.

  3. Susan from Manhattan says:

    I love your videos. I am a self-taught chef. I commute 1 1/2 hours each way to school where I teach. I watch your videos and they help me pass the long commute. Then, I hold 10 course dinner parties and I often use some of your recipes. I will try these today and fill with some pulled pork I have, topped with hoisin and cilantro.
    I do have a question- I see many recipes use yeast. What will be the difference between chemical baking soda and the yeast? I wonder if you will ever see this :-)
    Keep up the great work. I wish I were your neighbor so I could taste everything you make!

    • Thanks so much for watching, Susan! Baking soda is basically a chemical that produces carbon dioxide during the cooking process. Yeast is a living organism that feeds on sugars but does essentially the same thing. Difference is, yeast also produces other great things as it works including aromatics and flavour compounds that add to the end product.

      I would love to have more chefs as neighbors. lol.

  4. May says:

    Can I use vegetable oil instead of vegetable shortening?

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