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Beautiful soft steamed Chinese Bao buns are a real treat with my buttermilk fried chicken, pickled cucumber, spring onions and sweet chilli mayonnaise.

I’ve wanted to make these for a long while and while in lockdown, I’ve had time to practice some new dishes which has been great. I got this recipe from

Bao buns can seem daunting yet its a simple process and if you follow the recipe and have some time. These Bao buns are fun to make and great with all sorts of fillings like,

I made these with Buttermilk fried chicken as I thought the soft steamed Bao buns with crispy fried chicken would give great texture to the buns. I was right and with pickled cucumber, spring onions and sweet chilli mayonnaise, this was so yummy to eat.

To make the dough, you need to activate the yeast in water, milk, oil and half the sugar. Then you add to the flour, baking powder and salt and knead into a dough for at least 5-7 minutes.

Then you rest your dough for 2 hours to triple in size. Roll out with a rolling pin, cut out in 3 and half-inch circles, brush with oil, fold into moon shapes and press in the centre. Again let rest in your steaming basket for 20-30 minutes before steaming for 8 minutes.

I found this recipe to be great and would definitely say to give it a go with the buttermilk fried chicken. My mouth is watering thinking about it. Maybe time to get back in the kitchen and cook some more.

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Steamed Bao Buns

  • Author: Paul Deehan
  • Prep Time: 2hr
  • Cook Time: 8
  • Total Time: 2hr 8 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x


1/3 cup warm water

1/2 cup warm milk

1 tbsp active dry yeast

4 tbsp sugar, divided half

2 tbsp vegetable oil or avocado oil.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (use blenched flour if you want complete white buns)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt


  • Combine your warm water, milk, yeast, oil and half the sugar to ferment for 5 minutes. You will see it bubble.

  • Add the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder & salt in a mixer or bowl.
  • Once the wet ingredients have stood for 5 minutes, add to the flour & slowly mix, then knead for 5 minutes.

  • The dough should be elastic and soft. Roll into a ball and place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm. 

  • Leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours to triple in size. 
  • Take out of the bowl and roll to 1/4 inch thick with a rolling pin, use minimal flour when rolling. 

  • Cut into 3 & half inch circles with a cutter or glass. Pull away the outside dough.

  • Spray or brush with a little oil on each circled dough.

  • Fold in half like a moon shape. Will make 14-16 Bao buns.

  • Gently press with a small rolling pin just in the centre and place on greaseproof paper in a Chinese steaming basket to rise again for 30 minutes. 

  • Heat water in a pan to place your steaming baskets on.






  • Steam your Bao buns for 8 minutes to fluffy and cooked.
  • Fill with your choice of filling.

I filled mine with buttermilk fried chicken, pickled cucumber, spring onion with sweet chilli mayonnaise. 


How to cut the greaseproof paper

(makes sure the water is not too hot as this will kill the yeast)

Recipe from & Youtube video

Keywords: Steamed Bao Buns

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