BAOZI Pan-fried Steamed Bao Buns

These dumplings are perhaps the most perfect single bite of food ever prepared by me. Its tasty, juicy, soft, fluffy and super comforting. Making your own steamed bun is great because you get to decide which delicious fillings you are going to make. Unlike a regular dumpling dough which is made from water and flour, bao calls for a leavened dough which involves the use of yeast. The wrapper rises during the process of steaming which gives it its fluffy texture.


  • For the Dough
  • 1.5 Tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 Tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 1.5 Cups Lukewarm Water
  • 5 Cups All-Purpose Flour/Whole Wheat Flour (take a little extra for kneading and rolling)
  • For the Filling
  • 500 gms Minced Chicken (you can substitute with chopped cabbage, mushrooms, cottage cheese or prawns)
  • 3 Tbsps Water
  • 3 Tbsps Vegetable Oil 
  • 2 Tbsps Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Spring Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsps Dark Soy Sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsps Red Chilli Paste/Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 2 Large Onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tsp White Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Sesame Oil/Olive Oil (or any other vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Corn-Starch (mixed with 1 tbsp water)
  • For the Dipping Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sichuan Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Light Soy
  • 1 Tsp Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Chilli (finely chopped)
  • Coriander (finely chopped)
  • Spring Onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar/Honey


Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes

  1. To prepare the dough, mix flour, yeast, sugar and oil in a bowl. Pour water little by a little while mixing (the flour-water ratio may vary slightly depending on the brand of your flour, so feel free to adjust). Combine and knead with your hands until a very smooth dough is formed, with no cracks (you may use a stand mixer with a dough hook instead and knead for 10 minutes on a low speed). Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rest for a minimum 40 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the room temperature and until double in size.
  2. To prepare the filling, add all the ingredients under ‘filling’ apart from the coriander and spring onion to a large bowl and mix well. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready for use. Add the coriander and spring onions at the end right before filling the dumplings.
  3. To prepare the dipping sauce, add all the ingredients under ‘dipping sauce’ to a bowl and mix well. Cover and let the chilies rest in the sauce for a good 30 minutes before serving.
  4. After the dough has proofed, knead until it goes back to its original size to shape the bao dumplings.
  5. Divide the dough into 20 equal portions. Take one and roll it into a circle, approximately 10cm in diameter, rolling the outer edge slightly thinner than the centre. (The goal is to flatten the dough into a circle with a thinner edge and thicker centre. The difference in thickness should be about 1:2)
  6. Put the dough circle in your hand and stuff it with 2 heaped tbsp of the filling. Using your thumb and finger, pinch the dough to create the first pleat (this will be the central point to which you bring all the other pleats). Gather another edge and draw around to pleat. Repeat, slowly rotating, until sealed. Do the same with the remaining dough and filling. (If you’d rather not pleat the buns at all, simply pinch the edges of dough around the filling and pinch to seal tightly).
  7. Lay the buns on a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured surface and leave all the assembled buns to rest for another 20 minutes.
  8. To prepare the baozi, heat a non-stick pan or skillet on medium heat and add some oil to it. Make sure to cover the surface of the pan evenly with oil. 
  9. Then place the dumplings flat side down and lets it cook. (Make sure you do not place the dumplings unless the oil is hot and should be a little spaced out as they will rise while cooking). Depending on the size of your pan you may have to do this in batches. Let it cook for about 4-5 minutes until the surface is a nice golden brown and starts developing a crispy texture.
  10. Add 1/2 cup or 150 ml of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Do not pour water over the dumplings. Cook for 9-10 minutes on medium to low heat until the dough is slightly translucent and the filling is cooked.
  11. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, spring onions and serve with the dipping sauce.