Steaming meaty buns

Whenever I’m paying a visit to relatives and friends in southeast Asia, I never miss out on walking by a food stall and buying myself some good old char siew baos which are steamed buns filled with amazing BBQ pork. The buns are soft and moist from the steaming and pork has a smoky yet sweet taste and is very tender. I just love and miss them. Now I’m trying to replicate them. Well at least the buns. I enjoy using my steamer and use any chance I get to see it in action and devour whatever it steams for me. What I like about these buns are that I can precook them and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. And I can take a prepacked lunch box with me to work and enjoy a nice lunch break with these fluffy little balls of heaven.

Let’s get ourselves some baos…

Time: 30 minutes and 1 hour rising time

Ingredients for 14 buns:

  • 500 gr ground meat (beef and pork)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 20 gr fresh yeast
  • 300 gr all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200 ml lukewarm water (not more than 39°C or your yeast will be doooomed 😦 )


  • Steamer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Frying pan
  • Kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Garlic press


Grab your bowl and add flour to it. Create a pit in the middle and break up your yeast into small flakes and throw them in the middle of the pit together with your 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vegetable oil and water. Use a spoon to stir the ingredients in the pit together. Cover your bowl with a dishcloth and let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes. Now Chop up your onion into tiny pieces as well as your carrot. Press your garlic and heat up your frying pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Start by frying the onions and the carrots together for about 3 minutes at a high heat and stir constantly. Then turn down the heat to medium. Now add your garlic and stir for another minute and add your ground meat. Keep stirring until the meat is all cook and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir everything well. Now back to your bowl with the soon to be dough. Mix all the flour and everything in the bowl together until you get a nice and firm non sticking dough. If it’s too sticky simply add more flour and if it is too crumbly then simply add a little more water. Now cover the bowl once more with your dishcloth and place it somewhere warm and let it rise to double it’s size. This can take up to 2 hours. Once your dough has doubled in size break it up into 14 equal pieces and roll them out into little disc with diameters of about 15 cm. Then lay the disc into your hand and add the meat concoction to the middle with a spoon (about 2 tbsp). Now lift the sides of the disc up and pinch them together so that they look like little pouches. Now steam them for about 15 minutes. Lecker smacker!


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