When I was a little kid, I remember when we order chili pepper pork from Chinese restaurant, they mostly served with this warm glorious steamed buns with it.
I loved it so much, ended up having frozen Chinese steamed buns in our freezer. As a little kid, I didn’t even know it was possible to make it at home from scratch! lol
Now I grew up and learned so much about cooking, I had to try making Chinese steamed buns at home.
The most lovely part of this buns is so light, sweet, fluffy and just makes you a big smile when you bite into it. It is great substitute for rice, noodles or regular bread.
Also the beauty of this steamed bun recipe is can be savory or sweet if you decided to fill up with delicious filling.
I’m showing you the classic shape of Mantou, but you can shape this dough recipe as you desired.
Give enough time and be patient for rising the dough is main key of this recipe. If not, you might end up dense steamed buns and you don’t want that happen. So, do not skip any of rising step on this recipe(total 3times) and give more time if the dough rises slower some reason.
Hope you guys give this recipe a try and have fun in your kitchen~! 😀
Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou 馒头)
- Total Time: 2 hours 55 mins
- Yield: 10 steamed buns 1x
- 1/2 cup Warm milk
- 1/4 cup Warm water
- 2 Tbs. Vegetable oil
- 1 Tbs. Active dry yeast (3/4 tsp. more than 1 individual package dry yeast)
- 2 1/2 cups All purpose flour (use blenched flour if you want complete white buns)
- 1/4 cup White sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- Combine warm milk, water, oil and yeast in a mixing bowl and whisk to let yeast dissolve. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes and let yeast to activate and grow.
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- Meanwhile add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Make a well middle of dry ingredients(flour mixture) and pour wet ingredients(milk mixture).
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- Slowly incorporate dry and wet ingredients together with a spatula. When enough flour has been incorporated into wet ingredients , begin to use hands to forms a dough.
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- When dough came together and there are no dry bits left in mixing bowl, take out dough from mixing bowl to a work surface; start kneading dough with both hands. Knead dough about 5 minutes until it’s elastic, really soft and very smooth.
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- Form dough as a bowl and put it back to mixing bowl; cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour or become its double of size at warm place.
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- Push middle of dough with your index finger and reshape dough; cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise another 45 to 50 minutes at warm place.
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- Roll out dough to 1/4” thin on a work surface. Roll now-flat dough 2” wide long log. Sprinkle flour as needed, but keep it less as possible or if it’s not necessary don’t use it at all. Cut into 1” wide pieces, you will have 10 equal pieces of Mantou.
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- Place buns on paper cupcake cups. (you can also use parchment paper or coffee filter as well)
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- Arrange on a bamboo or steel steamer. (you might need 2 depending on the size of your steamer) Cover them with a clean damped kitchen towel. Let it rest for additional 30 minutes.
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- Meanwhile, fill a wok or steamer pot with water and bring it to boil over high heat. Place steamer with buns into wok or steamer pot; make sure water is not touching buns. Cover with a lid and steam for 12 to 15 minutes or until buns are fluffy and fully cooked.
- [url href=”https://seonkyounglongest.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2015-01-16-at-1.27.24-AM.png”][/url] [url href=”https://seonkyounglongest.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Screen-Shot-2015-01-16-at-1.27.33-AM.png”][/url]
- Tilt lid tiny bit for a slow air circulation for 2 to 3 minutes before open lid. If you open lid right away, nice fluffy buns will sink down on you and you don’t want that happen.
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- Serve hot, enjoy!
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- Prep Time: 2 hours 40 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
I had a questions, why we have to use baking powder? Can u tell me the reasone why? I really want to try your recipes 😀 thank u
It’s for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of the buns. 🙂
Just tried your recipe and the buns turned out wonderful!!!! My husband and I are in love with them. I will definitely make them again. This is a winner in my revipe list!
Thank you for the recipe!
That’s great! There are lots of things to do/eat with this buns, so have fun! 😀
This recipe is amazing! They are so light. Thank you!
why is oil and salt added? what does it does to the dough? Appreciate feedback
Oil will keep the dough moist and salt is basic seasoning for the dough. 🙂
what do you mean by seasoning? sorry I,m still a novice in cooking
what do you use salt for? think about it… to add flavor. duh!
what do you use salt for? think about it… to add flavor. duh!
“Duh” is not only obnoxious, but you’re wrong that its purpose is only to add flavor.
Jason, check out this link for a thorough explanation of why salt is a key ingredient in baking: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/salt.html
I love the idea of making your own steamed buns.
Thank you for the recipe !!!!
You are more than welcome! Good luck in your kitchen~!
What is the flour to liquid ratio?
If I use instant dry yeast should I still mix it with warm water and milk? Newbie here hehehehehe……
Is it possible to substitute the oil with coconut oil?
Coconut oil tempt to get harden like butter, so I don’t recumbent for this recipe. But you can use Avocado oil, it will work great! 🙂
Hi what do you mean by blenched flour?? Is there another name for it?
She probably meant bleached.
You are right, ?
Thank youu :):) They turned out wonderful
I’m so happy to hear that Zara!!
They’re amazing… Fluffy like the ones sold at convenience but this is way healthier… Can you make halal version of filled steamed buns? I just tried this recipe but dont know how to make halal fillings for it. Thank you so much for the recipe. P.S: i really like youre video. Clear and informative.
Just tried your recipe and it was a great success! Thank you for making the recipe easy to follow !! 😉
Hi there! Do you think the texture of the raw dough would be the same if I freeze them? I’d like to make a big batch but save some individual dough balls in the freezer. Thanks! 🙂
Yes, you can definitely freeze them. Just go through the recipe until right before steam it. Then Freeze it individually (If they touch each others, it will stick), and when you are ready to steam them, go ahead steam without thaw out. 🙂
Can i use soybean milk?
Yes, you can. 🙂 Just make sure it doesn’t have any flavor or sweeten.
I didn’t know it was so easy to make these type of buns! Thank you for the well laid out instructions. I had difficulty cutting the dough however so they didn’t look anyway near as nice as yours. What type of knife must I use?
Hi Liz! I always like to use chef’s knife for all purpose in my kitchen. 🙂
Hi there. If I am to use instant dry yeast. How much would I need and any change in direction? I am new to baking and first time using yeast. Thank you so much.
If you are using instant dry yeast, it’s same thing as I used- instant active dry yeast. 🙂 So just follow the recipe exact!
Thank you for the fast reply! Tried it today and it turned out great 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe.
May I just use a machine to knead instead of using hands?
Can I use a machine to knead instead?
Of course! 🙂
My wife and I experienced Chinese steamed buns for the first time last week and it was–as you said–like eating a cloud, so I am very excited about trying your recipe. I do have one question regarding short-term storage. If the dough is ready to steam in the morning, but we will not be eating until the evening, what do you recommend? Thank you so much for this recipe and the very helpful companion video.
You can steam in the morning, fully cook and then either freeze it or keep in the refrigerator and re-steam it when you are ready to eat. I tried to keep it in the refrigerator without steaming it, it just didn’t cook it right some reason. So I recommend you to cook them first before you storage it. Hope this helps!
Thank you for your quick reply and excellent information. Have a great day!
I just made the buns! Omg! They are so good! Definitely a winner recipe! Thank you for sharing!
Did you use kosher salt or regular table salt. Tried your recipe the buns came out great except they seemed a little salty.
I use kosher sea salt. 🙂
How come my bun came out with this bitterness?
Some people can taste yeast very sensitively, in that case, please use 1 tsp of yeast and let it rise longer time (about 3 to 4 hours). 🙂
Hi Annie, I know that reply is very late, but just in case you or anyone else is wondering, it is possible that you used baking soda instead of baking powder? Baking soda would result in a bitter taste.
This is yummy! I made it tonight and served it with Pata Tim or Braised Pork Leg. The Mantou turned out soft and fluffy! My whole family loved it ❤️ Thanks you again for the wonderful recipe.
YAY~! I’m so happy to hear that!!! ❤️
My dough is too sticky and hard to knead, not smooth like yours, is my flour not enough?
Sorry for my late reply!! >.<;;; If your dough is too sticky, you need to add about Tablespoon of flour at a time to adjust the texture. 🙂
Help please. My dough didn’t rise once i put it to rest. I used bread flour.
Sorry for my late reply…!!
The dough needs to be in a warm place so it will rise in double size in time. Bread flour takes a bit longer than ap flour, but it still should rise.
Can I use sesame oil or olive oil?
I don’t recommend sesame or olive oil, both have quite strong flavor and color for this recipe. 🙂
I made these and they were super delicious.
Can I add more sugar to the dough to make it sweeter? Or what can I add or do to make the buns sweeter without adding fillings? I would like for the buns to be sweeter, but I don’t know if adding more sugar will work. Thank you! And I love all your videos! They got me to start cooking again! 🙂
You can add more sure for the sweeter taste, but anymore than 3 Tbs Roni!
This is a great recipe, thank you very much, but they are a little too sweet for my taste. Do you think it possible to halve the amount of sugar in the dough or they wouldn’t rise so well?
Greetings from Italy and Merry Christmas!
You can reduce the sugar amount to your taste Raffaella! Merry Christmas~!
These freeze wonderfully. I put the buns in paper cupcake cups, let them rest for 30 minutes, then put the tray in the freezer overnight. This morning I got the steamer hot and put four in for 12 minutes and they came out PERFECTLY! Yet another Asian at Home hit – thank you!
Amazing Patrick! You are so great at cooking!!! Hot and steamy buns for breakfast, ummmm!!! I’m so jelly here!! lol
Omg I just tried to make it and Failed! I don’t have vegetable oil so I kissed coconut oil. Don’t of that is the reason…. when I combine the wet and dry ingredients to form the dough, my dough didn’t come out elastic and smooth. Hope I can sure you the picture. My mantou came out very salty and doughy….Will need to try again……
My dough was not as smooth and elastic as yours. What did I do wrong? Should I leave the yeast to activate longer? I went ahead and steamed what I did make…to my surprise I did get a steamed bun just not as fluffy and cloudy like the ones I have had. Please help! Thank you for all your recipes!!
It needs to kneed quite long time to become elastic. Also let it rise as the recipe or even longer for the better result. 🙂
If I wanted to use a combination of bread flour and cake flour, how much should I use instead? I can’t find ap flour where I live 🙁
half and half will do! 😀
I made it today. It turned out great. Soft and fluffy. My kids were crazy. Only one thing I would adjust later is amount of salt. It was a bit salty for my taste.
Thanks. I recently became your huge fan after have tried your 육개장 recipe.
I really appreciate your efforts.
I’m really happy to hear that it turned out great because steamed buns recipe is not the most easiest recipes! You did amazing, Happy cooking~!!
Hi, I’m sensitive to milk so can I just use warm water? Thanks!
You can use dairy free milk, such as soy, rice or almond milk! 🙂
Can you use fat-free milk rather than whole milk?
I tried this today #epic i’ll be making this for all my visitors. 😍😘
I have a problem. My Chinese buns became stuck to the paper cupcake cups after steaming for ~15 minutes. Is this normal (note, I used bread flour)? Should I use aluminum cupcake cups instead to avoid this problem??? Thanks!
Hi! I think your recipe is great and I’m excited to do it. However, I don’t have vegetable oil with me right now (and we’re on lockdown). Can I omit it or can I use Olive oil and just change the measurement? Thanks in advance!
Yes that should be totatlly fine!
I don’t know why but my yeast won’t bloom. But when i didn’t pour the oil and milk in. it does.
Thanks for sharing this. Great recipe but too salty. I would make this again with much less salt and more sugar. The method of rolling it up then cutting it to pieces worked really well!
I decreased the salt to 1/2 tsp. The buns were perfectly soft. It is a moreish food.
I used cut-up parchment paper and the buns did not stick. The recipe is forgiving. I substituted part of the regular milk with oat milk since I did not have enough.
This will definitely a keeper.
I decreased the salt to 1/2 tsp. The buns were perfectly soft and fluffy. The recipe is very forgiving. I didn’t have enough regular milk so I added oat milk. Parchment paper works best if you have it. The buns didn’t stick at all. Overall, excellent recipe and easy to follow. Definitely a keeper!
Hi! Should I mix the instant dry yeast to the dry ingredients or should I still mix it with the wet ingredients? Thanks! Newbie here…
Five stars! The only steamed bun recipe you need! We make these pretty regularly, and they never disappoint. The recipe is easy, and the results are delicious! Thanks, Seonkyoung, for the great recipes you share with us.
Hi! If i were to make this, and would like to eat it the next day, would you recommend fully steaming it then freezing it, or freeze it then steam it before eating the next day?