Several bao buns in steamer basket

Make These Soft and Fluffy BBQ Pork Bao Buns for Lunar New Year

Growing up, my dad made a big batch of baos once a year. He filled them with the traditional Vietnamese bao filling of ground pork, egg and Chinese sausage. My other memory of baos are enjoying them at Chinese restaurants on weekend mornings, the soft and pillowy outside, filled with a sweet and saucy pork filling — they’re seriously delicious! These BBQ pork bao buns are super easy and fun to make and all the reason you need to pick up that steamer basket you’ve been eyeing. Stuff them with your favourite fillings like ground chicken, beef and even tofu! Make a big batch, your future self will thank you.

bao buns in steamer basket

BBQ Pork Bao Buns

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 14 minutes
Servings: 12 bao buns

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp neutral oil
150 ml + more warm water
1 ½ cups store-bought BBQ pork, diced
3-4 Tbsp store-bought Char Siu sauce (Chinese BBQ Sauce)
2 Tbsp sliced scallions (about 2 stalks)
2 Tbsp vinegar

Equipment:

Kitchen Bamboo Steamer, Amazon, $59.

Bao bun ingredients

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough attachment, add the flour, cornstarch, sugar, yeast, salt, oil and water. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and forms one ball, about 5-8 minutes.

Roll of bao bun dough

2. Remove and place the dough on the counter and cover with the bowl for 5 minutes to rest. Cut 12 parchment paper square at 3 x 3-inches. Set on a baking sheet.

3. Dice the BBQ pork into ¼-inch bits. Place in a bowl and toss with the Char Siu sauce (just enough to coat the pork) and sliced scallions.

Bao bun filling in white bowl

4. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each piece of dough against a non-floured surface to create smooth round dough balls. Starting with one ball, keeping the rest covered, roll into roughly a 4-5-inch round.

Related: Our Most Popular Dinner Recipes That’ll Stand the Test of Time

5. Hold the dough piece in your hand, add a heaping Tbsp of the pork mixture into the centre. Start by folding the dough onto itself and pinching the dough together. Work in a circular motion, all the way around. Close the bao by gathering and pinching the dough together at the top. Place on the parchment paper square. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.

bao bun filling inside bao bun dough

Person holding bao bun with three bao buns in the background

6. Place a damp towel over top of the bao buns and place in a warm area to proof until doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes.

Uncooked bao buns on baking tray

7. In the meantime, fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and the vinegar and place the steam basket overtop. About 5 minutes before the baos are ready, bring the water to a boil on high.

8. Once the baos have doubled in size, place in the steam basket about 1 inch apart. Cover with the lid and lower to a medium heat. Let steam for about 14 minutes. If you’re unable to fit all 12 baos in the steamer, place a piece of plastic overtop of the remaining and refrigerate to prevent the dough from further proofing.

Bao buns in steamer basket

Like Sabrina’s bao buns? Try her coconut buns or caramel apple cheesecake fried wontons.

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