Steamed Bao - Chinese Steamed Buns

Steamed bao are Chinese buns which are made by steaming a simple bread dough. They can be made plain or have a variety of tasty fillings like custard, meat or bean paste. In this recipe, I make the buns for my favorite Taiwanese style slider, gua bao. Enjoy!


Water 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Milk 5 Tablespoon
Flour 2 1/4 Cup (36 tbs)
Sugar 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
Baking powder 3 1/4 Teaspoon
Vegetable shortening 2 Tablespoon , melted
White vinegar 1 Teaspoon
Oil 2 Teaspoon (As needed to lightly oil the surface of the bao before steaming)
To dust the surface for kneading
Flour 1/4 Cup (4 tbs) (As needed for dusting)



1. In a small cup, combine water and milk.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder.

3. Slowly stir in the water mixture, and when absorbed, stir in the melted vegetable shortening and white vinegar.

4. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. (You can also mix it using a dough hook as well)

5. Once done, let the dough sit covered in a plastic wrap for 1 hour.


6. Get a steamer ready, by taking some water in it and let the water come to a boil.

7. Roll the dough into a long cylinder, cut it into 16 equal pieces.

8. Roll the pieces into balls and further roll them into small flat ovals.

9. Lightly oil the surface, fold them over.

10.Place the prepared bao on parchment squares and steam for about 10 minutes.


11. Serve the steamed bao in a Taiwanese style slider, gua bao. Spread some hoisin sauce, sprinkled with crushed peanuts and sugar topped with a Chinese style fried chicken (or any meat that you have handy).

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Medium
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Ready In: 10 Minutes
Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 227Calories from Fat 50

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 6 g9.2%

Saturated Fat 1 g5%

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 164 mg6.83%

Total Carbohydrates 40 g13.3%

Dietary Fiber %

Sugars 13 g

Protein 4 g8%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet