Vietnamese Steamed Pork Buns by Linda Hoang
Make your own Bánh bao at home
These fluffy steamed pork buns from Linda Hoang make for a great snack or main. The translation of Bánh bao from Vietnamese to English is “treat bag” or “wrapped treat”—we couldn’t agree more!
Ingredients - Filling:
Half a carrot
A handful of woodear mushrooms
Half a white onion
A stalk of green onion
About 1 lb of ground pork
A few squirts of oyster sauce
A sprinkle of sugar
Minced garlic or garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper
2 Chinese sausages
12 quail eggs hard boiled and peeled
Ingredients - Bun:
3 cups of flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup of milk
½ cup of sugar
A splash of white vinegar for the steaming water
Directions – Filling:
- Soak mushrooms for a bit in warm water. This will let them expand.
- Dice onions, carrot, mushrooms, sausage and quail eggs. Some people leave the quail eggs whole and form the filling mix around the egg so it’s in the centre of the filling ball but I prefer it just mixed in with all the filling.
- Mix all filling ingredients together.
- Form into meatball-like balls.
- Place into a steamer on parchment paper.
- Pre-cook the filling balls for about 5 mins so it doesn’t make your buns moist later, and so you know your filling is cooked!
- Set aside to be added to the buns.
Directions – Bun:
- In a bowl, warm up milk in the microwave. Add sugar to milk and mix to dissolve. Add instant yeast and mix a bit then let rest, covered for 10 minutes (yeast should look kind of frothy).
- In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, then slowly add the milk/sugar/yeast, followed by the oil. Mix and knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl but it isn’t too dry.
- Cover the dough and let rest for 1 hour or until the dough has visibly doubled in size.
Assembling the buns:
- On a floured surface, divide the dough into 12 pieces.
- Roll out the dough into a flat circle and ensure there’s enough room to place the filling ball in the middle of the rolled out dough. There should be enough dough all around the ball so when you lift it up to fold, the dough is taller than the ball.
- Fold! I am not a folding expert, but you’re trying to essentially fold pleats and be able to pinch/twist the top of the dough so the filling is fully covered.
- Place buns on individually cut parchment paper or on cupcake/muffin liners, then place in a steamer. Give them room, so depending on the size of the steamer, you may only have three buns in one.
- Be sure to add a splash of white vinegar to the steaming water. This helps give the buns a lighter/whiter appearance.
- Steam for about 15 minutes.