Steamed pork buns (baozi)

Margot Zhang
By Blogger
Credit: DR - Margot Zhang
Ingredients (4 pieces)

Pre-Fermented Dough (Make the day before)

  • 80 g all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 g baker’s yeast
  • Sugar
  • 6 cl hot water

Roast Pork (Make the day before)

  • 400 g pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon char siu sauce
  • 1 small piece white or red fermented bean curd (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Shao Xing rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sunflower oil
  • Freshly ground pepper

Filling (Make the day before)

  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Char Siu sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon water (for the starch)
  • Sesame oil
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Finishing the Dough

  • 40 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 15 ml water
  • 10 g sugar


Step 1: Pre-Fermented Dough (Make the day before)

Combine the flour and the sugar in one bowl and the hot water in the yeast in another. Allow to sit for ten minutes. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and mix together with a spoon. Knead the dough for 60 seconds. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a slightly damp dish towel, and set aside overnight at around 20 °C (no more).

Step 2: Roast Pork (Make the day before)

Combine all of the liquid ingredients in a bowl, and mix well to combine. Place the pork tenderloin in a dish, then brush with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for between 6 and 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C (thermostat 6). Remove the meat from the marinade; drain it and reserve the remaining marinade. Bake the tenderloin, and after 20 minutes, brush it with what remains of the marinade. Place the meat under the broiler and broil for 10 minutes. The meat should be nicely caramelized. Set aside.

Step 3: Filling (Make the day before)

Combine a bit of sesame oil with the soy sauces, the char siu sauce, and the water. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine.

Cut the tenderloin into a small dice, and finely chop the spring onion. Heat the sunflower oil in a pan, and sweat the onion. Pour the sauce mixture into the pan, and heat for a few seconds before adding the tenderloin.

Pour the starch slurry into the pan, and stir continuously until the mixture thickens. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside.

Step 4: Finishing the Dough

Combine the flour and the sugar, and mix them into the pre-fermented dough. Combine the baking powder and the water, then mix these into the dough as well. Mix well to combine.

Step 5: Shaping and Baking

Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Roll the dough into a sausage, and cut it into four equal parts. Roll them out to about 5 mm in thickness. Fill each round of dough with filling, then close by bringing the edges of the dough up and towards the center. Allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in a steam cooker. Place the buns into the cooker, and cook covered over high heat for eight minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for five minutes, keeping the cooker covered. Serve hot.


Make the dough and the filling the night before to save time.

This dish can also be made with beef in place of pork. To do this, make a beef stew and reduce the sauce (do not add any cream or flour to thicken). Leave just a bit of the sauce in the bottom of your pot (about 5 mm) and shred the beef into the sauce. You can also confit the beef instead. Don’t over-season the beef; you can add soy sauce to moisten and season it once shredded.