Steamed Bao Buns
These steamed bao buns are one of our favorite dishes to prepare for a romantic evening at home together. While Jack is preparing the dough, I am preparing the filling. Then it’s time to eat! Steamed bao bun preparation is our notion of the ultimate Valentine’s Day date. Let me explain. Jack and I adore dining out, but we never do so on Valentine’s Day. The restaurants are more busy, the food is more costly, and we always end up having a better time at home instead of at the restaurant. Consequently, we forego the crowds and celebrate simply by spending quality time together creating something we both like.
If you ask me, they’re the perfect cookery project for a couple to do together.
Then mix the two ingredients to create a delectable date-night supper!
Making these bao buns would be a wonderful hobby to do with friends, a partner, or even by yourself on any given night.
They are transformed into little bursts of texture and taste when stuffed with spicy marinated tempeh, avocado, and a slew of fresh toppings.
How to Make Steamed Bao Buns
Are you ready to start cooking? What you need to do is as follows: To begin, prepare the dough. Combine the dry yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large mixing bowl and let aside for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to bubble. Next, in a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients, then add the yeast mixture and avocado oil. Stir well to blend. Form a rough ball out of the mixture. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it vigorously for approximately 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic in texture.
After the dough has risen, cut out the bao buns with a sharp knife.
Then, using a drinking glass, cut out three-inch circles of dough and lay each one on a sheet of parchment paper to set aside.
Wrap the buns in plastic wrap and set them aside to rise for another hour or two.
Finally, get to cooking! Each bun should remain on its paper square until it is transferred to a bamboo steamer placed over an inch of boiling water. Cover and steam for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the rice is puffed. That’s all there is to it!
Bao Buns Filling
Traditional bao buns are stuffed with seasoned pork belly, but I choose to use a plant-based filling instead of the traditional meat. Making sweet and savory hoisin tempeh using my preferred tempeh cooking method (steaming, marinating, and baking) is easy! Tofu that has been marinated and baked would be a fantastic addition to this dish as well. While the tempeh bakes, I prepare the fresh vegetable toppings by washing and slicing them. This dish is always served with thinly sliced carrot and/or cucumber, fresh cilantro or mint, avocado, chilies, and sesame seeds on top.
Immediately after taking them out of the steamer, stuff them with the filling because they are at their finest when they are warm and tender.
Bao Bun Recipe Tips
- Make use of a neutral oil. In my recipes, I nearly always ask for extra-virgin olive oil, but I prefer avocado oil in this situation. Because of its neutral flavor, it helps the rich fillings in this dish to really stand out. If you are unable to locate avocado oil, use another neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil, for it. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon at a time of water until it is moistened. This bao bun recipe yields a tough dough, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few minutes longer to create a ball than expected. The dough should be moist enough to hold together, but not too moist. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. Because yeast responds to heat, it is preferable to allow your dough to rise in a warm environment to achieve the greatest results. We prefer to set ours up on a sunny ledge, and we like to serve the bao buns hot from the steamer as well. The steamed buns are at their finest right after they’ve been taken off the heat, while they’re still soft and supple. If you have any leftover buns, they may be frozen.
More Favorite Date Night Recipes
If you and your spouse like cooking together, consider one of these enjoyable culinary projects next:
- Maki Sushi
- Fresh spring rolls or avocado summer rolls
- Baked green chile tacos
- Crispy baked falafel with pickled onions and tahini sauce
- Baked green chile tacos Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
For even more Valentine’s Day inspiration, check out my25 Best Pasta Recipes or Favorite Vegan Desserts collections. Preparation time: 2 hours and 15 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Serves12buns These steamed bao buns are really tasty and a lot of fun to put together! With fragrant marinated tempeh and plenty of fresh ingredients, I stuff the soft, fluffy buns with deliciousness!
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 12 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water, 110°
- 212 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 14 cup avocado oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Avocado slices
- 8 ounces tempeh, divided into 12 strips and cooked
- 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon lime zest Cucumber and/or carrot slices, if desired
- Mint or cilantro are good choices. Thai chilies, diced
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Thai basil
- Avocado slices
- 8 ounces tempeh, divided into 12 strips and cooked
- 6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon lime zest Cucumber and/or carrot slices, if desired. Mint or cilantro are both good choices here. Thai chilies, diced
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Thai basil.
The recipe for the buns was borrowed from The Elizabeth Street Café Cookbook.
How To Make Bao Buns – Mantou Chinese Steamed Buns
Photograph courtesy of Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table A variety of delectable fillings are used to assemble these Chinese-style buns by Johanna Ware, owner ofSmallwares in Portland, Oregon. Ware steams the buns to a light and fluffy perfection, but you may also fry them if you so like. Fun fact: When the buns are fried plain, they are referred to as mantou, and when they are filled, they are referred to as baozi. More information may be found in the book ” Breaking Bao.” Johanna Ware, Smallwares, Portland, OR, provided the inspiration for this recipe.
- A total of 133 cup warm water, 2 teaspoons quick yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon canola oil, and 114 cups whole wheat bread flour, plus more flour as needed 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 14 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- A total of 133 cup warm water, 2 teaspoons instant yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon canola oil, and 114 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed one-fourth teaspoon baking soda
- One-fourth teaspoon kosher salt
|Calories per Serving||66|
|Total Fat||1.3 g|
|Saturated Fat||0.1 g|
|Trans Fat||0.0 g|
|Total Carbohydrates||11.7 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0.5 g|
|Total Sugars||2.0 g|
Edamam’s best guess based on available ingredients and cooking methods is represented in the table above. It should not be construed as a substitute for the advice of a licensed professional nutritionist.
How to make Bao
As of August 2021, this post has been updated to reflect current information. I’ve decided to donate all of the advertising money produced by this blog article in the wake of recent racially motivated attacks and hate crimes against Asian people (any previous ad revenue generated in 2021 as well as revenue from the remainder of 2021) A network for East and South East Asian individuals in the United Kingdom is tobesea.n. As well as other essential efforts to achieve equity for this marginalized community, they aim to combat negative perceptions and give materials to promote a positive depiction of ESEA persons in the United Kingdom media.
These soft and fluffy steamed buns are really tasty, and they’re typically not too expensive to buy in large quantities.
Because the prospect of steaming bread might be intimidating, I’ve gone into as much detail as I possibly can here. My family and I have cooked these several times at home, and while I am by no means an expert, I believe I can provide some suggestions based on what I have learned.
- Videos on how to roll and shape bao
- A bao recipe What is a bao bun, and where can I get one? Is it possible to create vegan bao? What is the best way to steam bao? Is it possible to freeze bao? What is the best way to reheat frozen bao? What is the best way to keep steamed buns warm? What’s up with my bao? It’s not white. Is it possible to produce wholewheat bao?
A version of this recipe was adapted from School of Wok By Jeremy Pang.
- The following ingredients: 420g (3 1/2 cups) plain white flour (all-purpose flour), plus more flour for kneading
- 2 1/4 tsp (1/4 oz or 7g) quick bake yeast (instant yeast)
- 2 1/4 tsp (1/4 oz or 7g) instant yeast
- Baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 250 g (1 cup) warm water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus enough for the bowl and brushing
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
Make the doughfirst rise:
- In a large mixing basin, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir everything together to ensure that it is well-combined. To make a rough dough, combine the warm water and vegetable oil in a mixing basin until it comes together. Empty the contents of the bowl onto a work surface and knead them together, sprinkling gently with more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the surface (just try to add as little extra flour as possible). Knead the dough for around 10 minutes
- It will be slightly sticky and rather soft, but it should be flexible and smooth when finished. A stand mixer with the dough hook attachment can also be used to make the dough, if that is what you prefer. Extra vegetable oil should be poured into the bowl you were previously using. Toss the dough into the pan and flip to coat it with oil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 1 hour to rise until doubled in volume (I put it in my oven with the door closed and a baking tray full of boiling water on the rack below – this creates an ideal warm, steamy atmosphere for the dough to rise in)
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto your work area and pat it into a broad rectangle with your hands. Sprinkle the baking powder evenly over the surface of the dough, roll it up, and then knead for another 5 minutes to ensure that all of the baking powder is integrated.
Shape the bunssecond rise:
- Divide the dough into 20 pieces that are equal in size. Toss each one of them into a ball and sprinkle them with more flour as required to keep them from sticking to the work surface
- Make 20 pieces of baking paper, each about 3.5 inches (9 cm) wide
- Assemble the squares as follows: Take each ball of dough and flatten it out into an oval approximately 3.5 by 4.5 inches in size, then cut it into squares (9 x 12 cm). Vegetable oil should be lightly brushed onto the surface of each oval before baking it. Each oval should be folded in half to form a half-moon shape. Place the individual squares of baking paper on top of the molds. Allow them to rise for 20 minutes on your counter to allow them to get a little puffy
Steam the buns:
- Remove some of the raised buns from the oven and gently place them into your bamboo steamer – I can fit 3 buns in each tier of my steamer, for a total of 6 buns. Make cautious not to squash the buns when you do this, so drop them into the pan by grabbing the corners of the baking paper square with your fingers. Leaving room for expansion is also important since the buns will rise even higher after they are steamed
- Be careful not to let them touch one other or the rims of your steamer or they will cling together. Place the remaining raised buns on a baking sheet and place them in the refrigerator to prevent them from overproofing while the first batch steams
- Fill a broad saucepan halfway with water, about 1 inch (3 cm) deep. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then drop the bamboo steamer into the pot and cover it with the lid. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the buns steam for 6 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Allow it to cool somewhat before removing it from the steamer so that you can steam the next batch
- You may need to top up the water to keep the steamer from running out of water (you may take the dough right from the fridge, there is no need to let it warm up beforehand)
- Eat the buns while they’re still warm! You may reheat them once more by steaming them for about 2 minutes longer if they have cooled down.
- Steam all of the buns according to the directions above. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before placing it on a baking sheet (with the baking paper squares still attached). Place the tray in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until it is firm. Place the frozen buns in a resealable plastic bag that has been labeled and dated. Keep frozen for up to 3 months
- To reheat, insert frozen buns into a steamer and steam until warm. Steam for 5-8 minutes, or until the interior is boiling hot.
- If you don’t have easy bake/instant yeast, you may substitute melted butter or lard in lieu of the vegetable oil if you want a softer outcome. If you don’t have easy bake/instant yeast, you can substitute a dry yeast mix in place of the water in the dough. In a large mixing basin, combine the yeast and warm water
- Leave aside for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to bubble up before pouring into the flour, salt, sugar, and oil mixture.
What is a bao bun?
To be honest, naming these bao buns is inaccurate (bao is a Chinese word that meaning bun, so calling them bao buns would be like calling them bun buns). They’re commonly referred to as gua bao, but they’re also referred to be Taiwanese hamburgers in some circles. Although its popularity in the West has expanded with the redundant term bao buns, we find ourselves in this situation. The most common filling is glazed pork belly, although you can very much stuff them with anything you want. In terms of vegetarian fillings, I believe the following formula works well: grilled/deep fried veggies (or tofu/seitan) + anything crunchy (lettuce, carrot ribbons, shredded cabbage) with sauce + pickles (kimchi, red onion/radish, kraut).
Where can I buy bao?
Bao buns are actually incorrectly referred to as such (bao is a Chinese word that means bun, so it would be equivalent to saying “bun bun”). Although they’re commonly referred to as gua bao, Taiwanese hamburgers are also occasionally used to refer to them. Although their popularity in the West has expanded with the redundant term bao buns, we find ourselves in this position. The most common filling is glazed pork belly, although you can very much stuff them with anything you choose. In terms of vegetarian fillings, I believe the following formula works well: grilled or deep-fried veggies (or tofu/seitan) + anything crunchy (lettuce, carrot ribbons, shredded cabbage) with sauce + pickles (kimchi, red onion/radish, kraut).
Can I make vegan bao?
Yes! Unless otherwise specified, the dish following is vegan (with non-vegan substitutions available if desired). Because I only use water and vegetable oil in this recipe, it is quite simple to prepare. In addition, they are just as fluffy and soft as the ones made with milk and cream. In addition, I have a few of vegan filling options: –Bao with Grilled Asparagus–Bao with Gochujang Tofu
How do you steam bao?
When I lived in Leeds, I bought a 2-layer bamboo steamer from a Korean grocery, which I still have. Online or at bigger Korean, Chinese, or Japanese food stores are good places to look for them. In the absence of a bamboo steamer, a metal steamer will suffice; however, you will not be able to fit as many buns into it as you would with a bamboo steamer (as they are stackable). In order to properly steam bamboo, set the steamer into a large saucepan or pot that it can fit comfortably inside. Fill the pan halfway with water; I normally fill it to about an inch deep and top it off as required while steaming to keep it from drying out.
The most crucial is that the water level does not rise over the base of the steamer, since you do not want the water to come into direct touch with whatever is in the steamer.
Cover with the lid and steam for 20-30 minutes.
Allow the buns to steam for 5-6 minutes before removing the cover to prevent the buns from being overcooked. I use a pair of kitchen tongs to carefully remove each layer of the bamboo steamer from the pan in order to avoid being burned by the steam.
Can you freeze bao and can you reheat frozen ones?
When I make bao, I normally prepare a large batch so that I can freeze the majority of them for later use as quick meals. To accomplish this, steam all of the bao per to package directions. Once they are all lined up on a baking sheet, leave the small paper square on the bottom of each bun so that it may be used to warm them later. Freeze the buns for 1-2 hours on a baking sheet before transferring them to a resealable bag. Make a note of the date and label them for future reference. You may reheat the bao straight from the freezer; simply place a couple into your steamer and steam for 5-8 minutes, or until the bao is heated in the center.
How do you keep steamed buns warm?
Keep them steaming in the bamboo steamer with the cover well closed. They should remain heated in this position for around 10 minutes. Cooking all of the bao ahead of time and reheating them one at a time by steaming for 1-2 minutes before serving them is my preferred method when serving them for supper. As a result, you will always have hot ones to eat.
Why are my bao not white?
The addition of baking powder/bicarbonate of soda to the dough may result in the dough being yellow after it has been steamed. If you don’t properly knead the baking powder into the dough, you may notice that the buns will have small yellow spots on them (this is only an aesthetic issue; the buns will still taste delicious). If you use unbleached flour, which is what most people in the UK use, your buns will not be as white as they may be, which is why they are yellow. If you’re truly wanting that pure white appearance, you may purchase bleached white flour from various Chinese grocery chains.
Can I make wholewheat bao?
Yes! Simply use wholemeal (wholewheat) bread flour for one-third of the flour in the following recipe. They’ll be a little denser and chewier than usual, but they’ll still be wonderful. The use of 50% or 100% wholemeal flour would result in buns that are overly thick and lack fluffiness; this is something I would avoid.
Steamed bao buns
- 525g plain flour, with a little more for dusting
- 525g butter
- 12-tablespoon caster sugar, plus a pinch
- 1 teaspoon quick-action dry yeast
- 50mL milk, 1 tablespoon sunflower oil, plus additional for brushing on top and rubbing on the bottom of the bowl
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- STEP 1Combine the flour, caster sugar, and 12 tsp salt in a large mixing basin until well combined (see tip). 1 tbsp warm water to dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar, then add it to the flour along with the milk, sunflower oil, rice vinegar, and 200ml water to make a dough. Bring everything together to form a dough, adding a little extra water if necessary
- STEP 2Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Placing the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and covering it with a damp cloth, allow it to rise for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. TO COMPLETE STEP 3: Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Rolling out with your hands to flatten the dough, sprinkle over the baking powder, and knead for 5 minutes
- SIXTH STEP: Roll out the dough into a long sausage form that is approximately 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are approximately 3cm broad – you should have 18 pieces total. Roll each piece of dough into a ball in the palm of your hand and let aside to rest for 2-3 minutes
- Then, one by one, using a rolling pin, roll out each ball into an oval shape that is approximately 3-4mm thick. Oil the dough ovals’ surfaces with a pastry brush, then brush a little oil over the end of a chopstick. Place a greased chopstick in the center of each oval and press down. STEP 6Cut 18 squares of baking paper and place a bun on each square. Fold the dough over the chopstick and slowly take the chopstick out of the dough. Transfer to a baking pan, cover with a clean tea towel, and let to prove in a warm area for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in size
- STEP 7: Preheat a large steamer over a medium-high heat until it is steaming. To steam the buns, steam them for 8 minutes, or until they are puffed up (you will need to do this in batches). Open each bun and stuff with our barbecued pork and pickled carrot mooli (recipe below). Consume them when they are still warm.
STEP 1In a large mixing basin, combine the flour, caster sugar, and 12 teaspoon salt (see tip). In 1 tablespoon warm water, dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar, then whisk in the milk, sunflower oil, rice vinegar, and 200ml water until the dough comes together. Bring everything together to form a dough, adding a bit more water if necessary. STEP 2Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work area and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until it is completely smooth. Placing the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covering with a damp cloth, and allowing it to rise for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size The dough should be poured onto a clean work area and punched down.
- ; SIXTH STEP: Roll out the dough into a long sausage form that is about 3cm thick, then cut it into pieces that are about 3cm wide – you should have approximately 18 pieces in total.
- Then, one by one, flatten out each ball into an oval form that is approximately 3-4mm thick, using a rolling pin.
- The center of each oval should be occupied by the lubricated chopstick.
- Fold the dough over the chopstick, then carefully pull the chopstick out.
You’ll need to steam the buns in batches for 8 minutes, or until they’re puffy. Tear each bun in half and stuff with our barbecued pork and pickled carrots. While they’re still warm, eat them right away.
FREEZING THE BUNS
The buns can be frozen once they have been cooked. Simply reheat in a steamer once it has been defrosted.
Goes well with
Recipe adapted from the February 2015 issue of Good Food magazine.
The BEST Bao Buns Recipe & Video
- 1/3 cupwarm water
- 1/2 cupwarm milk
- 1 tbspactive dry yeast
- 4 tbsp sugar, divided in half
- 2 tbspavocado, vegetable or canola oil
- 2 1/2 cupsall purpose flour (use blenched flour if you want completely white buns)
- 1/2 tspbaking powder
- 1/4 tspsalt
- 2 1/2 cups
- Warm the water, milk, active yeast, sugar, and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine the yeast and sugar, then set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to let the yeast to active. In the meantime, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. You may also build something with your hand if you like
- The wet components should be added to the dry ingredients combination. Begin by mixing on a low speed to slowly combine all of the ingredients together, then increase the speed to medium until the mixture forms a dough shape. For 3 to 4 minutes at a medium tempo, keep your knees bent. The dough should be elastic and extremely soft, but it should not stick to your fingers or to the mixing bowl
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape it into a ball with your hands. Location the dough back in the mixing basin, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has tripled in size. Allow it to rest for an additional 15 minutes if necessary
- Place the rising dough on a working surface. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle four is not required, but if you do, make sure you use the smallest amount possible. Using a ring mold or a glass, cut a 3 1/2-inch circle out of the dough (I used a wine glass). This recipe will yield between 14 and 16 baos. Fold the baos in half, making a half moon shape, after lightly brushing or spraying oil on one side of them. Gently press each bao with a roller before placing them in a steamer coated with parchment paper or coffee filters. Add a further 30 minutes of resting time by covering with a lid
- In the meantime, heat water in a wok or steamer pot until it is boiling. Place the steamer with the baos on top of the wok/pot of boiling water with care. Make certain that water does not get into contact with the baos. Steam for 8 to 12 minutes under a tight-fitting lid. Cooking is complete when the lid is tilted just a little to allow for gradual air circulation for around 2 to 3 minutes before removing the cover. To keep the dough from adhering to the coffee filter, spray it with water first. As an accompaniment or as a sandwich, this bao is delicious! Enjoy
Savory Buns, Steamed Buns, and Bao are some of the words that come to mind while thinking of Bao.
Detailed instructions and photographs on how to create the ideal, soft, and fluffy steamed bao buns. To create the ultimate handmade bao buns, follow these tips and methods. They’ll be excellent for stuffing with your favorite fillings. In this section, you will find methods for steaming bao buns on the stovetop and in a steam oven.
It was about 2004 that David Chang introduced his version of Pork Belly Buns to the menu of his restaurant, Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, and no one could have imagined that the modest bao buns would go on to become an international gastronomic sensation. Even I made a point of getting a table at Momofuku every time I was in New York, no matter how lengthy the line was. His concept of transforming a normal bao bun into a sandwich or hamburger of sorts, packed with delicious pork belly and a simple garnish of pickled cucumbers, was absolutely brilliant to me.
Homemade Bao Buns
Bao buns were not to be found in Zurich’s stores or restaurants (and this is still the case in 2019! ), so I set out to make my own using a recipe from David Chang’s cookbook, Momofuku, to make steamed bao buns from scratch. After a few years of experimentation (David Chang’s bao bun recipe yields almost 50 buns! ), I settled on the recipe below, which I use on a regular basis throughout the year.
Why This Recipe Works
- Bao buns are a steamed bun that is light, fluffy, and pillowy in texture, and they are ideal for stuffing with your favorite ingredients. Make the bao buns anyway you like using this recipe
- It’s all up to you. This recipe may be used to make bao buns that are filled or stuffed. Once the buns have been rolled out, all that is left to do is fill and shape them before allowing them to rise for the second time according to the instructions. After they’ve been cooked, the bao buns may be frozen and then warmed in the steamer
Buns are traditionally circular in form, with a filling that is either char siu or minced pork mixed with slices of Chinese lap cheong sausage and boiled egg. Char siu pork is the most common filling, although other fillings are also popular. Steamed buns can also be cooked simple, that is, without any filling, to serve as an appetizer. Traditionally, in my family, we prepare simple steamed buns, which are circular in form and tied at the top with a twisted knot, to go with roast duck on Sundays.
Bao Buns Recipe
If you’re lucky, your local Asian supermarket may have pre-made bao buns in the freezer part of their establishment. It is possible that this simple bao bun recipe will need some planning and preparation, but you will be rewarded with delectably fluffy handmade buns that will thrill everyone who tries them.
How to Make Bao Buns
Bao buns are made with both yeast and baking powder, which helps the buns rise to their full potential. Begin by combining all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing basin and mixing well. Then, using a measuring jug, pour the heated water and oil into the pan. The water should be somewhat warmer than lukewarm in order to aid in the activation of the yeast, but it should not be boiling hot.
The dough for my bao buns is made in my electric stand-mixer; however, you may certainly create everything by hand if you so choose. Using a dough hook on a medium speed, incorporate the liquid components into the dry ones. If you are using a different type of flour than that specified in the recipe, you may require more or less liquid than that specified. You just need a small amount of liquid to bring everything together into a soft dough.
Next, with the mixer still running on medium speed, knead the dough until it is soft and smooth to the touch. This should take around 10 minutes with a stand mixer on medium speed, or approximately 5 minutes if done manually.
After the dough has become soft and smooth, I recommend kneading it by hand for a few more minutes on the kitchen counter top to finish it off. In order to determine whether the dough is ready, push your finger into the dough and produce an imprint in the dough. If the dough bounces back, it indicates that it is ready. If the imprint is still visible, you will need to knead the dough a little longer. Place the ball of dough back into the (clean) mixing basin and set the bowl somewhere warm for around 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size, to rise and expand.
As soon as the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead it by hand for around 5 minutes to remove any air bubbles that may have formed in the dough. Afterwards, roll out the dough until it is approximately one centimeter in height. Rub a little amount of oil onto the surface of the dough with your hands. Using this method, you will be able to avoid the dough from sticking together later on while shaping the buns.
To cut out rounds from the dough, use an 8 cm (3 inch) diameter cookie cutter. Continue to re-roll the dough as needed until you have used up all of the dough in the recipe.
Place the rounds on a small sheet of baking paper – I prefer to use simple white cupcake wrappers that I flatten with a rolling pin to make them easier to handle. This saves me the time and effort of having to cut a sheet of baking paper into little pieces before using it. Then, using a rolling pin, carefully flatten the dough to make the bun shape. Repeat with the remaining rounds.
Set everything on a big baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and set it aside somewhere warm for approximately 30 minutes to let the buns to rise again and become more puffed. It should have taken around 10 minutes for the bao buns to rise somewhat and puff out a little.
In the meantime, heat the steamer on the stovetop (see notes below). The buns should be steamed in batches for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are fluffy and soft, and the insides are cooked through.
How to Proof Dough
The yeast in the dough must be activated in a warm atmosphere in order for the dough to rise properly. You might try one of the following suggestions if you don’t have a warm spot in your house:
- In the oven with the oven light turned on (this is only applicable to certain ovens)
- On the lowest shelf of the oven, there is a baking plate filled with boiling water. Use around 1 litre (4 cups) of water, then top it up after approximately 1 hour of cooking
- Cook at a low temperature of around 25-40°C (77-104°F) in the oven or a steamer oven
How to Steam Bao Buns
- Using a bamboo steamer to steam bao buns is a terrific way to save money, and Asian grocery shops usually have a big selection of sizes available at reasonable costs. Aside from the low cost, another advantage of bamboo steamers is that they are attractive when used to serve food at the table. I recommend that you get the largest steamer that will fit your saucepan and stovetop. In order for it to work properly, the bamboo steamer must be the same size as the saucepan you are using below it. To illustrate this point further, if you are using a bamboo steamer with a diameter of 12 inches, your saucepan should likewise be 12 inches in diameter
- If you plan to make bao buns (or even dumplings) on a regular basis, I recommend purchasing at least two steamer baskets that can be stacked on top of each other to reduce cooking (and waiting) time
- If you plan to make dumplings, I recommend purchasing at least two steamer baskets that can be stacked on top of each other. For those who are serious about creating bao buns, I recommend investing in a multi-tiered metal or stainless steel steamer, which can be found at most Asian grocery shops or online. These are also available in a variety of sizes and have the added benefit of being dishwasher-safe
- Fill the saucepan about one-third of the way with boiling water, and then lay the steamer baskets on top of that. Place the pot with the steamer baskets on the stove over a low-medium heat and cook for 10 minutes. There is a chance that the bao buns will overcook or even turn soggy if you steam them at a high enough temperature
- However, if you steam them at a lower temperature, the buns will be OK. Place the bao buns in each steamer basket, leaving enough space between them for them to rise and expand during cooking. Cover and steam for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until the buns have risen and are light and fluffy when opened.
Tips For Making Bao Buns
- Plain flour (all-purpose flour) is fine for this recipe, since the cornflour (cornstarch) will aid in giving the buns a light and fluffy texture due to the use of cornstarch. It is not necessary for the buns to be a blinding white as those available in Chinese restaurants
- Nonetheless, the taste and texture should remain the same. To get the pure white appearance of buns found in Chinese restaurants, I recommend using bleached flour, which can be obtained at Asian grocery shops or online. In order for the dough to rise properly, it must be kneaded for the necessary period of time. It is possible that failing to knead the dough adequately can result in buns that are blotchy in appearance (but still taste delicious), and this is due to not mixing the ingredients together well enough and/or failing to remove all of of the air bubbles from the dough. To prevent the buns from becoming soggy, steam them on a low-medium heat until they are just cooked through.
How to Make Steamed Bao Buns with a Steam Oven
The following methods should be followed for proving the dough as well as steaming the bao buns in an electric steam oven or a combi-steam oven:
- First Proof: Place the dough in a large basin that has been gently greased and let aside for 30 minutes. Use some cling film or a disposable bowl cover to keep the contents of the bowl safe. For approximately 1.5 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size, proof the dough in the steam oven/combi-steam oven at 40°C / 104°F
- First, form the bao buns and set them on a tiny piece of baking paper each, then transfer them to a big tray that will fit inside your steam oven/combi-steam oven. Second, proof the bao buns. I can put a big sheet pan into my steam oven, which will adequately accommodate 12 bao buns. There is no need to wrap the buns with plastic wrap. Proof the bao buns in their formed forms at 40°C / 104°F for around 30 minutes, or until the buns have swelled up significantly
- Steaming the Bao Buns: Remove the tray of bao buns from the steam oven/combi-steam oven and place it on a baking sheet. Raise the temperature to 100°C / 212°F if necessary. As soon as the steam oven/combi-steam oven has reached the desired temperature, return the tray of bao buns to the oven and steam them for 10-12 minutes.
Freezing Bao Buns
Bao buns are ideally consumed fresh, and as soon as they are steamed, if at all possible. Bao buns can be preserved in zip-lock bags in the freezer for up to two months if they are not used immediately. To reheat frozen bao buns, just steam them for about 5 minutes, or until they are thoroughly warmed through.
What to Serve with Bao Buns
One of my favorite ways to serve bao buns is to stuff them with char siu pork and pickled veggies that I make in a flash.
For further information, please refer to my recipe for Sticky Pork Bao Buns. Other excellent toppings for bao buns include the following: Braised Short Ribs with Asian Flavors Pickled Chillies, Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu Pork), and other condiments Print
Steamed Bao Buns
Instructions on how to create the ideal, soft and fluffy steamed bao buns, complete with images. To create the ultimate handmade bao buns, follow these tips and methods. They’ll be excellent for stuffing with your favorite fillings. There are directions for steaming the bao buns on the stovetop and in a steam oven included in the recipe.
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour (all-purpose flour) or unbleached flour
- 125 g (1 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 5 tablespoonscaster sugar (super-fine sugar)
- 1 teaspooninstant yeast (also known as instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) (see Kitchen Notes)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) warm water
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil, plus extra
- 300 g (2 cups) plain flour (
In order to prepare the buns
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric stand-mixer (if using), combine all of the dry ingredients
- Mix well. Using a measuring jug, pour the heated water and oil into the pan. The water should be somewhat warmer than lukewarm in order to aid in the activation of the yeast, but it should not be boiling hot. Mixing the liquid components into the dry ingredients using the dough hook at a medium speed is recommended. If you are using a different sort of flour than what is specified in the recipe, you may require more or less liquid than is specified in it. Continue kneading the dough on medium speed until the dough becomes soft and silky to the touch until you’ve achieved a sticky dough consistency. This should take around 10 minutes with a stand mixer on medium speed, or approximately 5 minutes if done manually. After the dough has become soft and smooth, I recommend kneading it by hand for a few more minutes on the kitchen counter top until it is elastic. Replacing the ball of dough in the (now-empty) mixing bowl
- Use some cling film or a disposable bowl cover to keep the bowl covered. Placing the bowl in a warm location for 60 to 90 minutes will allow the dough to rise and double in size.
In order to form the buns
- To remove any air bubbles that may have formed in the dough, punch it back and knead it by hand for around 5 minutes after it has doubled its size. Then, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is approximately 1 cm in height. Rub a little oil into the surface of the dough with your hands
- To cut out rounds from the dough, use an 8 cm (3 inch) cookie cutter. Re-roll the dough as many times as necessary. Place these circles on a small piece of baking paper – I prefer to use simple white cupcake wrappers that I flatten with a rolling pin – and set them aside to dry. Fold each circle in half and then gently flatten the dough with a rolling pin to make the bun shape
- Set everything on a big baking sheet, cover with a tea towel, and set it aside somewhere warm for approximately 30 minutes to let the buns to rise again and become more puffed. After this period of time, the bao buns should have inflated up a little.
In order to steam the buns
- In the meantime, prepare the steamer on the stove (see the Kitchen Notes section below). Puff and soften the buns by steaming them in batches for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are completely cooked through
- Serve the buns as soon as possible.
The many types of yeast* Please keep in mind that there is a difference between instant yeast (also known as quick dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) anddried yeast while baking (also calledactive dry yeast). When in doubt about the sort of yeast you have, look for instructions on how to utilize it on the package. If you use instant yeast, you may add it right to the flour mixture without having to wait for it to activate first. If you don’t have instant yeast, I would recommend using the same quantity of dried yeast as you would with instant yeast.
- Combine the dry ingredients in the recipe above with the yeast mixture and vegetable oil, and mix well.
- Although the buns will be a pale yellow in color, they will taste delicious.
- INSTRUCTIONS FOR STEAMING BAO BUNS* Place the steamer basket (whether bamboo or other material) directly on top of a saucepan that has the same size and shape.
- ***Place the steamer basket on top of the saucepan.
- Place the lid on top of the steamer basket and close the lid tightly.
- How to Make Bao Buns in a Steam Oven*First Proof: Cover the bowl with cling film or a re-usable bowl cover to prevent the buns from drying out.
- There is no need to wrap the buns with plastic wrap.
- * Preparing the Bao Buns by steaming them: Take the tray of bao buns out of the steam oven/combi-steam oven and set it aside.
- As soon as the steam oven/combi-steam oven has reached the desired temperature, return the tray of bao buns to the oven and steam them for 10-12 minutes.
To reheat frozen steamed buns, place them in a stovetop steamer for approximately 5 minutes, or until they are completely warmed through. CONVERSIONSIf you need to convert from cups to grams, or vice versa, you may use this handyConversion Chart for Fundamental Ingredients.
This recipe was initially published on May 17, 2019 and has since been updated. More detailed recipe notes have been added to the original version.
How to Steam Buns Without a Bamboo Steamer
After more than a year on the market, our Bao Bun Kits have quickly established themselves as one of our most popular goods. However, we are frequently asked how to steam bao buns without the use of a bamboo steamer, and the answer is as follows: Given that a bamboo steamer isn’t something that everyone has in their kitchen, we’ve produced a blog article to provide some additional options to using a bamboo steamer so that you may continue to enjoy our Bao Bun Kits. We will all be pleased whether you use one of our School of Wok Bamboo Steamers or a homemade creative steamer to steam your steamed bao buns.
Even though it generates a small amount of condensation, the vast majority of it is collected by the steam basket itself, ensuring that it does not drip down and make your bao buns soggy (and no one enjoys a soggy bao bun!) This is exactly what we hope to do with our improvised things as well!
Recommendation 1: Metal Pan Steamer
Over the course of a year, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people who purchase our Bao Bun Kits. How to steam bao buns without the use of a bamboo steamer, on the other hand, is a question that we frequently receive. Given that a bamboo steamer isn’t something that everyone has in their kitchen, we’ve produced a blog article to provide some additional options to using a bamboo steamer so that you may still enjoy our Bao Bun Kits. You may cook your steamed bao buns with one of our School of Wok Bamboo Steamers, or you can go a bit more creative with a homemade creative steamer.
The classic bamboo steamer is particularly built for dim sum and bao, as well as other Chinese cuisine.
Our goal with our improvised things is to achieve something similar to this.
- Greaseproof paper should be used to line the metal steamer, since this will protect it. Do not overfill the container with water. Avoid letting your bao come into contact with the sides of the metal steamer, since the sides of the metal steamer might become rather wet. Using a clean tea towel, cover the pan to absorb any condensation, then lay the lid on top
Recommendation 2: Table Top Steamer
We may also use a standard tabletop steamer to do this (one usually used for vegetables). Given that this will typically accumulate a significant amount of steam, you will need to follow the same procedure as with the metal pan steamer.
- Greaseproof paper should be used to line the steamer. Place the baos in the container, leaving enough of room
- Using a clean tea towel, cover the lid and lay the lid over the top to capture any extra condensation
Recommendation 3: 1 bowl, 1 plate and a wok
There is one more option, though, if you don’t have access to a steamer at all. This will allow you to be digging into some fluffy steamed bao buns in no time. Option 3 is a straightforward and uncomplicated dish, as is recommendation 2.
- Place a small amount of water in a wok and a small bowl on top of the wok
- Cook until the water is boiling. Place a plate on top of the bowl and line it with greaseproof paper (you can also use a big saucepan if you want to be more creative). Bring the water to a rolling boil. Make a greaseproof paper sheet and place the baos on it
- Put a tall lid on the wok, or a flat cover on the saucepan if you’re using one of them.
Are you looking for a WokWok Lid that fits your needs? Here’s where you may see our selection: www.schoolofwok.co.uk/shop/woks Cooking time for all of the ways listed above is 8 minutes. The original bamboo basket will, without a doubt, provide the fluffiest Bao Buns with the least amount of condensation, but any of the options described above will also work and are completely acceptable alternatives.
To make the most of your Bao Bun Kit (if you don’t have a bamboo steamer on hand), try one of the recipes listed above and report back to us on how it turned out for you.
How to Make Steamed Buns
Watch our video to learn about the three different ways to steam bao buns:
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Steamed bao buns (包子), a complete guide
Homemade bao buns are extremely comfortable, thanks to their delicious, juicy filling and soft, fluffy wrappers. This article provides tips and tactics that will help you have a successful culinary experience. Steamed bao buns (Baozi, ), which are popular as both street food and an ordinary family dinner in China, are one of the cuisines that I most like preparing. They are not difficult to create, but getting the texture and appearance just right may be tough, especially when it comes to creating a lovely wrapper that rises properly, has a smooth appearance, and has a soft, fluffy feel.
Which type of flour for bao buns?
To prepare bao buns, what kind of flour should I use is a matter of personal preference. My response to this FAQ is that any sort of wheat flour will work (regardless of the gluten level). However, you may choose to use a certain sort of flour in order to obtain a specific appearance or texture. Do you prefer them to be more fluffy and less chewy? Then use a flour that has a medium to low amount of gluten in it. Check the nutritional information on the package of flour you’re using. The protein level of the flour should be less than 11 grams per 100 grams of flour.
It’s the variety I use the most frequently for bao buns and other Chinese dishes.
There is a simple substitute for cake flour if you are like me and don’t have easy access to it: Combine all-purpose flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl (ratio: 5:1 by weight).
Another thing to keep in mind is that while yeast is used as a rising agent in bao buns, you should avoid using self-raising cake flour, which is widely available in the United Kingdom.
Is special bao flour better?
Bao bun flour/Mantou flour, which is particularly branded as such, may be found at Chinese and Asian markets. It has a low gluten content (about 8g protein per 100g flour), which makes it ideal for making fluffy Bao. However, I personally dislike it since it has been excessively bleached and treated (which is why the end product has a whiter appearance). I’ve tried a few different kinds of bao flour and have found them to be devoid of any natural wheat flavor.
How to make the dough?
While dumpling (Jiaozi) dough is formed from water and wheat, bao buns are prepared using leavened dough, which is made with the addition of yeast to the dough.
During the steaming process, the wrapper rises to the surface. My recipe for Bao bun dough calls for only five ingredients: all-purpose flour, dry yeast, sugar, cooking oil, and tepid water, to name a few.
- Weight-for-weight, the flourliquid (water + oil) ratio is 2:1. Depending on the type and brand of flour you use, the amount of flour you need may vary. The water-to-oil ratio is 10:1 in terms of weight. Preferably, you should use a cooking oil that does not have a strong flavor (such as those made from rapeseeds or sunflower seeds or canola oil or vegetable oil). For every 500g of flour, you’ll need 2 teaspoons of dry yeast, according to the recipe. Replace the sugar with the same amount or a little less (but not more)
Why is kneading important?
Weight for weight, the flourliquid (water + oil) ratio is 2:1. Depending on the type and brand of flour you use, the result may vary somewhat. It is 10:1 water to oil in terms of mass. It is preferable to use cooking oil that does not have a strong flavor (e.g., rapeseeds, sunflower, canola, vegetable, and so on). It is necessary to use 2 teaspoons of dried yeast for every 500 grams (500g) of flour. Increase or decrease the sugar quantity (but not by more than 10%);
- You may use your hands or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to make the dough. Knead the dough until it is extremely smooth
- For me, the best method is to first combine the ingredients in a stand mixer for 5 minutes or so, then finish by kneading with my hands. After the dough has risen and before you begin shaping the buns, you must knead it once more until it returns to its previous size and smooth appearance.
How long to rest the dough?
Fermentation occurs when you let your yeast dough to sit for a period of time. Because yeast is extremely sensitive to temperature changes, the amount of time required to rest varies greatly. If the ambient temperature is high (and/or if the dough is small in size), it can take as little as 40 minutes to double the size of the dough, but it can take up to 1.5 hours if the room temperature is chilly. You can expedite this procedure by doing the following:
- Put the dough bowl in a warm room or area to rise. For example, next to a heater or a warmed oven would be ideal. Microwave a glass of water for a minute or two, then place your dough bowl in the water (keep the glass in). Close the door of the microwave
- Turn on your empty dryer for 2 minutes, then place the dough bowl inside (this trick was taught to me by food blogger Nagi)
- Due to the fact that humidity affects fermentation, you should cover your bowl with a damp cloth.
Allow the dough to rise until it has more than doubled in size. Then knead it again to get rid of any air bubbles that may have formed. After shaping the dough into individual Bao, allow them to rise a second time before steaming them for around 15 minutes.
How to avoid bao bun collapsing?
If you’ve ever attempted to make bao buns before, you’re definitely aware of how difficult it can be. The most frequently seen issue is that the wrappers collapse, wrinkle, or stiffen after being steamed. As soon as you remove the steamer cover, I suspect many of you will hold your breath (or cross your fingers) in anticipation. My frustration with the inconsistent consistency of the fried wrappers used to drive me insane as well. As a result, I’ve conducted numerous trials and kitchen experiments in an attempt to resolve these issues.
- First and foremost, allow me to dispel a common misconception. Many recipes recommend that you should wait 5 minutes before removing the steamer from the heat source. This has no effect on the likelihood of collapse. Despite the fact that I always remove the cover quickly after turning off the heat (like my parents and restaurant chefs do), my bao buns do not change their appearance if the dough has been made properly. When preparing the dough, make sure to incorporate a small amount of sugar and frying oil. Sugar aids in the activation of the yeast and, as a result, ensures a healthy rise. It is less probable that the dough will collapse if there is enough oil in the dough to prevent moisture from escaping from the filling. As previously stated, the appearance of bao buns is affected by the kneading process. Allow for further kneading time and check to see that the dough is totally smooth before shaping it. It is critical to provide for adequate resting time during the dough fermentation process (as I described above, this should be done twice)
- It is important not to roll your wrapper too thin (particularly in the centre), since this may allow moisture from the filling to seep into the wrapper, leaving it soggy. Start by filling your steamer halfway with cold water. The gradual increase in temperature aids in the smooth development of the dough. When the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to a low setting. From this point forward, start counting the minutes until dinner is ready. I recommend that you spend no less than 15 minutes on this.
Make a tasty and juicy filling
Allow me to dispel a common misconception. It is recommended in many recipes that you wait 5 minutes before removing the steamer from the heat. However, collapse is still possible despite this. Even if I quickly remove the cover after turning off the heat (like my parents and restaurant chefs do), the appearance of my bao buns does not alter if the dough has been correctly prepared. When creating the dough, be sure to incorporate a small amount of sugar and frying oil. It is possible to achieve a good rise by using sugar to stimulate the yeast.
Kneading has an impact on the look of bao buns, as I previously said.
While the dough is fermenting, it is critical to allow for adequate resting time (as I indicated above, this should occur twice).
In your steamer, start by filling it with cold water.
As the temperature gradually rises, it assists the dough in growing smoothly and evenly. When the water begins to boil, lower the heat. Take note of how much time has passed since you started cooking. Not less than 15 minutes, is my recommendation.
- When you add water or stock to the pork, you will get a delicious filling. If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, check out my post “How to make superb dumpling fillings.” In a small amount of oil, quickly stir fry the carrots and onion. This will increase their flavor while also providing a velvety texture to the filling.
For the dough
- (See note 1 for more information on 300gallon all-purpose flour or cake flour) 1 teaspoon dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil (see note 2)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (See note 3 for further information.) 140 mL lukewarm water
For the filling
- 1.5 cups minced pork
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 teaspoonground Sichuan pepper or Chinese five-spice powder
- 14 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon water or unsalted stock
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 150g grated carrot
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 2 teaspoon coriander finely chopped
- 150g carrot grated
Prepare the dough
- In a large mixing basin, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and oil. Pour in the water a little at a time while stirring
- Combine all of the ingredients and knead with your hands until a very smooth dough forms (see note 4)
- Allow to rise until doubled in size in a warm location (this may take between 40 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the ambient temperature)
- Cover with a moist tea towel and set aside.
Mix the filling
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and Sichuan pepper/Chinese five-spice
- Mix well. Swirl continually while gradually adding additional water/stock until there is no more liquid visible
- In a little amount of oil, quickly stir fry shredded carrot and onion until softened. Combine with the meat and coriander leaves
- Cook until the pork is done.
Shape the buns(Please refer to the video below)
- Knead the dough until it returns to its original shape. It should be divided into 12 equal halves. Each component should be rolled into a disk-like wrapping. Placing some filling in the centre of a wrapper and folding it into a bao shape is simple and quick. Allow for another 15 minutes or so of resting time for all of the constructed buns.
Steam the buns
- Place the buns in the steamer basket (with parchment paper underneath each one) and set the steamer to high (see note 5). Separate the buns from one another by 2cm on either side of the steamer. Cooking with cold water over a high heat is a good way to get started. As soon as the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15-18 minutes at a low heat.
Serving with a dipping sauce
- Serve them warm, either on their own or with a dipping sauce (see my postSix dumpling sauces for inspiration)
- Cooked buns can be stored in the freezer. Place in the refrigerator for 8 minutes to defrost, then steam 8 minutes to warm up, or steam for 15 minutes without defrosting.
1. If you don’t have convenient access to cake flour, you can substitute 250g all-purpose flour for 50g cornstarch in the recipe. Before you use it, sift it. 2. Cooking oils with a mild flavor, such as rapeseed, sunflower, canola, vegetable, and so on, should be used instead of butter. 3. Depending on the kind of flour you choose, the flour to water ratio may vary somewhat. Please feel free to make any necessary adjustments. 4. Alternatively, a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook can be used.
Wei Guo is the author of this piece.
If you enjoy packed delicacies, be sure to check out myUltimate Dumpling Guide.