Yum Bun Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe

What are Chinese steamed buns?

Chinese steamed buns are pillowy in texture, steamed in a clam shape, and typically filled with slow-roasted pork belly, hoi sin sauce, cucumbers, spring onions and sriracha sauce.

What are Chinese steamed buns made of?

Steamed buns are a yeasted dough made by combining strong white bread flour with yeast, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, milk powder, caster sugar and salt, then rubbing in fat and mixing with water to produce a smooth ball of dough.

How do you steam Chinese buns?

Chinese buns are placed in a steaming basket, set above a pan of boiling water, and steamed for 10 minutes until light and pillowy.

“It is quite a lengthy process making Chinese steamed buns. Perhaps this is why I’m one of the few people in London who does it! It’s amazing though quite how many you can make if you're being efficient – especially if there are two of you, and you’ve had a bit of practice.”
Lisa Meyer, Yum Buns


Click here to read the full interview with Lisa Meyer from Yum Buns


Ingredients for steamed buns Serves: 25

  • 750g strong bread flour
  • 40g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g vegetable baking fat, or lard
  • 2tbs skimmed milk powder
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1tsp table salt
  • 400ml water 
  • Bamboo steamer with lid

Suggested filling

Method for steamed buns

  1. Weigh all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the fresh yeast and fat into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the water while stirring. When the dough begins to come together, place it onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes until it comes together in a smooth ball, which bounces back when gently poked. If the mixture is sticky, add a little flour. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water.
  3. Lightly grease a mixing bowl and place the smooth ball of dough into it. Cover with a clean and dry tea towel, and leave to prove for about 1 and a half hours – until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Divide the dough into four equally-sized logs. Cut each log into 50g amounts. Roll each 50g into a smooth ball, and place it on a lightly-floured tray, leaving enough space for the ball to double in size. Cover with cling film, and leave to prove for about 30 minutes – until the balls are about twice their original size.
  5. On a lightly-floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll each ball into 15cm ovals. Lightly brush the side facing-upwards with oil, and then fold the dough bun in half.
  6. Place the buns on individual grease proof squares back on the tray. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for about another 30 minutes until they have puffed up.
  7. Pour 400ml of water into a large saucepan, and bring to the boil.
  8. Place the buns in a steamer basket with enough space to swell. Place the steamer basket over the pan of rapidly-boiling water and steam the buns for 10 minutes.
  9. To serve, reheat the buns in a steamer for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Stuff with your choice of fillings - at Yum Bun the most popular is slow roasted belly pork, hoisin sauce, cucumbers, spring onions & sriracha.
© Speciality Cooking Supplies Limited 2024

Yum Bun Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe

Find more Chinese ingredients to buy here, and read our full interview with Lisa Meyer here.


  • OMG I’m so thrilled you managed to persuade Lisa to share her recipe – Yum Buns are the BEST street food in London, I can’t wait to try and recreate them at home. Her veggie buns (fried portabello mushrooms and walnut pesto) are just as delicious as her pork ones, which is really saying something from a carnivore as committed as I am!

    Emma on

  • Hi,

    I was wondering if these freeze well?

    Polly on

  • OMG these look so great!! Can’t tell you how many times I have enjoyed Yum Buns for lunch :) The pork belly is the one!

    Ryan on

  • Hi, best recipe I’ve found! Turns out so much better than Momofuku recipe…. But, why do my buns turn yellow in the steamer? I’m using a metal one..

    John Jones on

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