Bao, Steamed Pork Buns
Serving Size:6|Prep Time:30minutes (plus rise and rest)|Cook Time:20minutes

To prepare the dough
  1. Place the water in a small bowl and whisk in the yeast and sugar until the yeast is dissolved. Let the yeast proof for about 5 minutes, or until foamy. Stir in the oil and set aside.
  2. Measure the dry ingredients into a separate bowl and combine thoroughly.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a spatula to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dough will be slightly sticky.
  4. Knead, sprinkling on extra flour as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Place a drop of oil in the palm of your hands and rub the surface of the dough. Cover and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 – 2 hours.
  5. Shape the dough into a rope and cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll pieces into balls and cover with a clean cloth. Let rise for 5 minutes.
To prepare the filling
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and pork. Cook, stirring, until browned. Add white pepper and chili oil and stir.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with the cornstarch and sugar, then add to the pan, stirring until the meat is coated and the sauce thickens.
  3. Add hoisin sauce and chopped scallions and stir to combine. Remove from heat, cool completely prior to filling the bao.
To shape, fill & cook
  1. Flatten each ball and pat or roll out into a disk 4 inches in diameter. Place about one tablespoon of the filling in the center of the disk. Gather the edges of the dough up and around the filling and give it a twist to close. Cover filled bao with a damp kitchen towel to keep them from drying out as you assemble the bao.
  2. Line a steam basket with parchment paper and place bao in the basket. Steam for 7-9 minutes or until they are dry to the touch and the dough bounces back when pressed lightly.
Chef’s Narrative
An easy-to-handle dough making the shaping of the bao a snap. When steamed, it is transformed into a light and fluffy foil for this robustly flavored filling.
Recipe Substitutions
This filling works nicely with beef, mushrooms, tofu and shrimp.
For the dough
  • 2/3cupwater, tepid
  • 2teaspoonsactive dry yeast
  • 2tablespoonsgranulated sugar
  • 1tablespoon neutral oil (canola, avocado, grapeseed or sunflower)
  • 1 3/4cupsbread flour, extra for kneading and rolling dough
  • 1teaspooncoarse salt
  • 1/4teaspoonbaking soda
For the filling
  • 1tablespoonsesame oil
  • 2clovesgarlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2inchginger, peeled and minced
  • 8ouncespork, ground or diced
  • 1/2teaspoonwhite pepper
  • 1teaspoonchili oil or chili flakes
  • 2tablespoonssoy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1teaspooncornstarch
  • 1/2tablespoonsugar
  • 1tablespoonhoisin or oyster sauce
  • 1/2cupscallions, chopped

AllergensSoy, Wheat