Asian Sliders with Steamed Buns, Part I


by Heather Harris Brady

I’ve been toying with a steamed recipe for a while now, because I love the steamed pork buns from a local restaurant. The dough the restaurant uses is obviously very hydrated and cooks inside a packet of aluminum foil – so before I add those levels of complication I wanted to get a handle on a more basic dough.

As my basis I used a steamed bun recipe from How to Cook and Eat in Chinese, along with the powdered milk from David Chang’s recipe and then I added some rice flour because it seemed like a good idea. My rolls are more beige, if you want pure white you’ll have to order some specialty flour – just search for bao flour. You’ll need a large bamboo steamer for this recipe.

Steamed Buns, Makes about 24 3″ buns

  • 1-1/3 c. warm water
  • 1 pkg. quick rise yeast
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 2-1/2 c. flour (regular or bao flour)
  • 1 c. rice flour
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1/3 c. powdered milk
  • 3 T. olive oil

Stir the water, yeast and sugar together in a mixing bowl, add the oil, then stir in the flours, salt, and the powdered milk.


Stir well.


Set it aside to rise until doubled in bulk.


Punch the dough down and knead it until it’s smooth (about five minutes).


Divide the dough into golf-ball sized portions and shape into rolls, gathering the ends into the bottom. Let rise on a lightly greased cookie sheet.


When they are doubled in bulk fire up the bamboo steamer.


You can put a piece of cheesecloth on each layer of the steamer if you like. Make sure the water is boiling briskly underneath.


Transfer the rolls to the steamer. I could do about six per layer, a dozen at a time.


Don’t peek until about 12 minutes has passed. The rolls should be firm with a shiny top.


Inside you should have lots of nice holes with a chewy exterior.


Transfer to racks to cool completely. I’ll post part two of this recipe on Wednesday – a filling to turn these buns into Asian-style sliders!



One year ago: Marbled Peanut Butter Pie


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