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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Steamed Pork Buns (Bánh Bao)

Ingredients & Cooking Directions for Bánh Bao -Vietnamese Pork Steamed Buns

Estimated Servings: 10 steam buns

Step 1: Make the dough

3 cups self-rising flour
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup milk

***To make 2 cups of self-rising flour, mix 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 teaspoons baking powder together.

Pour all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them well. Create a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the milk and vegetable oil. Bring the wet and dry ingredients together until a ball of dough is formed. Then cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for 1 hour or longer. 

Step 2: Prepare the stuffing

2 pounds ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper 
¼ cup chopped brown mushroom
2 links Chinese sausage

Slice the Chinese sausage at a diagonal into 1 inch slices. Then microwave the sausage for about 10-20 seconds to render the fat and then set it aside. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pork and mix well. Then set this mixture aside.

Step 3: Boil the eggs

5 large eggs
8 cups water

In a small pot, add the eggs and water. Then place the pot on high heat and allow the water to come to a boil. Allow the eggs to cook in the boiling water for about 10 minutes then turn off your heat and allow the eggs to sit in the water for another 10 minutes. Use your pot’s lid as a barrier to pour the water out. Then rinse your eggs with cold water so you can handle them and start peeling away. Finally cut the eggs in half and then set them aside.

Step 4: Assemble the buns

1 cup flour
Water for steamer
1 cup vinegar
Parchment paper circles

Flour your kitchen surface and pour the dough out. Knead dough it for about 15 minutes until it becomes smooth. Form a log with the dough and cut the dough into even pieces. Cover the pieces with a moist towel and set them aside.

Fill the bottom compartment of your steamer ¾ of the way up with water and add in the vinegar. Place the bottom part of the steamer on top of a high heat stove. Cover the bottom steamer with a lid and wait for it to steam up.

In the meantime, take one of the dough pieces and roll it out with a rolling pin making sure that the sides are thinner than the center. Then roll the stuffing in a ball and place it in the middle of the dough. Add the egg on top and the Chinese sausage on the sides. Fold and pinch the sides and towards the end, twist the top to seal the bun. Then place the bun on top of a paper circle. Repeat the process until all the buns are complete. Steam the buns for about 15-20 minutes or until the center is completely cooked and the outside of the buns are nice and fluffy!


  1. Hi Tina. Can I ask you if your banh bao outer skin turns out white or yellow? Also, you are saying to use 1 cup of vinegar but will this vinegar smell be on the banh bao too? If not, how many cups of water should I use for this 1 cup vinegar? Please email me back at Thank you.


    1. Don't worry, the banh bao will not smell like vinegar. It is used to make them white. About 1 cup of vinegar for every 4 quarts should be fine. I hope that helps Issy!

  2. Hi Issy, I made this recipe twice and I love it! So easy and quick! The vinegar smell doesn't make the Banh Bao taste like vinegar.

  3. please help me with my banhbao'sbun it turned out toasted/dark and dry it is also tasted like RAW flour. is it because of my steamer? i just used rice cooker with steamer plate on top. it is partly submerged inside the rice cooker and then the water could reach the steamer is also has big holes(almost 3/4 inch diameter) the cover is small and directly placed on top the buns.(no space between the bun and the cover)is it the reason why the buns looked like toasted?. .. another question, when i assembled the buns, most of them have their tops open. dough was very strechy i thought i sealed them properly but the dough slowly strecthing itself downward.please help me. thank you

    1. Did you knead the dough enough? It should be kneaded for at least 15 minutes. The dough should be soft and not stick to your hands. You may have to adjust the liquids or add flour to get it to be the right consistency and it should rest in a warm place like inside an oven that is turned off with the door shut. Make sure to pinch the tops of the buns tightly when you are sealing them so that they do not open while steaming. Finally, a stove top steamer pot works best for making these buns. Make sure to bring your steamer water to a full boil before steaming your buns. I hope this helps you out. Happy cooking! =)

  4. to make the dough i need 1tsp vegetable oil, can i substitute it with cooking oil? or sesame oil?

  5. hehe last question, it has to be room temperature or warm milk?

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  7. One more thing, how did it rise like that without putting yeast? Plssss...tnx again

    1. Thank you for the reply...but I have a problem, mine didn't turn out white. Pls., I need your advise...tnx!

  8. Hello Tina!
    Thank you so much for making this video! It's a great help and a very good guideline! Now I can finally try to make some of these delicious Bánh Baos at home!
    Thank you so much! :)

    1. Hi Sofie,
      That’s fantastic! You are welcome. I am glad I was able to help! =)

  9. Hi Ms.pham how long did it took u to rise your dough I know its 1hr or longer but how long did u rise it because mines did not rise and I followed all the steps please response thank you

  10. I love your videos Ms.cheaf pham

  11. How can we tell if the bao is cooked

  12. Can you tell me how to make very soft doug for banh bao? I've tried the recipe but the doug is not very soft like I saw at oriental store they selling. Should I use cake mix with regular flour for the doug to get that very soft texture> Thanks

    1. You can check to see if your flour is old or expired.

  13. Hi! My dough was tough and did not rise. What kind of flour did you use? Brand?

  14. Do you cook the stuffing first or will it cook during steaming?