Steamed pork buns

Jjinppang-mandu 찐빵만두

When I lived in Toronto, I learned how to make  Chinese steamed pork buns from my Korean-Chinese friend, Ms. Bong.

Ms. Bong’s story relating to this food fascinated me for a while. She said:

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“We used to make a large quantity at once, enough to eat for the whole winter. We kept hundreds of steamed pork buns in earthenware pots in the yard. The weather was so cold that the buns were frozen the whole winter, until we finished them. They were hard as stones the whole time. We ate them every other day, not as a snack, but as a meal. We used to bring some frozen buns to the kitchen, thaw them out, steam them, and eat them.”

I was overwhelmed by this story. I could picture them making the buns and keeping them in a huge earthenware pot. I could imagine them bringing some to their kitchen, thawing them out, and eating them with the whole family! Ms. Bong said they usually served them with rice porridge for a meal.

The small rolling pin that I use in this video was given to me by her. When she gave me the rolling pin, I was so excited that I ran to Chinatown to buy my steamer! The steamer has been one of my most precious kitchen items for 3 years. : )

I modified the filling to be more like a Korean style filling. Real Chinese steamed buns use ground pork, dried shrimp, chives, and blanched napa cabbage.

Yield:
16 steamed pork buns (6-8 servings)

Ingredients

For dough
All purpose flour, dry yeast, water, salt, sugar, and vegetable oil.

For filling
Ground pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, black ground pepper, garlic, onion, zucchini, carrot, green onions (or Asian chives), and white mushrooms.

Directions

Make the dough:

  1. In a large bowl add 1 cup of warm water (under 40° Celsius, or 100° F), 2 ts dry yeast, ½ ts salt, 2 tbs vegetable oil, and 1 ts sugar. Mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
  2. Add 3 cups of flour to the yeast water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Set aside in warm place until the dough doubles in size.
    *tip: watch the video to see how you can make your dough rise faster! 
  4. After the dough has risen, knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas. Set it aside in warm place with the lid closed for 30 minutes.

While we wait for this to rise, we can prepare the fillings:

  1. In a large bowl, place:
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • ½ cup chopped carrot
    • 1½ cup chopped zucchini
    • 1½ cup chopped green onions
    • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms

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  2. Sprinkle 1 ts salt over top and mix it up by hand. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the excess water out.
    *tip: using cheesecloth will make this easier. Wrap the chopped vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out. 
  4. In a mixing bowl, place:
    • 400 grams (14 oz) of ground pork
    • 1 ts soy sauce
    • 2 cloves of minced garlic
    • 1 ts sesame oil
    • ½ ts ground black pepper
  5. Mix it by hand and set aside.

Let’s cook!

  1. In a heated pan, add 1 tbs vegetable oil and sauté the chopped vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Transfer them to a large bowl.
  2. Heat up the pan again, and cook the seasoned pork for 3 minutes until fully cooked.
  3. Put the pork into the bowl with the vegetables and mix it all up.

Now let’s make the buns:

  1. Split the dough into 16 smaller pieces.
  2. Take a few dough balls and put them on a floured cutting board. The rest of balls should be in the bowl with the lid closed, to prevent them from getting dried out.
  3. Roll out each ball into a disk 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
  4. Place a disk into your palm and add 2-3 tbs of filling mixture to the center of it.
  5. Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, then press the edges together to seal the filling snugly inside the bun.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, until you’ve made 16 buns.
  7. Put 6-7 cups of water in the bottom of a large steamer and place each bun on the rack.
    *tip: Place cheesecloth or cotton cloth on the steamer rack before adding each bun. Baking cups also work well. When you place the buns on the rack, leave a 1 inch gap between them because they will get bigger when steamed.
  8. Wait for 20 more minutes to let the dough rise even more.
  9. Bring to a boil over high heat, and steam for 20 minutes.

Dipping sauce:

  1. Combine ⅓ cup soy sauce, 2 tbs of vinegar, and 2 ts sugar in a small bowl.
  2. Add some chunks of onion (½ cup), chunks of green chili pepper, and roasted sesame seeds.

When the buns are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid to prevent water from the top of the lid from dripping over the buns.



Serve with the dipping sauce, and enjoy!

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148 Comments:

  1. Downstack North Carolina joined 8/10 & has 4 comments

    I never believed I could make something like this– but I tried today (it took all day) and it was a total success! I can’t believe it. The only problem was that the 만두 stuck to the cupcake papers. Should I put some oil on them next time? I’m looking forward to making so many things from your website :)

  2. eldiem Illinois joined 8/10 & has 2 comments

    These look great! Provided my yeast proofs ok, I’m going to make some tonight. Question about how to freeze the leftover buns–should I freeze them before or after the final proofing? My guess is before, but I’m unsure. Thanks!

  3. lulu888 joined 8/10 & has 2 comments

    I’m so excited for this recipe! I’m going to make it for my grandpa tomorrow! I might add some shrimp and napa cabbage to it though! You are so wonderful, I follow you on youtube but this site just totally adds so much more to sharing your recipes! Thank you!!!

  4. Nuri Spain joined 8/10 & has 3 comments

    hello maangchi!

    it look delicious! i wanted to ask if we can use a bread machine to make the dough, looks really hard to make using hands heheh
    if we have not a steamer, what can we use instead of that?

  5. Magic of Spice California joined 8/10 & has 6 comments

    Wonderful recipe, I would love this with shrimp…And I love your videos:)

  6. kansai062281 somewhere in SE Asia joined 4/10 & has 11 comments

    We also have jjinppang mandu here but we call it Siopao – it has more meat, sometimes a big piece of chorizo and a slice of boiled egg inside. Although I prefer your recipe Maangchi, because it has lots of vegetables in it :D I just need to buy dry yeast and I can make these, yum! Thank you, Maangchi

  7. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Do u think i can use electric steamer for this buns ? And another question , can i freeze these buns after they have their fillings and all ??

    I love your steamer , i need to find me one like that .. i don’t really like my electric steamer , but i can’t wait to try this buns !!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,682 comments

      yes,I think an electric steamer will work well, too.
      Freeze your leftover buns. : ) “We kept hundreds of steamed pork buns in earthenware pots in the yard. The weather was so cold that the buns were frozen the whole winter, until we finished them. They were hard as stones the whole time. We ate them every other day, not as a snack, but as a meal. We used to bring some frozen buns to the kitchen, thaw them out, steam them, and eat them.”

      • jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

        Just finished making the buns !! They’re so delicious ..Although i couldn’t make it as pretty as yours .oh and i definately needs to get a steamer like yours , mine doesn’t accomodate 16 buns at a time .. LOL . Thank you for your delicious buns recipe , maangchi ! Will be taking pictures shortly and sending them to you !

  8. NachoM Chile! joined 6/10 & has 3 comments

    OMG!besides hodeok this is my INSTANT FAVE NOW! your buns looks so perfect! and cute! xD and… yummy! :D
    ill try this on weekend ;)
    you are awesome maangchi! :D

  9. greenyshell Sydney joined 8/10 & has 3 comments

    awww.. lovely bakpao!! i hope i can make my own but i dont have any steamer =( ill buy one soon… cant wait to try this wonderful recipe. you are awesome maangchi

  10. strawberry92 Italy joined 1/10 & has 4 comments

    gnamm right now they’re on the steamer =P
    can’t wait to have a bite! =P

  11. jewls_sports joined 8/10 & has 3 comments

    Can you make the dough a day before and refrigerate it?

  12. Preesi Philly, Pa joined 11/08 & has 10 comments

    I am so happy you posted this! I cant believe how easy they are!

    Thank you Maangchi!

  13. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 34 comments

    It’s like Baozi or Nikuman.. just d e l i c i o u s!!! :)
    thank you very much, Maangchi

  14. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 102 comments

    I love it! I like bakpao too.
    They look delicious! i hope i can fit 16 in my steamoven :)

  15. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Maangchi !! This is awesome tutorial .. we call this Bakpao in Indonesia , i will be trying this pretty soon ! your recipes keeping me busy in the kitchen !! LOl

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