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 the dough

  • 1 cup warm water (under 40° Celsius, or 100° F)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

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For the filling

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped green onion(or Asian chives)
  • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the dipping sauce:

  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 or 2 green chili peppers, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions

Make the dough:

  1. Combine the warm water, sugar, dry yeast, salt,  and the vegetable oil in a large bowl and mix well until the dry yeast is fully dissolved.
  2. Add the flour and mix it with a wooden spoon for 1 minutes and then knead it for 2-3 minutes by hand.
  3. Cover and 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. Knead it again for 1 minute to remove any extra gas and the dough turns smooth. Cover and set aside in warm place for 30 minutes.

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

  1. Place the onion, carrot, zucchini, green onion, and white mushroom in a large bowl.
  2. Add the salt 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 vegetables in cheesecloth and gently squeeze the water out.
  4. Combine ground pork, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, sesame oil, and ground black pepper. Mix it by hand and set aside.

Let’s cook!

  1. Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon 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.

Make Dipping sauce:

  1. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar in a small bowl. Add the onion, green chili pepper, sesame seeds, and mix it well with a spoon.

 


Serve with the dipping sauce, and enjoy!

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151 Comments:

  1. TRLLLA joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    Oh yeah.. and I also used coffee filters instead of cupcake holders, haha

  2. TRLLLA joined 12/10 & has 2 comments

    This was delicious! I’m allergic to mushrooms so I replaced it with tubu and used ground chicken because I didn’t have enough pork meat. Thank you so much. My kids loved it so much they wanted to take it to school and my husband devoured 3! Do you have a recipe for this with the red bean insides?

  3. heykay15 Bodega Bay, CA joined 10/10 & has 2 comments

    do you have to cook the filling before stuffing the buns? I’ve seen recipes before where raw meat was stuffed into the buns and cooked in the steamer. Do you think it makes a big difference?

  4. abi Cebu, Philippines joined 11/10 & has 16 comments

    ooohhhh…. some call it bakpao? from where i’m at, we call this siopao (in chinese)

  5. icee5932 CA joined 10/10 & has 2 comments

    Dear Maangchi,
    Hello!! My name is Vickie Mallari, I am 13 years old and probably the youngest to watch you cook. I have 50 videos from your podcast and they are amazing!!! I tried making these for my friend on his birthday but 3 of my friends hated them, oh well! I love your cooking show and you are amazing!! Thank you!!

    From,
    Vickie Mallari

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,051 comments

      Thank you Vickie! 3 of your friends hated your food? Some of my friends don’t like ethnic food, either. I know how you felt, but we can’t expect everybody to like what we like. That’s their choice! : )

  6. mamim bangkok joined 9/10 & has 5 comments

    Hi, this your recipes for the dough is the best .It’s the real old and classic dough that make me happy again and try to make my own bun with different things inside .Thankssssss

  7. navert Cheonan, South Korea joined 9/10 & has 1 comment

    Do you know a good place to locate dry yeast in Korea?

  8. KillDeer Hamilton, Ontario joined 9/10 & has 33 comments

    In your written directions you do not mention the amount of water to add for the dough. In the video you say 1 cup!

    Just thought I’d let you know because I printed out the directions to have in the kitchen and then had to come back to the website for that!

  9. OliviaShim Toronto joined 9/10 & has 1 comment

    Thank you Maangchi!! I made it!!! I replaced pork with chicken because I didn’t have it with me at the moment and also i didn’t have mushrooms– so i replaced it with boochoo… It was my first time making any mandoo- and it worked!!!! SO delicious!! I’m so excited to make it again so i can make it look really nice- like yours! :D

  10. MandyCakes Florida joined 9/10 & has 11 comments

    Maangchi, do you know if there’s a way to make this dough gluten-free that actually works? I love these buns but I can’t eat them anymore.

  11. unchienne Georgia, USA joined 10/08 & has 15 comments

    I love this type of bun and have been having a lot of trouble finding them pre-made at the markets (tons of red bean buns but no Korean meat filled ones except for mandu), so with this recipe I won’t have to look anymore.

    Love the sauce, btw…I’ve never seen one that had large pieces of onion and pepper like that. I bet it tastes delicious and can’t wait to try.

    One thing I’ll probably add to the buns is cooked cellophane noodles, like the kind in japchae, because I want to cut down a little bit on meat. I think I remember eating buns with the chopped up, clear noodles in them from before, but I can’t be sure. I’ll let you know how they turn out. :)

  12. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10 & has 27 comments

    I just made this recipe this weekend and it was great. Definitely my new pork bun recipe! I wrote a blog about it too!

    http://ikkin-bot.blogspot.com/2010/09/korean-pork-buns.html

  13. myah Los Angeles, CA joined 5/10 & has 2 comments

    Could I substitute the pork with ground chicken or ground turkey?

  14. AnDy Canada ,Montreal joined 6/10 & has 9 comments

    can i use ground pork in stead

  15. AnDy Canada ,Montreal joined 6/10 & has 9 comments

    hey maanngchi CAnt U TEll ME WAth SOuld I BUY FOR A good food PRocessor like yours that u used its awsome please help AND THE song at 5:25 whats the songs name thank u

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