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, kosher salt, sugar, and vegetable oil.

For filling
Ground pork, soy sauce, toasted 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 kosher 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 kosher 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 toasted 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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151 Comments:

  1. yoshimori Reno,NV joined 8/11 & has 1 comment

    man this recipe looks delicious with a capital D i must try this next week when my steamer is here it will be its first job!
    one question though can we add tofu in there i just love tofu and i was just wondering about it to see if i could i mean its your recipe!!!!

  2. Audernaj Northern Kentucky joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    Thank you so much for this recipe!

    I made these buns today and my whole family loved them! Even my dad did, and he doesn’t really like Asian cooking!

    I only made half of this recipe because we are a small family (I’m only a 17 year old boy) and I gave the extra ones to some relatives and they called me to tell me how much they liked them!

    I’m starting to really like cooking Asian food, and this is definitely going to be a favorite of mine! So thank you again, Maangchi!

  3. kurokokoro Phoenix, Arizona joined 3/10 & has 6 comments

    I LOVE this recipe!!! It’s not very hard to make, just takes a bit of time for the dough to rise, but i did use your warm water trick. I had a hard time at first filling and sealing the buns but I got the hang of it. They steamed beautifully. I also made the sauce and it goes PERFECT with these buns!!! I will be making this recipe A LOT! Thanks so much for all the the great recipes.

  4. mmmkhang minnesota joined 6/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    I saw u make a video of the just the pork and veg mandu. I was wondering if you can tell me how to make kogi mandu with the noodle.

  5. Wynterlovemusic joined 5/11 & has 2 comments

    I just made these ^^ I must say they turned out quite well. Thanks for this recipe :)
    I substituted the pork with vegetarian ground “beef” turned out really well ^-^

  6. allen allen, tx joined 5/11 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    Thank you so much for simple recipe for skin of bun . I make it today and it turn out really good .

  7. lintpelusa barcelona joined 2/10 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi!!
    I made this buns last Sunday for breakfast for my boyfriend and two friends!!!
    Amazing!!! they said that I’m the master of “pancitos chinos” (little Chinese buns in Spanish)
    I’ll do it again this weekend!!
    Thank you very much for share all your recipes!!

    Pd: They made Bibimbap at midnight with the leftover filling!!!

  8. Girlieannyen joined 7/09 & has 7 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I would like to ask if this dough recipe can be use as Chinese Fried Baozi.

  9. hi maangchi! my mom makes really yummy red bean jjimppang. would this dough recipe work well with red bean paste too?

  10. Selene joined 4/11 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi

    We’ve tried a lot of your recipes by now and I was very excited to see this one. We actually do make similar buns at home( our family is koreans from Central Asia, Kazakhstan) I’ve been looking for a similar recipe in Korean cuisine because at home my grandmother used to make the steamed buns and I thought that the recipe was genuinely Korean, however I guess it originated from Chinese cuisine ^^
    Koreans in Central asia have somewhat different recipes for their traditional food ( that includes other diaspors besides Uzbek Koreans, and probably some part of Koreans in Russia). The reason to it is probably that our ancestors were from northern part of Korea and some of them spent lives in China

    In our family recipe we use ground meat, cabbage and chives for the filling and — which is a family secret– a portion of soy bean paste. Soy bean paste makes the meat more flavoured, yummi ^_^ And yes we also freeze the buns– in the freezer

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,077 comments

      “..In our family recipe we use ground meat, cabbage and chives for the filling and — which is a family secret– a portion of soy bean paste”
      Thank you for revealing your family secret filling recipe! ^^

  11. hkv2777 joined 2/11 & has 2 comments

    Hi, Maangchi,

    I really like this recipe. When you have to double the recipe, do you double the amount of yeast too?

    I’m Korean from Uzbekistan and we make something similar at home, but we only use onions, meat and cabbage for the filling. I love your recipe, though I did use cabbage instead of the zucchini …

  12. kpopJasmine joined 1/11 & has 4 comments

    May I ask a question
    what type of steamer should i buy for this recipe because there is a lot of steamers and I’m sort of confused. If you could help I’d be really thankful

  13. Juul Rotterdam, Netherlands joined 6/09 & has 7 comments

    Dear Maangchi,
    Yesterday I tried to make this recipe, and it turned out perfect. Thanks to your easy to follow step-by-step instructions. My guests said that they were the best steamed buns (in the Netherlands they’re called bakpao) they ever had! So I am planning to make more later this week…
    Thank you so much, they were delicious.

  14. Gracy Berlin joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi, do you know how to make Korean steam bun in the soup? I saw in Korean series call ”Dae Jang Geum”. Would love to know if you can show us how to?

    Thank you from
    Berlin

  15. Kona joined 12/10 & has 4 comments

    This looks so good! Can you share how to make this with the red beans inside instead?

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