Kimchi pork buns

Kimchi-ppang 김치빵

I’m always excited to release my new recipe and get the chance to share it with all of you. Today’s recipe is baked kimchi pork buns, called kimchi-ppang!

Kimchi-ppang are jumbo, white, fluffy buns baked with a generous kimchi and pork filling inside which is spicy, savory, crispy, and meaty. They have a golden crunchy crust outside and a fluffy bread inside. One large bun with a drink will be a simple and quick light meal or snack.

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How many of you make kimchi at home? I’m sure so many of you do, and you probably found that you are making bigger and bigger batches as time goes on. You’ll need some nice, well-fermented, aged kimchi for this recipe.

I have to tell you where I got the idea for this recipe. One day last year, on my way to a Korean grocery store in Flushing, New York, I found a small no-name restaurant run by Koreans. Their accent sounded like North Koreans. What drew me in there were the huge racks of steamed buns I could see through the window.

I went inside and ordered their fluffy steamed kimchi pork buns. They were delicious! The texture of the kimchi inside was still crispy, and I had never seen such a huge bun with such a generous amount of filling sold in a restaurant! So I decided to make it at home for myself.

It took me many many tries to get the ratio perfect. After much trial and error I eventually got a perfect recipe. One of the biggest problems was figuring out how to wrap such a plump bun. I first tried to wrap the dough in my hand, but it was impossible to handle it on my palm. So I put the dough on my cutting board and add the filling in the center.

In my recipe, I bake the buns instead of steaming them, and I add a higher quality pork than they use, minced with my kitchen knife. When I finally made a bun that was better than the ones I tasted in Flushing, I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you!

You can make a lot of them and freeze the extras, so anytime you want one, you can thaw it out and put it back in the oven or the microwave. My freezer is actually full of frozen kimchi-ppang experiments right now, but I will eventually eat them all!

Enjoy the recipe, and make some kimchi-ppang!

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour (plus 2 tablespoons for dusting, when shaping the buns)
  • 1 egg (for the egg wash)

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For the filling (total a little more than 3 cups)

Directions (for 6 buns)

Make the dough:

  1. Mix warm water and sugar in a large bowl. Add the active dry yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast floats.yeast rising
  2. Stir with salt and vegetable oil until the salt is dissolved.
  3. Mix in 2½ cups flour and then knead it by hand for about 2 minutes, until the dough gets smooth.mixing
  4. Cover and let it sit on the kitchen counter for about 1 hour until it doubles in size.
  5. Deflate the dough and knead it again for a few minutes.dough
  6. Cover and let it sit for another hour.

Make the fillings:

  1. Bring 5 to 7 cups of water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the noodles and cook for 7 minutes. Strain and rinse them in cold running water. Strain and chop the noodles into small pieces. Set aside.chop noodles
  2. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Add the pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ground black pepper.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook until the pork is no longer pink and is cooked thoroughly.
  4. Add garlic, green onion, and onion and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Stir in the noodles.cook fillings
  5. Add kimchi, sugar, and hot pepper flakes. Mix well.kimchi filling

Make and shape the buns:

  1. Deflate the dough and fold it over on itself for a minute, until it becomes a smooth, soft ball.
  2. Dust a large cutting board (or any workspace) with a little flour. Put the dough ball on the cutting board and divide it into 6 equal-sized pieces. Form each of them into smooth balls, weighing about 3 ounces each.dough balls
  3. Cover the 6 balls with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.dough
  4. Take out a ball and roll it out with a rolling pin into a round circle about 6 inches in diameter. The thickness of the dough at the edges should be thinner than at the middle.
  5. Place ½ cup of filling in the center of the dough disk.add filling
  6. Lift the edges of the disk up around the filling, and pinch them together to seal tightly.wrap bunshaped bun
  7. Put it on the cutting board with the sealed side down. Turn it and shape it with your hands into a small mountain. It should have height because it will flatten when it bakes, and we don’t want it too flat. Move the bun and rub the seal on the cutting board to smooth it out. Pinch shut any holes or weak spots.smooth bun
  8. Put the ball on to a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and filling. Space them 1 inch apart on the pan so they have room to expand. Let them rise for another hour, or until they are about 6 inches wide.kimchippang rise

Bake and serve:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F.
  2. To make a clear, even egg wash, beat and egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water and strain it through a fine strainer. Brush it over the buns.strain eggegg brush
  3. Bake for 25 minutes until shiny and golden brown.kimchi-ppang
  4. Serve as a snack or a meal.

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11 Comments:

  1. jnewport Kansas City joined 4/17
    Posted April 21st, 2017 at 11:11 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! My husband and I are huge fans of yours – we often make your soft tofu stew, spicy stir fried pork, and a bunch of other things you’ve taught us about. We even have your cookbook and I gifted a copy to my mom.

    I’d love to try making this recipe, but it looks as if it makes too much for two people to eat at once. Would it be possible to freeze the buns after forming them?

    Thanks so much for all you do!

    (3)
    • jnewport Kansas City joined 4/17
      Posted April 21st, 2017 at 11:14 am | # |

      I’m so sorry, I just noticed the answer to my question in your post – I admit I skimmed it because I was so excited at the idea of trying these. Whoops!

      (0)
      • jnewport Kansas City joined 4/17
        Posted April 21st, 2017 at 11:33 am | # |

        I guess my revised question would be: Should I freeze the buns after they proof or after baking?

        (2)
  2. thanhthuyyeh Canada joined 3/17
    Posted April 21st, 2017 at 10:01 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I and my family love you and your recipes so much. Today afternoon i made kimchi pork buns for dinner. So yummy !!! Thank you for your recipe.


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    (1)
  3. sanne Munich joined 8/14
    Posted April 21st, 2017 at 3:43 pm | # |

    That’s ideal for yesterday’s leftovers from a party with a very dear Korean friend!
    I’ll prepare the filling beforehand and freeze it.

    A suggestion for your recipe, dear Maangchi:
    8 ounces equal exactly 1 cup…
    1/4 cup, on the other hand,…

    Bye, Sanne.

    (1)
  4. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11
    Posted April 20th, 2017 at 10:40 pm | # |

    Wow! Maangchi has such nice buns! I would love to eat them!

    (1)
  5. Ejc Sydney joined 4/17
    Posted April 29th, 2017 at 12:29 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, baked this for my family today.
    My son loves it. Thanks for the recipe


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  6. klotinel Idaho joined 4/17
    Posted April 25th, 2017 at 3:47 pm | # |

    Oh my goodness! While I was watching your video I thought I could smell them and my mouth was watering like I was going to taste one! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

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  7. XiaoKeAi Dallas joined 4/17
    Posted April 22nd, 2017 at 10:52 pm | # |

    I always make your recipes. This is my first time posting on your website! My family loves the kimchi pork buns!!! Thank you!


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