Steamed flower-shaped buns

Kkotppang 꽃빵

Let’s make kkotppang this time! Kkot is “flower” in Korean and ppang is “bread” or “buns”. I love the cute name: kkotppang kkotppang, I can’t stop saying it! : )

I first learned about kkotppang when I lived in Columbia, Missouri in the 1990s. Our Korean expat group used to have a potluck meeting. The expats came from all over Korea, so it was a good chance for me to taste some regional Korean dishes. Someone brought kkotppang one day, and I had never seen them before so I was really curious about the buns. She said she bought them from a Korean grocery store.


I found out it was a Chinese-Korean dish. Chinese immigrants living in Korea have developed all kinds of Koreanized Chinese recipes like jjajangmyeon, jjamppong, and tangsuyuk, dishes inspired by Chinese recipes but modified to Koreans’ taste using ingredients in Korea. Koreans eat kkotppang as a side dish with stir-fried meat and green chili peppers or chives. We wrap the items in soft kkotppang and eat them. You can do the same thing and wrap dishes like bulgogi or spicy stir-fried pork in kkotppang and pop them in your mouth!

At home, after tasting the kkotppang at that party in Missouri, I tried to recreate them in many ways. After a lot of experiments I succeeded in making pretty flower-shaped, wrinkly, fluffy buns. I still remember it! “Yay, I can make kkotppang!” I said. I hope you feel the same way when you make these bun. Enjoy their fluffiness!


  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil



Make the dough

  1. Combine warm water, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Stir and mix to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the dry yeast and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast gets foamy.
    kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  2. Add 2 cups flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until it turns into a lump. Knead the dough by hand for a minute.
  3. Cover and let it sit on the kitchen counter for 1 hour to 1½ hours, until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Deflate the dough and then knead for a minute. Cover and let it sit for another hour.

Shape the dough

  1. Deflate the dough and knead it until it’s smooth. Shape it into a nice smooth ball. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour to dust your dough and cutting board.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  2. Sprinkle some flour on the board and place the dough ball on top of. Roll it out with a rolling pin into a flat rectangle about 13 inches wide (33 cm) and 14 inches (35 cm) deep.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  3. Brush about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil all over the dough except for a 1 inch strip on the far end. And sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  4. Roll the sheet up to the un-oiled edge and then pinch the edge to seal it to the roll. Flip it over so the sealed side is down and cut the roll into 6 to 7 equal sized pieces.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  5. Brush a chopstick (or wooden skewer) with the leftover vegetable oil. Set the chopstick on the middle a piece of dough and then press down, shaping the roll into a flower bloom. Put it on the steamer basket lined with wet cotton cloth or steamer liner.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  6. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces, spacing them 1 inch part so they have room to expand.
  7. Let them rise for 30 to 40 minutes.kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)
  8. Meanwhile, fill your steamer with about 2½ inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn off and wait until the dough has totally risen.

Steam the buns

  1. When the dough is ready, reheat the water in the steamer and put the steamer basket with the buns inside. Put a large cotton cloth under the lid so that the water doesn’t drip back down onto the buns.
  2. Cover and steam over medium high heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and serve right away.steamed kkotppang
  4. You can freeze some leftover buns. When you serve them again, steam them for 10 minutes to make them fluffy again. Or put them in the microwave for 1 minute.

kkotppang (steamed flower buns: 꽃빵)



  1. Heather3327 Missouri joined 5/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!
    I’ve been a fan of your recipes for awhile and just happened upon this one. I was so surprised to see that you used to live in Columbia, Missouri! I currently teach English to a lot of the Korean expats that are in Columbia, MO now. What a small world! I’ll be sure to let them know about your recipes too. :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,843 comments

      Oh reading you comment makes me miss Columbia Missouri now! I miss the downtown coffee shop, Korean grocery store, and farmer’s market and of course Dillard’s department store. : ) Most of my old friends don’t live there anymore, but I’d like to visit again someday.

  2. vsylvia somewhere joined 12/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    I made it!!

    See full size image

  3. HoneyT London joined 10/18 & has 2 comments

    Hello Maangchi!
    I’ve just finished making my 1st batch of kkotpang but mine look a bit more brown and saggy compared to yours. What do you think I did wrong? I used all purpose flour(not bleached). Should I have used s different flour?

    • HoneyT London joined 10/18 & has 2 comments

      And it’s also a bit harder to pull apart and not as soft as I remember from my childhood. Its a bit more like bread for some reason

      • purplerainbow New Jersey joined 5/19 & has 1 comment

        i’m about to make my first batch, but what i’ve experienced with dough is that the more you knead, the squishier, more mochi, more chewy it gets. if you just want it to be bready, don’t knead a lot. but the more you knead, it gets a little more difficult to work with b/c it wants to stay together. please correct me if i’m wrong!

  4. guamababie Central Valley, CA joined 1/18 & has 6 comments

    Hello Maangchi, thank you so much for this easy-to-follow recipe and video. I followed all your steps exactly and my first attempt at making kkotppang was a success! They not only looked nice and fluffy, but my mom even complimented me by saying the banjook (dough?) was well done. She said the kkotppang reminded her of some anko ppang she made for my sister and me when we were very young. I don’t remember it, but I’m glad that your kkotppang brought back some good memories for my mom. Thank you so much. Now that I’ve got the kkotppang down, I’m going to try making it again next time with some kind of savory or sweet stuffing.

    See full size image

  5. hwvanessa South Korea joined 9/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, instead of steaming the buns, can I bake it in the oven? Is it going to turn out weird if I bake it? Thank you! :)

    • guamababie Central Valley, CA joined 1/18 & has 6 comments

      Hi hwvanessa, I think that if you bake instead of steam the buns, they will result in a different texture. Instead of being fluffy and bouncy/chewy, they will probably be more like rolls. It’s hard to explain, but I buy siopao buns from my local Filipino bakery and they sell both steamed and baked buns; the buns are made the same way and the only difference is that some are steamed while others are baked. They are definitely different in texture, and my family and I prefer the steamed buns. Hope this helps~

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