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Chinese baozi pork and chicken bun after breaking it open (green and grey tie dyed bun dough wrapped around a pork and chicken filling)

Pork and Chicken Bāozi 包子 (Pork & Chicken Steamed Bao Buns)

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  • Author: Kelly
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Steamed Pork Buns (Baozi) 1x


This Chinese pork buns recipe makes 8 delicious baozi which means it’s the perfect starter recipe for anyone new to making these buns who may not want to invest the time or expense of making a whole batch. Just be warned that these buns are seriously good and you’ll probably wish you’d made more to freeze. Scale the recipe up, or make it as is — the choice is yours. If you’re interested in making the full batch (16 total buns), you can get that recipe with easy-to-read measurements over here at this post. 



Extra Soft Bao Bun Ingredients

Tangzhong Bao Dough Starter

  • 2 tablespoons water (30g)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose or 00 flour (16g)

Remaining Bao Bun Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour or 00 flour (218g)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast (or active dry) (1g)
  • 2 teaspoons dehydrated potato flakes (sub potato flour) (4g)
  • 1 tablespoon dried milk powder (10g)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons sugar (23g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (1g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (1g)
  • 3 ounces warm water (90g)

For Coloring the Bao Dough (OPTIONAL) *Choose ONE of the below additions if you want to color the bao bun dough green OR grey)

  • 4 tablespoons frozen spinach (60g)
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame paste (6g)

Ground Pork and Chicken Baozi Filling

  • 11 ounces fatty ground pork (300g)
  • 3 ounces ground chicken thigh (100g)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger water (30g) (recipe follows)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (23g)
  • 1 large onion finely diced (200g)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (15g)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (15g)
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce (10g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Pixan doubanjiang sauce (8g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (2g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar (3g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, or more to taste (0.25g)
  • 2 scallions, diced (white and green parts separated)
  • Pinch or two of ground Chinese five-spice
  • Salt to taste

Cornstarch Slurry

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (7g)
  • 1/2 tablespoon water (7g)

Ginger Water

  • 2 tablespoons hot water (30g)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, diced (30g)

Combine the ingredients in a small pot and heat to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour before using.


  1. Make the tangzhong. In a small pot add 2 tablespoons of water and bring it almost to a boil over high heat, slowly add the flour while whisking the mixture with a fork constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking and stirring constantly for just a minute or two more until the mixture starts to ball up around the fork. Remove it from the heat and place the tangzhong in a small bowl to cool completely to room temperature. 
  2. If coloring the dough green. Add frozen thawed spinach to 3 ounces (90g) of hot water and purée using an immersion blender (or food processor). Strain the spinach water through a fine mesh sieve and measure out exactly 3 ounces (90g) of spinach-water. Be sure the spinach-water is warm, but not hot so that it doesn’t kill the yeast. 
  3. If coloring the dough grey. Add 1 teaspoon of black sesame paste to 3 ounces (90g) of warm water and stir well to combine. 
  4. Make the bao bun dough & let it rise (1st rise). Add the flour, yeast, sugar, powdered milk, potato flour, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment and whisk the ingredients well to combine. Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the warm water just until the dough comes together. *If you’re coloring the dough green OR grey, you’ll add either the warm black sesame paste water or the warm spinach water here instead of just plain warm water. With the machine running, add the cooled tangzhong pinching off small pieces into the bowl, and continue kneading and mixing for approximately 12 minutes stopping the machine periodically to pull the dough back down off of the hook (because it tends to climb). Once the dough has been kneaded and is smooth, remove it and shape it into a round. Lightly oil the mixing bowl and place the dough round back into the bowl and turn it over to coat all sides with a little oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer if you’re in a colder environment). 
  5. Make the ginger water and add it to the meat mixture. Bring 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of large diced ginger to a boil in a small pot. Immediately turn off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Allow the mixture to cool completely, strain it, add it to the ground meat, stir to incorporate it, and set aside or refrigerate until ready to cook. Then add the cornstarch and water to a small bowl and stir until smooth and no lumps remain. Set the slurry aside until ready to use. 
  6. Portion the dough & let it rise (2nd rise). Once the dough has risen, punch it down, form it into a log, and cut 8 equal pieces (about 48g each). Keep the dough covered while you work with one piece at a time to form them into small round balls. Cover loosely with sustainable cling film, and allow them to rise for about 30 more minutes. 
  7. Make the pork bun filling. While the dough is rising, mix the Shaoxing wine, hoisin sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, Pixan doubanjiang sauce, sesame oil, sugar, white pepper, and Chinese five-spice in a bowl. Adjust seasonings if desired and set aside. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to a wok or large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, add the onions, scallions (white part only), and garlic, and cook until tender and fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add the pork and chicken mixture, season with a little salt, and stir-fry until the meat is cooked through (about 4 minutes). Add the Shaoxing wine mixture to the pork, stir, and cook until the meat has absorbed much of the sauce (about 3 minutes). Add the cornstarch slurry, stir to combine, and cook until the mixture thickens (about 2 minutes). Remove the filling to a bowl to cool and stir in the scallions (green parts). 
  8. Prepare the steamer basket. Line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper punctured with holes, cabbage leaves, or even lettuce leaves. You may also brush the cabbage or lettuce with a little oil if desired. Set them aside until ready to use.
  9. Shape, fill the buns, & let them rest (3rd rise). Working with one dough ball at a time on a non-stick Silpat or dough mat, press the outer perimeter of the dough ball down with your fingertips leaving a small rounded mound in the middle. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough edges into a circle about 1/4-inch thick without flattening the center where the mound is. *Leaving a thicker mound in the center of the wrapper helps create a sturdier bao bun once the filling is added.  Fill the buns with an equal amount of filling and pleat and pinch the dough around the filling to seal it up (see photos). Twist the dough at the top to close it and then transfer the sealed buns to the prepared steamer basket (leaving about 2 inches in between each bun so they don’t stick together as they steam). Cover the buns in the steamer basket using sustainable cling film and let them rest for 30 minutes. 
  10. Steam the buns. Remove the plastic and set the steamer basket over a wok or sauté pan with enough water to steam the buns for 15 minutes. Do not place the buns where they will be in contact with any water. Turn the heat on to high, cover, and set a timer for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the hot buns from the steamer basket and eat them immediately, or allow them to cool to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months, Enjoy!


  • If you want to create these mixed green and grey tie-dyed pork buns, I suggest making one full recipe of bao dough using black sesame and one full recipe using spinach which makes enough total bao dough for 16 pork buns. You can then double the recipe for the pork and chicken filling to make 16 pork buns. Steam and freeze what you don’t eat or roll the buns out to make the Japanese-style pork buns without filling.
  • You can make the pork and chicken filling the day before you make the buns. Just cover and refrigerate until ready to fill the bao wrappers. Give it a good stir before filling the pork buns. 
  • If you’re not good at pleating the buns, don’t worry (I obviously haven’t perfected this part yet either). Instead, you can just pinch the top of the bun together to seal it and flip it over (as seen in some of the photos. You can also fold them like a regular dumpling into a half-moon shape first and seal them up like a hand pie or fried pie. As long as you get them sealed, it won’t matter what the shape is. 

How to Store Homemade Bao Buns (Baozi)

Once the buns have been steamed and cooled completely, you can bag them and place them into the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, or into the freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. For longer-term freezer storage, it’s best to first wrap them individually with sustainable cling film to keep the frost off of them and then into a larger bag or container. You can steam the buns again from frozen (they take about 8 minutes to heat back up), or you may thaw the buns in the refrigerator overnight and steam them for 4 to 6 minutes. 

5 Ways to Reheat Chinese Pork Buns (Bāozi)

One of the great things about making pork buns at home is that you can freeze them once they’ve been steamed which makes for super quick breakfasts or dinners when you don’t have time to cook. Here are the best ways to reheat pork buns to make sure they taste just like they were steamed.

    • Pan-sear pork buns in a hot skillet with a little oil until golden brown and heated through. This is an easy and delicious way my Chinese friends like to reheat cold pork buns.
    • Microwave pork buns. Wrap the buns in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds, or until steaming hot.
    • Steam the buns to reheat them. Add the buns to a parchment-lined steamer basket set over a wok or pot with about 2 inches of boiling water and steam the buns for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through and soft. Make sure the buns never have contact with the water.
    • Reheat them in the oven by placing the buns on a large piece of aluminum foil and adding two damp paper towels to the tops of the buns, close the aluminum foil to seal it completely, and place them into a preheated 350°F176°C oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through and soft.
    • If you don’t have a steamer basket, make a DIY steamer using a small pot and a metal colander. Place the buns in the colander set atop a pot with a little boiling water and place a lid on top of the colander being sure not to allow the buns to have contact with the water. Steam for several minutes until warmed through and fluffy.
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dim Sum
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 2 Baozi (pork buns)
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