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Easy Banh Bao Recipe (Vietnamese Steamed Pork Bun)

Banh bao
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This easy Vietnamese Banh Bao recipe yields the fluffiest steamed pork buns ever! Make a big batch to freeze and quickly reheat for a delicious breakfast or snack.

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What is Banh Bao?

The term Bánh bao literally means “bun cake.” Similar to the Chinese bao zi, the Vietnamese banh bao is a light and fluffy steamed bun that can contain a savory pork filling.

But while both are similar, banh bao recipes use fish sauce while bao zi recipes use the Chinese five-spice. In addition, the addition of Chinese sausage and quail eggs is a distinct feature of banh baos.

Ingredients to Make Vietnamese Banh Bao

For The Dough

  • 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (I used this one)
  • 1 3/4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Filling

How to Make Banh Bao

Make the Dough

  1. Into a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, yeast, oil. Mix together, and slowly pour the water or milk into the mixture. Mix again until just combined.
  2. Lightly dust your hand with extra flour (this will help the dough from sticking to your hands). Knead the dough slightly and shape it into a ball.
  3. Sprinkle some flour onto the surface you’re rolling on. Then start kneading the dough on the floured surface for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth. As you knead, I find it helps to sprinkle in flour every once in a while to reduce stickiness. Form the dough into a ball.
  4. Coat a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Cover with cloth or plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm place for about 30-60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the Filling

  1. Meanwhile, add the ground pork, oyster sauce (I like this one), fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, shallots, green onions, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Mix until well-combined.
  2. Let the filling mixture for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Assembling the Banh Bao

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle some more flour on your rolling surface and divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
  2. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into a circle, making sure the middle is slightly thicker.
  3. Place some of the pork filling on the middle of the dough circle (I use a cookie scoop), then add the egg and Chinese sausage.
  4.  Bring the dough up around the meat, then pinch the ends together to close. Roll it into a ball, or twist the top to make a pattern.
  5. Place the uncooked banh bao on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up, and cover with plastic wrap to avoid drying.
  6. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Cooking the Banh Bao

  1. Bring water in the steamer to a boil (I use this one). Once water is boiling, place the buns in the steamer tray (I like to use pre-cut parchment squares under each one). Make sure to leave about 2 inch of space between each bun.
  2. Close the steamer lid and cook over high heat for 11-12 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and transfer the buns to a cooling rack. These banh bao’s are best eaten immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. ENJOY!

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Banh bao

Easy Banh Bao Recipe (Vietnamese Steamed Pork Bun)

DWELL by Michelle
This easy Vietnamese Banh Bao recipe yields the fluffiest steamed pork buns ever! Make a big batch to freeze and quickly reheat for a delicious breakfast or snack.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting Time 3 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Servings 16 buns
Calories 376 kcal

Ingredients
  

For The Dough

  • 2⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (I used this one)
  • tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • cup water or milk
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the Filling

Instructions
 

Make the Dough

  • Into a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, yeast, oil. Mix together, and slowly pour the water or milk into the mixture. Mix again until just combined.
  • Lightly dust your hand with extra flour (this will help the dough from sticking to your hands). Knead the dough slightly and shape it into a ball.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto the surface you're rolling on. Then start kneading the dough on the floured surface for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth. As you knead, I find it helps to sprinkle in flour every once in a while to reduce stickiness. Form the dough into a ball.
  • Coat a large bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Cover with cloth or plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm place for about 30-60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.

Make the Filling

  • Meanwhile, add the ground pork, oyster sauce (I like this one), fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, shallots, green onions, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Mix until well-combined.
  • Let the filling mixture for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Assembling the Banh Bao

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle some more flour on your rolling surface and divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into a circle, making sure the middle is slightly thicker.
  • Place some of the pork filling on the middle of the dough circle (I use a cookie scoop), then add the egg and Chinese sausage. Bring the dough up around the meat, then pinch the ends together to close. Roll it into a ball, or twist the top to make a pattern.
  • Place the uncooked banh bao on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used up, and cover with plastic wrap to avoid drying.
  • Allow the dough to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Cooking the Banh Bao

  • Bring water in the steamer to a boil (I use this one). Once water is boiling, place the buns in the steamer tray (I like to use pre-cut parchment squares under each one). Make sure to leave about 2 inch of space between each bun.
  • Close the steamer lid and cook over high heat for 11-12 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and transfer the buns to a cooling rack. These banh bao's are best eaten immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. ENJOY!
Keyword afternoon snack, bread, bread recipes, breakfast, breakfast ideas, breakfast recipes, easy breakfast recipes, easy snack recipes, easy snacks, healthy snacks

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Recipe Rating




7 Comments

      1. Hi Elizabeth! You can use water, milk, or a combination of both! Using more percentage of milk will result in softer buns, but water will do just fine if you’re avoiding dairy or just don’t have it.

  1. 5 stars
    My mom used to make this all the time so I tried making my own banh bao with your recipe now that I live by myself. It was amazing! A bit time consuming (mostly because I don’t typically cook) but well worth it in the end

  2. 5 stars
    I was so nervous about making this cause i’ve never done anything like it before, but wanted to tell you that it was a success!! My whole family devoured the entire batch for lunch and it was fantastic. I used regular boiled egg, but I’ll have to use quail eggs next time now that I know i’m capable of making banh bao. SO FUN!!