Steamed Buns


There’s a Dim Sum place in our area that always has a line stretching out along the sidewalk outside of the restaurant. And if you know anything about Nathan you know that he does not like standing in lines (this is why he does not accompany me to Costco.) So, the solution to us eating tasty Dim Sum without waiting in line is to make it ourselves! We started with one of the most delicious and iconic Dim Sum staples…steamed pork buns. The dough was easier to whip up and steam than I was expecting and then we stuffed the buns with slow cooked pulled pork covered in Asian barbecue sauce. We don’t have a traditional bamboo steamer so we use our stainless steaming basket and it worked well. The result is a light, slightly chewy bun bursting with savory smokiness…so good! If you’re like us and hate waiting in lines try making your own steamed pork buns!

steamed-buns-040 Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Polka Dot Riesling, 2013
Rating: 8.0 out of 10.0

This wine is a little sweeter than what I normally prefer, but with the strong and spicy flavors in the pulled pork it worked perfectly. It has a nice acidity to balance the sweetness and has notes of peach and melon. It would be great with a variety of spicy dishes!

steamed-buns-039 Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Asahi Super Dry
Rating: 7.0 out of 10.0

Asahi will get a lot of hate from craft beer lovers but there is a reason why eastern beers are usually super light. These types of beers are perfect with rich, spicy dishes that are a staple of the cuisine. Asahi is crisp, clean, with minimal malt and hop characteristics and a lot of carbonation. Exactly what is needed for washing down some steamy buns filled with rich pulled pork!


Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe

From this recipe
Servings: 12-14 buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour resting
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Equipment: Steaming basket, pastry brush, parchment paper


1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon cooking oil (canola or vegetable), plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting
1.5 cups cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
12-14 squares parchment paper (4″x4″)

Pulled pork (From this recipe)
Asian Barbecue Sauce (recipe below)
1 bunch scallions, chopped


1. In a mixer bowl, add the warm water, oil, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 1 minute, until the yeast begins to bubble a bit. Next, add in the flour, baking powder and salt, in that order. With the paddle attachment, mix on low for 2 minutes. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. Change to a dough hook, and on speed 2, knead for 4 minutes, until dough is smooth, supple and clear the sides of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the side of the bowl, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time.
2. Dust your counter with a little flour and turn out your dough. I like to hand knead it a few times, so that I can get a feel for the dough. Shape the dough into a smooth ball. Return the dough ball to the mixing bowl, cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm, dry spot for 1-2 hours, until it nearly doubles in size.
3. Turn out your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Gently roll each half into a log shape. Cut each log into 6 or 7 little balls. We’ll work with one ball at a time, so keep the rest covered with plastic wrap so that they don’t dry out. Form each ball by bringing in the sides (see photos above) and pinching the center. Turn ball over to get a nice, taut ball. Roll the dough ball out to a long, oval shape about 6″x3″. Brush the top with a little cooking oil. Fold over one side of the oval. Use your rolling pin to gently roll and press one last time. Place bun on a parchment paper square, place into the bamboo steamer and cover with lid to prevent drying. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
4. Fill your pot or wok with 2″ of water. Place the steamer ring (if you have one) bamboo baskets on top. Do not turn on the heat yet. Let rest for 10 minutes. Then, turn on the heat to high. When you begin to see steam coming up from the top of the steamer, reduce heat to medium-high. Let steam for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, without opening the steamer. Let rest for 1 minute. Open steamer and gently lift the steamer baskets off one another to let the buns cool.
TIP: If you are not eating right away, you can keep the buns in the bamboo steamer, on top of the pot of water. Make sure there is plenty of water in the pot. Turn heat to low, so that you have a gentle mist of steam coming up to keep the buns moist and warm. Make sure you don’t run out of water in the pot!

Stuff the buns with the pulled pork, and garnish with chopped scallions.

Pulled Pork

We had pulled pork left over from this recipe and it was perfect for morphing into an asian style pulled pork! This is super versatile pulled pork for sandwiches, tacos or just to eat on it’s own!

Asian Barbecue Sauce
Yield: Makes about 1 cup


6 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder


1. Stir together all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the pulled pork to the barbecue sauce and combine. Warm the pork through for a 2-3 minutes.

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