Steamed Meat Buns

Steamed meat buns – like the kinds you get at dim sum restaurants.  There aren’t any good places to get these where I live, and I had a craving for them one day.  These can be filled with different kinds of meat, but I’ve chosen to go with ground beef because I’m an expert at browning ground beef and I didn’t want to mess this one up too badly because I already had high hopes to make this great.  This is also a little bit time consuming, because you have to prepare the meat and the dough and find your steamer that you haven’t used in years…and well, it was just time consuming.

I knew the moment I came up with the idea to make these buns that they were going to be a real challenge.   I also did some careful research to find the perfect recipe that came with very specific step by step instructions.  I ended up using a combination of recipes, because everyone has their own way of making these precious meaty jewels.

This guy was sort of helpful:

And I sort of used regular recipe websites to give me some guidance on how it’s done, like this one at All Recipies.  TheKitchn was also very helpful, and they offer a vegetarian alternative.

In the end, I ended up using a combination of different recipes I saw online.  They were all similar enough, and I ended up with a nice fluffy bun in the end anyway.

For the dough (as I mentioned, I used a combination of recipes online and settled for this):

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt

I let my yeast activate in warm water before I add it to the flour and other ingredients.  So, I did that first, kneaded the dough, then set the blob of dough inside of an oven with the light on, because I hear that’s a good “warm” place for the dough to remain if you don’t have another place in mind.  I left it alone for about an hour.


In the meantime, I prepared the ground meat.  You can fill these steamed buns with anything you want.  Traditionally, pork goes in there, but I didn’t have pork handy so I went with ground meat mixed in with some other stuff.  This meat filling was also invented on the fly, since I was more concerned about how to make the dough than the filling.

  • 1 lb ground meat
  • green onions
  • white onion
  • soy sauce
  • white rice wine


If you want to try this recipe yourself, please find yourself something tastier…this came out rather dry…The meat came out fine, as in edible, but I should have done something to it to make it saucier.  MY BAD.  I didn’t look up a different recipe because I was getting hungry.  😦 so much shame.

Moving on.  Time for the assembly, as depicted in this photo montage below.

First I rolled out the dough and cut it into pieces.  I flattened the dough and added the filling after that.  Then I proceeded to try my hand at the making the neat twisty closure at the top of the bun.


Close enough, I say!

Then it was time to put these little gems on pieces of square parchment paper (I had to go with wax paper because that’s what I had in the kitchen; it worked out fine) in the steamer.


After about 15-20 minutes of cooking in the steamer…..


…this is what I got!

steam buns (19)

Big ol’ buns.  Really, these came out larger than I anticipated.  I thought about this when I assembled them.

steam buns (21)

Maybe it’s because I had a huge craving for these that I didn’t mind the dry meat on the inside..I actually thought these came out quite alright.  The bread was light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness.


Presentation: I’ll need to work on my folding technique, but they, they’re not too shabby for my first time!
Edibility: Edible indeed.  Must also work on the filling next time.
Tastiness: Yes!
Rematch?: Of course, now that I know how to properly use a steamer. Woot woot!


2 thoughts on “Steamed Meat Buns

  1. cool blog, dude.

    i love nikuman (that is what we call meatbuns here in japan). perfect winter food. making them can be a pain, but heck, you did a great job for your first try. better than i did for sure.

    the photo of that giant mess is lost in the archives, hopefully never to be found. 😉

  2. I’ve never wanted to try meat buns because they always looked too hard. Same with gyozas. Too much folding haha But this doesn’t look too bad – maybe I’ll give it a try sometime 🙂

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