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  • Writer's pictureMealsbymiri

Pan Fried Steam Buns

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

I posted some pan fried buns on my Instagram stories the other day talking about how this is one of my very favourite dishes to make and eat, and the response I got asking for a recipe was overwhelming! Clearly, there was only one thing to do, so here's the recipe for you all. I hope you love it, and if you do, please snap a photo and tag me @mealsbymiri on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Ingredients: Dough:

120g all purpose flour

30g corn starch

20g granulated sugar

1tsp yeast

85g lukewarm water

Filling: 130g cabbage

2tsp sesame oil

210g button mushrooms

150g extra firm tofu

1tsp five spice

20ml black vinegar

3 large cloves garlic

40ml soy sauce

1/4tsp white pepper

salt to taste

4tsp (20ml) corn starch

8tsp (40ml) water

Making the dough

Make the dough by adding all ingredients to a bowl and kneading until you have a smooth ball. Cover and let it rest in a warm spot for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size. In the meanwhile you can prepare the filling.

Making the filling

Chop cabbage into thin strips and add to a pan with sesame oil. Finely chop mushrooms and add to the pan. Fry until both the cabbage and mushrooms have softened. Crumble the tofu with your hand, add to the pan and stir until well mixed with the cabbage and mushrooms. Chop your garlic and add to the pan along with the black vinegar, soy sauce, five spice and white pepper. Cook until the mushroom and cabbage is completely tender and everything is well combined and fragrant. Add salt to taste. Mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl. Turn the pan to low heat and carefully drizzle over the cornstarch mix while stirring. This will thicken the mixture and help it stick together. Transfer the filling to a separate bowl and leave to cool for a bit.

Rolling out the dough

Meanwhile, knock the air out of the dough and knead for a bit on a floured surface. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape these into little balls. Use a rolling pin and lots of flour to roll out each dough ball. I usually hold the dough with one hand and use the other to roll the rolling pin from the outer edge and into the middle, before turning the dough ball slightly and repeating the process, gradually turning the dough in a circle. This should ensure that you get a circular dough where the edges are thinner than the middle.


Place the dough-circle in your left palm and add a few spoonfuls of filling (more filling means a bigger and tastier bun, but can be harder to fold and increases the chance of the dough tearing, so find a happy middle that works for you!). Use your right hand to pinch the edges of the dough together as I've tried to illustrate below (this doesn't have to be super pretty as we're cooking them with the fold down!). Use your left thumb to push any filling down into the bun to prevent it from spilling out as you fold. Place the folded bun onto a floured parchment paper and repeat the process with the rest of the dough balls. Folding is probably the hardest step in the recipe, but remember, practice makes perfect!

Frying/steaming the buns

To a pot or deep frying pan with a lid, add a splash of canola oil. (I usually use 2 tsp oil per pot of 3 buns). Heat it up until you can stick a wooden chopstick into it and see bubbles forming around the edges. Depending on the size of your pot you might have to cook it in 2 or 3 batches, this is what I do and it works totally fine! Just make sure you don't overcrowd the pot as they will rise a bit as they cook. Place your buns evenly spaced apart into the oil and cook them until they are golden and crispy at the bottom. Then, add a splash of water (enough to cover about 0.5-1cm of the bottom of the pan) and place the lid on top. Set a timer to 12 minutes. If the water evaporates as you cook (you can tell if there is no longer steam coming out of the lid and it starts to make a sizzling sound instead of a boiling sound) feel free to add more water as you go. After 12 minutes remove the buns from the pan once all water has evaporated. If there is still water in the pan, just remove the lid and wait until it evaporates completely. Leave the buns to cool and repeat this process until all the buns are cooked. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and if you're feeling fancy, some chili oil and scallions to garnish.

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