Red Bean Bao/Chinese Steamed Bun [With step by step photos]

Finally I made the Red bean bao..This has been in my todo list for a long long time!
I am a big fan of the light and sweet steamed buns, every time I have it for breakfast I always wonder why I haven’t ever tried making this!
As always I chose the easy method and got the readymade red bean paste .
You can opt for a different sweet filling like sesame paste ,kaya ,custard or savory filling like mushrooms.
Once you have made-up your mind for the filling, the process is pretty simple proof, knead and steam!

Red Bean Bao/Chinese Steamed Bun

For the buns: Makes about 4 buns
½ Cup Hongkong flour/Bao Flour [You can substitute with  All purpose Flour]
½ tspn Instant yeast
¼ Cup warm milk or coconut milk
2 tbspn Sugar
1 tspn Oil
Pinch of baking powder

For the filling
¼ Cup red bean paste

In a small bowl, mix the yeast ,1 tspn Sugar, 1 tspn flour and 1-2 tbspn warm water and mix well until you clear all lumps
Cover and let it proof for 15 minutes.
Once it is proofed well, the mix will be foamy like this

Now sift together the flour and baking powder
Add the sugar ,yeast mix, and oil to the flour and mix well.
Add milk a tbspn at a time and form a soft dough [you don’t have to use the whole milk. I got the soft dough with 3tbspn milk ]
Knead well , add little flour if the dough is too sticky.
Continue to knead for another 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic
Cover with a damp cloth and let it proof for 1 hour.

Once the dough is proofed well and doubled in volume, lightly knead it and form a log
Cut the log into 4 equal portions
Lightly roll each portion to a ball, flatten it and add 1tbspn red bean paste.

Bring together the edges, seal the side and roll it to a ball and place it on a small piece of parchment paper.
Repeat the same for rest of the dough
Proof for another 5 minutes and steam for 15 minutes

The buns will fluff up and double in size so leave enough space between the baos before steaming
Cover the lid of the steamer with a cloth so that the water don’t drip on the baos during steaming


  1. Wow these look yum. What is bao flour? Can I use plain APF in place of it.

  2. @ Thanks Archana..You can substitute with APF as well. I have updated in the recipe! I read that if using APF the bao might get a light yellow tinch coz APF is unbleached.

  3. wow this is in my list for long too...looks so perfect...should try soon

  4. Bao looks delicious Ramya.I have to search for Bap flour.

  5. They are looking so cute and I'm sure they must be good in taste too.

  6. This is very new, steamed buns, looks good, shud have tasted great..

  7. Hi Ramya....
    first time here..
    love the buns......happy to follow u....


  9. I dont mind inviting myself to ur place to enjoy this wonderful buns..

  10. Wow,,,u tried this,..:) amazing,,,



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