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Bánh Bao

Vietnamese steamed buns – this recipe makes 5 big buns




  • 500gr flour (I would suggest try getting ‘dumpling flour’ or ‘bao flour’ from the Asian supermarket as these will yield whiter coloured buns and be more easy to work with)
  • 7g Instant yeast
  • 250ml warm milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pinch salt


  • 300g minced pork meat
  • 1 chicken egg
  • 5 quail eggs
  • 25g glass noodles soaked and chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 10g wood ear mushroom chopped


  1. Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk (about 40ºC, not boiling) and leave for 10 mins until it becomes foamy (important!) – if it doesn’t foam up, it could be that your instant yeast has expired or the milk is too hot.
  2. Add the flour + salt into the yeast and warm milk mixture. Mix for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  3. Leave the dough to rest for at least 1 hour, in the meantime prepare the filling
  4. Boil the quail eggs for 10 minutes then rinse them in cold water. Once cooled, peel and leave aside
  5. Chop onion into small pieces
  6. Soak the glass noodles and wood ear mushroom in hot water for 5 minutes
  7. Slice the noodles and mushrooms into small pieces
  8. In a big bowl, mix together the mince meat, chopped onion, chopped wood ear mushroom, chopped glass noodles. Add in the salt, pepper, and the chicken egg. Mix everything until you get a pasty texture
  9. Take the dough that’s been resting, gently fold it a few times. Divide into 5 equal portions
  10. Take each portion, roll out into thin discs. Use your rolling pin to thin out the sides. The disc should be about 15cm diameter
  11. Take a big spoon full of filling and place it into the center of the dough disk, then add a quail egg
  12. Fold the bao in the same manner as dumplings: by pinching the sides together and then twist the middle. Use a bit of water to help the dough stick easier.
  13. Prepare a steamer. stick some baking paper at the bottom of the buns so that they don’t stick to the steamer. Steam the buns for 15-20 minutes and they are ready to be served!