Steamed Pork Buns (Bao Zi)

Last year, for Chinese Lunar New Year, I made…a Strawberries & Cream Pie. Super delicious, but not exactly culturally relevant/appropriate. This year, I was determined to be a Good Chinese Girl and actually cook something Chinese. After all, it’s my dad’s zodiac year, and I wanted to make something in honor of his special year. Steamed pork buns (bao zi) were the first thing that came to mind, because my dad loves them, and they’re one of my favorite things to eat when I go home to see my parents. Plus, I figured steamed buns couldn’t be all that much harder or different than dumplings, which I had tackled a few times before.

As it turns out, they are totally different, and I am terrible at making them. Which is unfortunate and more than a little depressing because, according to my mom (who laughed at me when I called to complain), steamed buns are one of the easiest Chinese treats to make. WHATEVER, MOM. I just can’t deal with yeasty dough and rolling pins, ok? All that rolling and pinching and twisting…my fingers just aren’t that nimble! So yeah. These definitely are not the prettiest bao zi I’ve ever seen, but you know what? They’re delicious! Sure, my first batch was under-steamed and kinda gummy…and maybe the skin was just a tad too thick and lumpy. BUT, once I got a hang of all the rolling and steaming, the next few batches were juicy, meaty, and tender. And, they tasted almost exactly like the ones my mom makes, so…I’m going to count this as a win.

Happy year of the Snake, everyone!


  1. says

    These were wonderful! My first time making baozi. Loved the steamed dough. My son was a huge fan and I frozen the extra for quick lunches later in the week.

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