Mar 14

Whole Wheat Steamed Pork Buns

Oh hey, fluffy little balls of dough stuffed with pork.

Steamed Pork Buns (6 of 8)

I just want to hug you and then nom you all up!  I really like how ‘nom’ has replaced the word ‘gobble.’  Never was a big fan of the word gobble, unless it’s turkey time…which it’s not. 

I also really liked stuffed things.  Usually my stuffed things tend to be sweet (i.e. cookies, like this recipe, these or oh yumm these).  When I was making these I kept thinking, “this is like a giant savory stuffed cookie…FOR DINNER.”  And who doesn’t like cute food? amiright?!

I had been wanting to make steamed pork buns since forevvver.  Or more specifically ever since a group of my dietetic interns went to eat dim sum last Fall.  So I jumped over to to find a base recipe.  This recipe for Char Siu Bao (aka pork buns) looked promising.

Steamed Pork Buns (1 of 8)

I feel like I’m supposed to be posting something green today.  With St. Patrick’s Day coming up and all.  But honestly, I dropped the ball.  I mean, I did add a scallion garnish to some of these pictures…and those are green.  That counts…i think.  I can totally handle wearing something green on St. Patrick’s day (i don’t want to be pinched), but as far as green food, I’ll just default to that one time I made green ice cream.

We should just get to the heart of the issue.  I probably didn’t make green food because deep down I’m bitter because I’ve never thrown (or attended) a St. Patrick’s Day party…do those even exist? Invite me.

I did however just buy two pairs of mint chocolate chip colored pants from J. Crew.  They will totally be part of my St. Patrick’s Day green(-ish) apparel.  The thing I will miss most about being a student is utilizing the J. Crew 15% off student discount.  That will be a very emotional day. 

Steamed Pork Buns (3 of 8)

ohhh and another sob story…I seem to have a wee-little spell of vertigo again.  The meds my doctor gives me for it make me super sleepy, so my life has involved as many tiny (and not so tiny) naps as I can possibly squeeze in.  When I fly, the vertigo tends to get worse with the pressure changes.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t get too bad by the time we land in California. 

The good news is that I totally love eating when I have vertigo (except when I’m super naseous)…because it takes the focus off my sense of balance and puts it on my sense of taste.  Let the delicious vacation food eating begin. 

Steamed Pork Buns (2 of 8)Steamed Pork Buns (4 of 8)

And speaking of delicious food, they’re putting in a frozen yogurt(!!!) place within biking distance of my house.  Which means a) I need to get a bike and 2) I need to get me one of those SUPER tight biking outfits so I don’t eat too much cake batter froyo topped with peanut butter cups & cookie dough & chocolate covered pretzelness.

Before we skip ahead to dessert, let’s talk dinner.  You should make steamed pork buns.  That was a quick talk.

Steamed Pork Buns (5 of 8)

…tell me you want to hug that guy (^^^) as much as I do.

Whole Wheat Steamed Pork Buns
  1. 1 lb lean pork
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  4. 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  5. 2 tablespoons honey
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 1 teaspoon gingerroot, minced
For filling
  1. 1/2 lb pork (recipe above), diced (I used the other 1/2 lb of pork as leftovers later in the week)
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1/2 tablespoon ginger root, minced
  4. 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  5. 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  6. 4 scallions, chopped
For buns
  1. 3/4 cup warm water (between 110F-120F)
  2. 1 tablespoon honey
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  6. pinch salt
Pork & Marinade
  1. Prepare marinade in a large sealable bag by combining garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, brown sugar and gingerroot. Place pork in the bag and coat in the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Preheat oven to 350F. Place pork in a roasting pan with the pan below filled with water. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145F.
  1. While the pork cooks, prepare your filling. In a large bowl, combine hoisin sauce, sriracha sauce and scallions. In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and add ginger root. Stir frequently and heat until just toasted, about 2 minutes. Add toasted gingerroot to hoisin-sriracha sauce mixture. Add in chopped pork and stir to incorporate.
  1. In a cereal-sized bowl, combine warm water and honey until the honey dissolves. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow to sit (~5 minutes) until yeast begins to bubble. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use the dough attachment to combine wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and combine on the lowest speed for 4 minutes. Increase to next highest speed and mix for 4 additional minutes. Grease a large bowl with olive oil and add in the dough ball. Cover and let rise for 15 minutes. Dump dough out onto a floured surface. Press flat and cut into 8 pieces. Evenly divide the filling among the 8 pieces. Pinch the dough closed around the filling. Allow the filled dough balls to rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Place a steam basket over boiling water. Add pork buns (I steamed mine in 2 batches) and steam covered for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately topped with chopped scallions.
Serves 4 (makes 8 pork buns)
Adapted from
Adapted from
Steamed Pork Buns (2 of 2)

oh yum.

14 comments on “Whole Wheat Steamed Pork Buns”

  1. YUMMY!!!! When I went to Macao for grad school I LOVED pork buns! I will definitely be trying these. Dim Sum rocks! Btw…I still have my student ID card (I graduated from grad school in 2012 and my husband graduated last year from med school) and we BOTH still use the JCrew student discount. Shhhh…just keep giving them your school email. They will never know! ;) After all that money I spent on school I think I am a lifetime student. Ya know-since it will take a lifetime to pay med and grad school off.

  2. love love love love these! I often pick some up at the grocery store, now I can make them at home

  3. That looks so good!! I’m definitely going to try it out when school finishes! :) Thanks for sharing it!!!

  4. Oh my gosh I DO want to hug it. But I still want to eat it. I’m also loving the fro yo strategies!
    I might just try these out on my {Asian} family to sneak in some nutrition in our beloved dim sum :)

  5. This reminds me of the chinese pork buns I used to eat when I was little! My parents always bought them for a snack from the Chinese bakery. lol. Or as part of breakfast. Thanks for making a healthier version of it. =)

  6. i need to dream up a gluten-free version of these stat! (& I’ve had another bout or vertigo myself lately too… So not pleasant. So sorry!)

  7. I miss pork buns so much… I lived in Hong Kong for 6 months 5 years ago… do you think I could sub out flour for gluten free flour?

  8. These look delicious!! I love that you made them whole wheat.

  9. Love that you used whole wheat flour – makes them a healthy alternative to normal bao’s and totally means i can eat more, right ;)

  10. Do these save well?? Like if i were to make them on the weekend would they be good to reheat for a weekday meal?

  11. :-/ Not sure what went wrong. The dough didn’t really come together in the mixer. It was just a crumbly mess. Tried fixing it by kneading it by hand, but ended up with bland dough that didn’t steam well at all. Was kind of a waste of ingredients. The filling was good though, so I ate that.

  12. Pingback: Healthy Dinner Recipes with Pork for Weight Loss | NewStart Nutrition

  13. Pingback: 11 Wholesome Dumpling Recipes From Across the World – Health Gained

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top