Taiwanese Steamed Pork Buns 台灣肉包子are a very popular Taiwanese street food. They are available everywhere and that’s due to a combination of deliciousness and portability I suppose. You don’t need chopsticks, knife, fork to eat – just your hands. It’s handy if you have a plate or bowl but that’s not necessary either! This one is with the very traditional Taiwanese filling of minced pork and cabbage. In the UK we use sweetheart cabbage because it is not one of the bitter varieties. It’s a hard cabbage too, not a leafy one. The meat and cabbage flavour in the steamed bread is very nice and the flavours are brought out by the soy sauce, sesame oil and spices both baked in and that you might dip your bun in later.

This is a recipe with several stages; make the dough first, then while it is in the warm place rising you can prepare your filling. Then you’ve got to make the buns, filled with the pork and cabbage mixture. Later the buns get steamed. This recipe makes 16 large buns!

making the steamed pork buns

making the steamed pork buns; filling with pork mince and vegetables

The ingredients 食材 are as follows; Dough

  • 4 Chinese bowls of self raising flour
  • 1 Chinese bowl of warm water
  • 1 Chinese bowl of cold milk (or cold water is OK)
  • 2tsp yeast
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt
Ready to steam Taiwanese pork bun

Ready to steam Taiwanese pork bun

Ingredients 食材; Filling

  • 1kg pork mince
  • 1 sweetheart cabbage
  • a little ginger, white pepper, black pepper
  • half a Chinese bowl of soy sauce
  • 7 chinese mushrooms
  • water (from soaked mushrooms)
  • a dash of rice wine
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tsp salt

The method 作法;

  1. put yeast and sugar in the warm water, mix them up
  2. pour this liquid into the flour and make a dough
  3. add the last bowl of milk (water) and this makes the softer dough
  4. knead this dough for about 10 minutes
  5. poke the dough with your finger to test if it returns to shape, then it’s ready
  6. put the dough in a warm place for half an hour, it should rise to double size
  7. now it’s ready to roll, cut and fill with the filling (below)


  1. Chop the cabbage and mushrooms into small pieces.
  2. put the mince in a big mixing bowl
  3. add the soy sauce, black pepper, white pepper, rice wine, sesame oil and (mushroom) water
  4. mix this all together
  5. add the mushrooms
  6. grate some ginger to taste
  7. add the cabbage in now and mix it all together.
  8. when it looks well mixed add in 1tsp of salt and 2 tsp of sugar

Making the buns

  1. roll the dough for 5 minutes
  2. make it a long piece like your arm
  3. slice into about 16 pieces
  4. using a rolling pin, flatten the discs of dough into a circle about as big as a rice bowl
  5. put the filling in and pinch in the edges to deal the dough around the filling (see this done at 8 minutes 30s in the video)
  6. put each bun on a piece of baking paper
  7. prepare your steaming pan to keep the buns out of the water
  8. put in as many as will fit, remember they will get bigger when cooking, so leave some room
  9. for us we steamed 5 buns for 12 minutes using 3 bowls of water, it didn’t boil dry
  10. serve with some sauce; we used a mixture of soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and sesame oil – yummy!
we added a little chili, sesame and soy sauce mix to the hot buns

we added a little chili, sesame and soy sauce mix to the hot buns

As usual Joanne has recorded a cooking video so you can follow the timings, chopping sizes and method step by step, as she prepares the Taiwanese Steamed Pork Buns 台灣肉包子. Making the bun from the dough discs and filling looks easy on video but it might take a couple of tries before you are making the beautiful buns like Joanne does. It’s best to watch the video to see how she does it (if you have little time skip the video to 8 minutes 30s to see the technique).

How to make Taiwanese Steamed Pork Buns 台灣肉包子 cooking video

Stay tuned for more help, advice, cooking and shopping! I would guess what we are cooking next time but I’m always wrong!