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

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!


  1. I have to be careful with your blog. I can spend hours looking at it because I want to eat all of that stuff. I live in Taiwan and all my favorite restaurants are food carts. I saw your blog the first time in the taiwanderful Best Blog Award competition and now I spend a lot of time here.

    • Thanks very much for the compliments Chris. Quite a few new people have come to see Taiwan Duck from the Best Blog competition and we were in second place at one point! I’ve read some of your blog this morning and it’s very interesting about lots of varied topics, no wonder it’s popular. We will put your link on our blog roll shortly. Hope you can do some home cooking too and not just buy from the food carts! Cheers, Mark & Joanne

  2. Hi There, what kind of chilli sauce do you recommend we use for the mixture? (Feel free to type it in Chinese terms) 🙂

    • 嗨:我使用的是台灣的岡山辣椒醬或辣豆瓣醬都很好吃!!如果你住國外下次回台灣別忘了多帶幾罐~~在英國的國超市可買到的台灣品牌很少好像只有萬里香公司的,我沒試過也許你可以是試試。

  3. Thank you! 🙂 I live in Canada and I can get the same chilli sauce (Thank god!). I’m going to try to make your 台灣肉包子 tomorrow. I’m very excited! Thank you for posting all these recipes!

  4. I’m sorry – I have one more question! I didn’t quite understand whether I should freeze the 包子 after they had been cooked, or before, for later consumption. Thank you!

    • Hi Kang, Thank you for your comments. I hope they work out deliciously for you. To answer your question about freezing – You prepare all the包子 like you want to east them now. Any that are left you put in a plastic bag in the freezer. A few days later if you want to eat the frozen ones you must steam them and they will be just as good. Micmrowaving makes then chewy and dry, not so good.

  5. i really like the steamed buns and the pork filling was great

  6. Thanks for this recipe. I’ll definitely try it. Cheers from Colombia (South America)

  7. Why most use all purpose flour? I will try use your
    dough method. Thanks

  8. Hi Taiwan Duck, how many grams/ml in a chinese bowl?

  9. I made this couple days ago it turns out GREAT!!! but I just need to add little more salt and soy

  10. Hiya, I live in Manchester, I just so into your foods after I tried the Taiwanese 卤肉饭。I tried in this pork bun too but I found my buns bottom very wet after I steamed. Just wondering how do I need to do to prevent from the wetness.. Thank you!!!!!! Xxx

    • Hi, it sounds like your buns are too near the water in your steamer. Also remember when you finish cooking, turn off the cooker, count to ten, then let the steam out gradually, bit by bit. Good luck!

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