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Comfort food: Extra fluffy Bánh bao (aka Vietnamese Steamed buns) with non-sticky dough recipe

April 17, 2011

Yay! Friday was the last day of school before the beginning of Easter vacation and I can say that it was a really good start, because my mom and me were making one of my absolute favorite dishes ever: my beloved BÁNH BAO !!!

Really, it was love at first bite and somehow I have always considered Bánh bao as some kind of comfort food, since I could only enjoy these tasty dumplings about twice a year and actually this matter of fact hasn’t changed. We only make them for special occasions like this time for Easter as a gift for our former neighbors ( that I have mentioned in the Party Sandwich Loaf post before ) and for some other acquaintances.

In fact, these delicacies are of Chinese origin as well like the Bánh chay in my previous post and were brought to Vietnam a long time ago. Usually, the savoury filling consists of ground pork, mushrooms, cellophane noodles, Chinese sausage (Lap xuong) and a portion of hard-boiled eggs. In the past, it was my aunt who made them from scratch and that actually didn’t happen very often, because the process was a bit time-consuming. But one day, she gave my mother the recipe, so that we could try to make them on our own and over the course of time she changed the recipe and finally ended up with this result which you can see below.

At first, when we were still unexperienced, the dough used to be very sticky and we were always forced to use a lot of dusting flour, but with this recipe I am going to share with you later, that will definitely not be the case anymore. On top of that we decided to omit some ingredients of the filling due to the fact that Chinese sausages are quite expensive here and to be honest, I have never liked hard-boiled eggs before. But I promise, this filling still tastes great 😉

To sum up, we managed to make exactly 37 buns out of more than 2 kg of wheat flour and 1 kg of ground pork, but unfortunately there are only 12 pieces left for our family to eat 😦  Well, then I can only wait for the next holidays to come so that I will be able to enjoy them one more time ^^ . And I hope you will do as well with the help of the recipe given below.

37 white pieces of heaven


Ingredients: (for about 37 buns)


For the dough:

2250 gr wheat flour (type 405)

1 litre skim milk

400 gr sugar

1 package vanillin sugar

2 packages (14 gr) instant dry yeast

2 packages (34 gr) baking powder (we used the ones including cream of tartar)

For the filling:

1 kg ground pork

800 gr carrots (shredded in fine stripes)

2 big onions (diced)

100 gr dried Mu-Err and Shiitake mushrooms (soaked in hot water for 1 hour, chopped in little pieces)

5 tbsp fish sauce

5 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp pepper


Parchment paper cut into     40     10x10cm/4″x4″ squares

10 litre bucket with a lid


For the dough:

  1. Combine wheat flour with yeast, baking powder, sugar and vanillin sugar in a 10 litre bucket.
  2. Pour milk in a little pot and heat to about 40 degrees and make sure to not let it boil.
  3. Add milk to the flour mixture and knead it to a smooth dough.
  4. Close the bucket with the lid or take a cheesecloth to cover it and put it in a closed, off-state oven (or another warm place) to let it rise for at least 4 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
For the filling:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a non-stick pot and cook until everything is done.
  2. Let completely cool down before using.
Making the Bánh bao:
  1. Take your dough out of the oven.
  2. Take a piece of dough (a little bit bigger than an egg) and flatten it out thinly.
  3. Put about 2 tbsp full of the filling in the middle of the dough and gather up the edges and pinch them firmly together to seal, then turn the bun over and place on a square of parchment paper. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming. Continue until there is no dough left anymore.
  4. Prepare the steamer and put as much Bánh bao in your steamer as you can and steam for about 25-30 mins.
  5. Enjoy while they are still hot.
11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2011 9:01 pm

    I love this type of food where the meat and vegetables are inside the bun or roll. These look wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. April 17, 2011 10:23 pm

    I love buns with meat filling too :D)!! I’ve never tried the Vietnamese version, but looking at the recipe, it sounds really good! (Yeah, I am still awake, should have gone to bed half an hour ago…;)!!). Well, good night!

  3. April 17, 2011 11:06 pm

    Excellent post thanks for sharing. Food is something I can enjoy all around. If I’m not eating it. I’m reading and looking at pictures about it.

    Rise n Shine Eggs – Breakfast Recipe

    • April 18, 2011 9:07 pm

      You take the words right out of my mouth ^^ Yes, as a foodie, I totally agree with you 😉

  4. April 24, 2011 4:38 pm

    Hi Minnieh,

    You have been tagged to share 5 Easter recipes. Please feel free to join us :).

  5. Chau permalink
    July 9, 2011 12:35 am

    Wow! Thanks for this recipe. Do you know what makes a banh bao fluffy? I usually buy the powder from Asian grocery but it ends up hard. I’m gonna try this recipe but wondering if you know how to give the banh bao that extra fluff?? What ingredient does that? I love banh bao!! I’m a guy btw and I know cooking is for girls but.. hey a guy gotta do what he gotta do to eat banh bao.

    • Trieu_Anh permalink
      January 5, 2012 1:13 am

      hahaha… you know girls dont do ALL the cooking… i love eating these too… yummmmm :D…
      and i love it when you just make it so then it is nice and warm… i like eating it at the winter times when i am all cold -_-

  6. vivian permalink
    December 22, 2011 8:27 pm

    tip: there’s pre made banh bao dough you can buy from asian grocery stores. the best way to make the dough is to knead it so it’s kinda tough, plastic-y and hard to pull apart (asians love chewy textures!). and oil will keep your dough from sticking!


  1. 2011 Easter Menu with 5 Recipes «
  2. Comfort Food: Extra Fluffy Bánh Bao (aka Vietnamese Steamed Buns) With Non-sticky Dough Recipe « Food Frenzy

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