How to Make Mantou Steamed Buns – Chinese recipe – 8 easy Steps

Mantousare soft, puffy and fluffy homemade Mantou Chinese Steamed Buns that are easy to make.  You can partner them with a nice bowl of hot noodles or egg soup.  Or you can break them horizontally just like a hamburger and put savory fillings or spread inside.

Mantou Steamed Buns
Indulge in sweet mantou drizzled with condensed milk for a delightful dessert twist.

Mantou Steamed Buns recipe

How To Make Chinese Steamed Buns Easy Recipe

Mantou Chinese Steamed Buns

Mantou are originating from Northern China.  These buns are soft and fluffy in texture, pretty plain in taste. Eat them fresh straight after steaming (plain) or deep fry them.  You can also give it a little sweet flavor by dipping in condensed milk.
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Course: Bread
Cuisine: Chinese
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: mantou, steamed buns recipe
CookingStyle: Steaming
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 123kcal
Author: Hung Dao
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Ingredients of Chinese Steamed Buns


Directions to make Chinese Steamed Buns

  • Whisk together the flour, sugar and yeast in a big bowl of water (or milk), then add vegetable oil.
  • Make a hole in the middle of the mixture and add warm water (or milk) gradually. Mix together and form a ball of dough (you can either use your hands or a stand mixer with the hook attachment).
  • Once the dough is formed, knead it for about 15-20 minutes. Set aside in a clean bowl, cover it with a clean towel and let it rise for 3 hours.  Remember to put the bowl in a warm place to activate the yeast.
  • After the dough has risen, divide the dough into 6 equal parts and form balls out of them.
  • Place each ball on its own square baking paper.
  • Let the balls sit again for about 20-40 minutes for them to rise more.
  • Put the buns into a steamer and steam within 20 minutes or until they are puffy and cooked.
  • You can also put them aside in your fridge and reheat them for 2-3 minutes before serving.



If not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Reheat them in a steamer for 5 minutes after removing them from the freezer.
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Serving: 1(51g) | Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.1g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 1.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Sodium: 8mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 0.6g
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

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Alternative Method: Mantou Steamed Buns Using a Pressure Cooker

Steamed Mantou
Get creative with your mantou fillings! From char siu to teriyaki chicken, the possibilities are endless.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Cooking spray
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Prepare the Dough:

  • In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and vegetable oil.
  • Gradually mix the ingredients together until a dough forms. Knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes on a lightly floured surface until it’s smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Shape and Cook the Mantou: 5. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a long log, about 1.5 inches in diameter.

  • Cut the log into equal-sized pieces, roughly 1.5 inches each. You should have about 10 pieces.
  • Prepare your pressure cooker by adding 1 cup of water and inserting a steamer basket or rack.
  • Lightly grease the steamer basket or rack to prevent sticking. Place the Mantou pieces on it, ensuring they have some space to expand.
  • Close the pressure cooker without the weight and turn the heat to high. Once steam starts escaping, put on the weight (5 psi) and reduce the heat to medium-low. Steam for about 15-20 minutes.
  • After steaming, turn off the heat and carefully release the pressure. Once it’s safe to open, remove the Mantou buns from the pressure cooker.

Tips for making Mantou Steamed Buns

 Steamed Mantou
Achieve that fluffy perfection with our expert steaming tips. Your mantou will thank you!

Cooking Tips for Perfect Mantou Steamed Buns

  • Yeast Matters: Use fresh yeast or active dry yeast that hasn’t expired. Yeast is the magic behind the rise, so ensure its vitality.
  • Proper Kneading: Kneading the dough until it’s smooth and elastic is crucial. This helps develop gluten for that fluffy texture.
  • Rising Conditions: Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free spot. Cover it with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out.
  • Size Consistency: When cutting the dough into pieces, try to make them as uniform in size as possible. This ensures even cooking.
  • Steaming Technique: When steaming, make sure the water is already boiling before you place the buns in the steamer. Also, avoid opening the lid during the steaming process, as this can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Proper Handling: Be gentle when shaping the dough into buns. Avoid overworking it, which can result in tough Mantou.
  • Experiment with Fillings: Mantou is versatile. Consider adding sweet or savory fillings to create exciting variations.
  • Storage Before Steaming: If making Mantou in advance, you can freeze the uncooked buns. Just place them on a tray, freeze until solid, then transfer to a bag. Steam them directly from the freezer when needed.

Serving Suggestions for Mantou Steamed Buns

Mantou Buns
Dip into flavor heaven with our irresistible homemade dipping sauce. Get ready for a taste explosion!
  • Classic Dipping Sauce: Serve with a simple but flavorful dipping sauce made from soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds or green onions.
  • Sweet Mantou: Enjoy your steamed buns as a dessert by spreading them with sweetened condensed milk or Nutella.
  • Peking Duck Style: Fill your Mantou with Peking duck, cucumber, and hoisin sauce for an Asian-inspired treat.
  • Soup Companions: Mantou buns are fantastic for soaking up the delicious broth from your favorite soups or stews.
  • Savory Fillings: Explore savory fillings like braised pork belly, char siu, or teriyaki chicken. They make Mantou a satisfying meal.
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FAQs about Mantou Steamed Buns

Mantou Dipping Sauce
Watch your mantou dough rise to the occasion, literally! Patience is key to achieving that airy texture.
  • Can I store leftover Mantou?Yes, you can. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. For longer storage, freeze them and reheat when needed.
  • Can I make Mantou with whole wheat flour?While traditionally made with all-purpose flour, you can use part whole wheat flour for a heartier option. However, it may result in slightly denser buns.
  • My Mantou turned out tough. What went wrong?Over-kneading or allowing the dough to rise too long can result in tough buns. Follow the recipe closely for better results.
  • Can I steam Mantou in a microwave?Mantou is traditionally steamed, but you can try a microwave method for convenience. Place them on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for short intervals until heated through.
  • Can I reheat frozen Mantou?Yes, you can steam frozen Mantou directly without thawing. Steam for a few extra minutes compared to fresh Mantou to ensure they’re heated thoroughly.

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