Chinese Steamed Meat Bun /生肉包 + How To Pleat A Bun

Shang Yuk Bao

This steamed bun is made with raw meat filling as its name suggested. Of course, the filling would be cooked after steamed. Check out another version of steamed meat bun, made with cooked filling. If you ask me which one I prefer, both of them have different flavour and I like them all. However, the one made with cooked filling has my childhood memories associated with it and it contains additional "taste" to me.

Shang Yuk Bao

My boy was trying to hijack my model! Sometimes my model or props gone missing in the middle of photo shooting.

Chinese Steamed Meat Bun /生肉包

Ingredients (makes 12 buns):
5g instant dry yeast
180ml lukewarm water
½ tsp white vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
400g low-protein flour (7-8% protein) or Hong Kong flour
80g icing sugar
20g shortening or vegetable oil
10g baking powder

3 hard-boiled eggs

300g chicken thigh, cut into bite size
1 cm ginger, minced
1-2 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
½ tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp corn starch

200gm minced pork
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fried shallot
½ tsp garlic powder or finely chopped garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp salt or to taste
¼ tsp ground white pepper
½ tbsp corn starch

  1. Divide each egg into 4 wedges.
  2. Marinate the filling A and B separately, set aside for about 30 minutes.
  1. Sift together the flour, icing sugar and baking powder. Place the sifted flour mixture in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  2. Fill the well with lukewarm water and yeast. Use a spatula, gently stir the water to dissolve the yeast then slowly bring together flour mixture.
  3. Add in shortening or oil and knead for 10-15 minutes until soft dough is formed. It should be smooth on the surface.
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size. I used bread maker’s dough mode to prepare my dough up to this step.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and flatten with a rolling pin to make a 3” circle. Then place 1 heap tablespoon of minced pork filling, 1 piece of chicken and 1 wedges of egg in the middle of circle. Wrap and pleat the dough to seal (refer to photo appended below).
  6. Place the bun on a 1.5” square parchment paper, seal side up. Cover with a damp cloth, set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Arrange the buns in a steamer, leave about 1” gab in between buns. Spray water mist over buns, and steam in a preheated steamer on high heat for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Cool the steamed buns on rack to prevent soggy bottom.


  1. Steamer must be preheated otherwise bun would not rise to the volume as it should be.
  2. Spray the surface of buns with water mist helps to produce buns with smooth surface after steamed.
  3. DO NOT open the lid during the steaming process.
  4. If there are yellowish spots on the steamed buns, it means the baking powder is not fully dissolved.
* * * * *
Awhile ago, a reader asked about the wrapping technique in creating beautiful pleating. This afternoon I managed to get T to snap some photos when I was making these buns, what a nice timing! Let's let those photos do the talking... If you prefer more pleats, make smaller pleats.

How To Pleat A Bun


  1. Lydia, you must be a Bao expert ! Very nice pleats.

  2. Lydia,cn I use minced chix instead of pork & omit shaoxing wine. :P


  3. You have a nice blog and thanks for sharing all your recipes here. This raw meat pau will be nice for my next pau project :) Your pau has got nice and neat pleats :)

  4. I have been looking for the recipe of 'sang yoke pau' for a long time now. Thanks for sharing your recipe and I will be making this soon.

  5. nicely done! and great instruction and pix too!!

  6. MiniMe,
    I used conversion calculator (
    8g yeast = 2 teaspoons
    10g baking powder = 2.17 teaspoons
    20g vegetable oil = 1.5 tablespoons
    Hope this helps.

    Feel free to substitute pork with other meat and you can omit shaoxing wine too.

    Thanks for dropping by and compliments. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog.

    This is my version of Shang Yoke Bao, I think there are few different versions out there. Some store bought ones contain jicama.
    Happy cooking!

    My Asian Kitchen,

  7. Have you think of bakery shop biz b4?

  8. joanne:
    Have no plan for that yet, but I was joking with T the other day that I can start off a snack bar or dim sum business. :D

  9. Thanks for sharing the step by step instructions how to form a bao. I always eat dim sum but was always curious how to get the swirls on top.

  10. looks superrrr yummmyyyy! gosh im hungry lol

    hope you dont mind me linking you!

  11. The Food Addicts,
    You are welcome, and thanks for dropped by.

    Bee Rueh,
    No problem, you can link to my blog anytime.

  12. Wow! Looking yummy. Really want to learn how to make them(never try to make pao or bread before). Where can I get Hong Kong flour? Couldn’t find it at those baking ingredients section( also try to find at Asia maket). The buns look cute! Like the way you made them.

  13. Anonymous,
    Sorry, can't advise you where to get the flour cos I don't know your location.
    If hong kong/bao flour is not available, you can try using all purpose flour. But, the colour of bao would not be as white as the one using bao flour.

  14. Hi Lydia,

    Interesting that you used ICING sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. I have never seen that done for steamed buns before. Was there a reason ICING sugar was used?

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. The buns look good.

  15. Hi Sharon,
    There are some chinese pastry recipes called for icing sugar.
    Well, to me, buns made with icing sugar softer and more cotton-like texture. As far as I know, icing sugar contains some anti-caking properties... not sure that's reason? I have also tried using icing sugar for cakes, and yes... better texture too. If you found out more info about icing sugar in baking/pastry, do update me. Thanks!

  16. Hi Lydia,
    Can I check with you if I could use bread flour instead? I live in USA and I can't seem to find any HK flour! Thanks!

  17. Hi,
    If you can't find HK flour, use low protein flour (aka cake flour) or just all-purpose flour. All the best!

  18. Hi Lydia
    Just want to thank you for your recipe.The paus turned out well except for the pleating.Found it difficult to pleat as the dough was too soft/limp.Any tips?


  19. Hi Audrey,
    Thanks for the feedback. Try to reduce the amount of water a little bit, see if the dough still too soft. All the best.


  20. Hi Lydia,

    I love making steam bun, but my buns doesn't seem to be as white as yours. I tried to use vinegar both in the dough and the water use for steaming the bun, but still it doesn't seem as white as I wanted it to. But, I use all purpose flour though, because I don't know where to get hong kong flour. I tried to go to every asian store in my town, but they don't carry hong kong flour. Can you tell me where I can find this flour.....Thanks.

  21. Hi Lana,

    If you can find bleached flour there, maybe you can give it a try. Well, sorry that I can tell u where to get HK flour in your location.

    Another thing you can try to produce whiter buns is to make sure the steamer is not too hot. From my past experiences, bun turned out yellowish if I use rice cooker for steaming (with very tight cover). And, buns came out nicely when steamed in wok + steaming rack (with medium heat). All the best.


  22. Hi Lydia,

    Thank you for your respond. I used your steam bun recipe yesterday and my buns came out perfect except, its not as white as yours. I used bleached all purpose flour with wheat starch instead, of hong kong flour. But, it's getting a lot whiter than my previous steam buns.

    big thanks,

  23. Hi Lydia,
    May I ask how long can I keep the buns after I've steamed it?

  24. Lana,
    Glad to hear that and thanks for your comment, hopefully you able to find some HK flour soon.

    If leaving at room temp (summer), must consume within 6rs. Well, food safety guide suggests that any cooked food must consume within 4 hrs. If keep in the fridge, up to 5 days (need to reheat before serving) and freezer up to 3mths (in ziplock bag).


  25. Hi
    I've followed exactly the steps in making the dough/buns but after steaming right after I opened the lid of my steamer, OMG!! it was with dotted yellow over! Is it that I didn't dissolved well enough the baking powder? I did give it a good stir to make sure it was dissolved well enough only I put it in the dough. Sigh!

  26. Mel,

    Sorry to hear that.
    Good stir is not enough, perhaps you have to knead the dough longer after adding in baking powder mixture.

  27. Hi! tried your recipe, and with a few tweaks that I read from the comments below the pao turned out great:) Thanks you!

  28. Hi Lydia, thanks for your great recipe,yesterday I found your site and prepare to make that lovely bun.Fortunately I got Hong Kong pau flour and all other things.But mistakenly I bought baking soda instead of baking powder. can I use the same amount(10g) as in your recipe.
    Thein Aung Yangon,Myanmar.

  29. Hi Thein Aung,

    It is better to use baking powder as baking soda will cause yellowish (or yellowish spots) bun. And the taste wise will also different, not recommend to use baking soda in this one even though they have same function.


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