Chinese Hom Bao Bums

    3 hours 30 mins

    Have you read about them and wondered how to make 'Hom Baos'? Follow this recipe carefully and you will be rewarded with comforting, fluffy and tasty Chinese steamed buns. Fill them or dip them into sauces, you'll love them both ways!

    173 people made this

    Serves: 24 

    • 1 tablespoon dried active baking yeast
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 110ml warm water
    • 200g plain flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

    Prep:3hr  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

    1. Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
    2. Mix in 110ml warm water, 200g flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
    3. Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up. Put each ball on small greaseproof paper squares. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
    4. Bring water to a boil in an idli steamer or pressure cooker or deep pan, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the pan. Transfer as many buns, still on greaseproof paper, as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate, leaving 2 to 5cm (1 to 2 in) between the buns. At least 5cm space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes. Ensure that water does not come in contact with the buns.
    5. REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto the bun surface and produce yellowish blisters. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.


    You can fill the buns with most anything you like, including shredded meat or chopped veggies for a vegetarian dish.

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    Reviews and Ratings
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    Reviews in English (158)


    This recipe gave me the soft, fluffy texture I was looking for. Instead of 1/2 c. of warm water, I substituted 1/2 c. of warm milk which I think helped make the dough even more light and fluffy. I had to add about an extra 1/4 c. of flour because the dough was REALLY sticky and difficult to work with. The only bad thing about this recipe was that after the 3 hours for the 1st rising, I noticed that the dough had a somewhat sour aftertaste, like sourdough bread, which was more noticeable after steaming the bun (I steamed a golf ball sized amount of dough to test for texture and taste before I rolled and steamed the rest of the dough). So I added a pinch of baking SODA to counteract the sour flavor, and an extra 1/2 tsp of sugar because I personally like a sweeter dough. I used my own meat filling recipe to fill the bun. Yummy. UPDATE: *Tip* I've doubled the recipe with no problems -- use the same amount of yeast as in the original recipe (1 TB or approx. 1 envelope dry yeast), but double all the other ingredients. Came out just as good.  -  08 Mar 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I haven't made these yet, but I just wanted to point out that you can throw leftovers in the freezer and freeze them for long periods of time. When you're ready to eat them, just put them in the refrigerator to thaw at least overnight and steam them for 10-15min. If you only want to eat a couple at a time, just fill a high saucepan with one inch water, put a wire rack at the center and steam the buns directly on the rack, or on a small saucer. DO NOT let the buns touch the water. Another alternative is to fry the leftover buns and serve them with condensed milk - the way traditional Chinese people eat them.  -  30 Apr 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is the best steamed bun recipe I've ever tried. I stuffed it with red bean paste like what I used to eat at home in Singapore and it tastes way better than that. My picky-eater kids and husband like it too. I followed the recipe quite closely....except that I put everything into my bread machine to churn and it needed more flour than stated....but then measurements in cups are never really accurate. But I knew what to look out for and it turned out perfect. I don't have a bamboo steamer (it will be better in a bamboo steamer becoz of the fragrance from the bamboo), so I used Alton Brown's brilliant idea of poking holes in my disposable pie pan and placing it on top of a metal cookie cutter in a wok. I didn't line it with paper coz I didn't have that either and it didn't really least not enough to bother me...and I hate cutting small pieces of squares. Overall, we LOVE it. It's definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing.  -  18 Dec 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)