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Chicken Buns Recipe (Chinese Steamed Buns/鸡仔包)


Recipe: Chicken Buns

8 oz. steamed bun flour (大包粉) (Picture source: Steamy Kitchen)
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon lime juice (optional)

Chicken Buns Filling:

8 oz. skinless and boneless chicken breast (cut into small pieces)
1 big leave of napa cabbage (finely shredded)
2 dried black fungus or dried shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water to soften, then diced into thin strips/pieces)
Some cilantro leaves (chopped coarsely)
3/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 dashes white pepper powder


Follow the instructions of the steamed bun flour, mix it with milk, sugar, and oil. Knead the dough for 15 minutes or longer until it becomes soft and smooth. Roll the dough into a cylinder (about 1.5 inches in diameter). Cover them with a wet towel and set aside. Mix the chicken buns filling ingredients and set aside.

Take a small piece of parchment paper and cut it into 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares.

Cut the dough into small pieces (about 1 inch thick) and use a rolling pin to flatten it. Put about 1 teaspoon+ filling into the center. Pleat the dough and seal it tight with your finger tips. Place it on top of a paper square. Repeat until you finish the dough and ingredients.

Lay the chicken buns into a bamboo steamer (make sure you leave some space in between the chicken buns as they expand after steaming). Heat up a wok with water. Place two wooden blocks (for steaming purposes) into the wok and place the bamboo steamer on top of them. Steamed for 10 minutes. Transfer out and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

Adding a few drops of white vinegar into the boiling water would make the steamed chicken buns whiter. Adding a few drops of lime juice into the dough makes the buns whiter, too.

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44 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Eating365

    I love dim sum too but my favorite is char siu bao. Do you have a recipe? Anyway, chicken buns are great too but it’s not as juicy. I think your did a great job in folding the bao, you really have some kitchen skills.

    • A guest writer is going to share char siu bao recipe with Rasa Malaysia readers. Please stay tuned. Thanks for your kind words but I am not good in the folding/pleating department, but the chicken buns tasted great.

  2. In Singapore, no chance to slowly chew and sip the tea. In US, maybe it is possible.
    What is the secret to getting fluffly and soft bao? I like those done by Cantonese chef.

  3. Su-yin

    This looks amazing, I always love your recipes as they have never failed me! Will definitely try this, and am looking forward to the char siu bao recipe. :) x

  4. Ben

    Rasa Malaysia,
    Thank you for posting all your wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures. I check your site every day to see if you have posted anything new.

    The filling section of your recipe calls for the ingredients to be mixed. It calls for boneless skinless chicken breast, but doesn’t elaborate on how it’s prepared. Should it be ground? Minced? Cooked and shredded?


  5. Lots of Cravings – yes, I love it, too, and it’s very neat and clean looking. :)

    Tiga – I will have to work on the dough from scratch next time to figure out the secret.

    Su-Yin – thanks for your nice words, I am glad you like my recipes.

    Ben – Hah, thanks for checking my site everyday…and thanks for catching my recipe error, the chicken meat should be cut into small pieces.

    Rokh – I think the instant flour has some yeast powder in it.

    Happy Cook – you gotta try Chinese steamed buns, so good, so soft, so pillowy.

    Yoyo’s – as you can see from my buns, I can’t do the pleating either. At most, I can have 5 pleats. LOL.

    CP – lucky you.

  6. Hey thanks for sharing such an illustrative recipe. I am currently on a tour to Japan for a weeks time but will surely try a hand at making this dish once i reacj back home.

    Excellent stuff, nicely presented and looks very delicious.

  7. drfugawe

    rokh said, “btw, no yeast needed for this bun recipe? …”
    From the flour bag ingredients, it looks like it’s an enriched flour with salt, baking powder, and baking soda added. For U.S. cooks, substituting one of the southern flours like White Lily or Martha White will suffice. Or add your own salt and leavening.

    I’ve only made bao with yeast, like the Hawaiian kind – but I’ll sure try these now – thanks for the recipe.

  8. Hey, u can read my mind!! I am looking for a bao recipe and glad to find it here. Your bao looks perfect to me. Looking forward to reading the char siew bao recipe.

  9. Wow, I’ve always wanted to try my hand at dim sum. But I don’t have access to steamed bun flour (I’m in India). I saw this one recipe which called for regular flour mixed with yeast and oil and stuff. I guess I’ll try that!

    • Miakoda – dim sum is really a great sampling of Chinese cantonese cuisine. You have to try them when you got the chance. Chicken buns are not as common as other Chinese steam buns in dim sum restaurant. That’s why I have to make them myself :) Let me know how your mixed dough turn out.

  10. Does these taste the same like the ones that we had last Saturday? They were yummy! I forgot to look for steamer. Gotta remember the next time I go so I can make these.

  11. Nic

    Thanks for this recipe. Do you think it’s possible to replace pork to chic for siu pao filling recipe? (Have stopped consuming pork for the past 5 years.)

  12. sonny

    What is steamed bun flour? I cant find this product in the asian supermarket. Can I use another substitute for it. Thanks

  13. Keira

    This looks so yummy but I must ask dose it have to be a bamboo steamer or can it be in a pot with a set in steamer I already have?

    thank again for the recipe.

  14. Grace

    Thank you so much for the wonderfully illustrated recipe! I just tried it tonight and it’s awesome. I have never made any steamed buns before, and the debut went well with both hubby and the 4 yr old. I skipped the cabbage as hubby is not a cabbage eater, it was still awesome. I made another batch with ground pork and preserved veggie and mushroom.. they were good too. Thank you again for all your inspirations and hardwork!!

  15. babeIpoh


    I had tried some of your recipe and all are very good. Thanks for the recipes. Is this chicken bun can be freeze (I need to prepare for my partner so that he can just heat up with microwave as I will be away for one month).

    Thank you.

  16. chocomint

    Hi, a long time fan of your blog here.

    I tried making baos as well but end up with gummy/rubbery buns. Any tips to share?

    • Did you use the packaged flournfor the steamed buns and followed the instructions? If so it shouldnt be rubbery or gummy unless the flour is no longer good. In any case, I am going to share some bao recipes where you can make the bao from scratch please stay tuned!

      • chocomint

        I used all purpose flour as I cannot find the specific flour in the recipe. But will definitely try looking for it. :D thanks. looking forward for more bao recipes from you.

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