Mantou is one of my favorite Chinese food! In Chinese, mantou is written as 馒头, a staple food in China.
They are endless variations that you can try, with or without filling.
In this recipe, I added some mashed sweet potatoes (yam) to the dough and turn them into sweet potato mantou.
These Chinese steamed buns are so soft, fluffy, especially when they are fresh off the steamer. They are absolutely delicious!
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In this recipe, you are going to learn the simple step-by-step for DIY homemade mantou from scratch.
My recipe calls for very simple ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Sweet potatoes
- Cooking oil
How to Make Mantou?
It’s very easy to make mantou at home and the recipe is very simple and straight forward.
First, you will need a yeast mixture to make the mantou dough. To activate the yeast, add warm water and sugar to the yeast. The yeast mixture will become foamy once the yeast is activated.
Next, make the dough by combining the yeast mixture with flour, sugar and oil. For this recipe, I added mashed sweet potatoes to the dough.
Knead the dough until smooth and shiny. Divide and cut the dough. Let rise for 1 hour or until the dough expands.
The final step is to steam the dough in a steamer. After 10 minutes, you will have soft and fluffy mantou ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Add Filling to the Dough?
Absolutely, you can wrap mantou with all kinds of sweet or savory fillings to make steamed buns or baozi.
Check out my char siu bao and steamed chicken bun recipes.
You can also use sweet filling such as red bean steamed buns.
Can I Freeze the Dough?
I don’t recommend freezing the dough, however you can keep the dough in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to proof the dough, just remove it and let rise and proof and continue with steaming.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 169 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
Serve these mantou as a breakfast item or afternoon snack. For a wholesome Chinese breakfast, I recommend the following recipes.
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Mantou (The Best Recipe)
Mantou (馒头) is a yeast-based Chinese steamed bun made of yeast, flour, sugar and water. This sweet potato mantou recipe is so soft and fluffy. Learn how to make mantou with this easy and fail-proof recipe!
- 1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 100 ml warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 75 g sweet potato (or "yam" in the United States)
- 250 g all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon oil
1Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl. Stir to mix well. Set aside for 20 minutes. The yeast mixture will rise and becomes foamy.
2Steam the sweet potato until soft, discard the water that seeps out after steaming. Using a spoon, mash the sweet potato into a fine puree.
3Add the yeast mixture, sweet potato puree, flour, sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with a dough hook.
4Knead on speed 1 for 6 minutes until the dough becomes soft and shiny. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead with hands for 20 minutes or until the dough doesn't stick to your hands.
5Transfer the dough out and cover it with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
6On a slightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin to form a 14x10" rectangle.
7Roll up the dough into a log. Roll the log back and forth a few times or until the surface looks smooth and reaches 12-inch in length.
8Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter. Transfer each dough to a 3x4"-inch parchment paper. You may roll each dough into a round ball after cutting.
9Place the dough into a steamer. Cover the lid of the steamer and let rise for 60 minutes, or until the dough balls expand in size. Make sure you leave enough space between each dough ball so they don't stick together.
10Add water to the bottom of the steamer. You may add 1 teaspoon of Chinese white vinegar to make the steamed buns whiter. Cover the lid tightly.
11Turn on high heat and steam for 10-12 minutes, or until the dough expands to soft, puffy and fluffy mantou. Turn off the heat and serve the mantou warm.
I have never made mantou before. This recipe was easy to make. I just bought a giant size steamer and wanted to try it. I used my homegrown purple sweet potatoes and I doubled this recipe. Just finished steaming 16 mantous all at once in the big steamer. The mantous were very fluffy and delicious. Couldn’t hold back and ate 2. Thank you for the recipe!
Awesome please try more recipes on my site!
Hi, Step #9, the steamer is not warm right ?
Yes. Not warm.
Hi! If I want to make a huge batch, should I steam them first and then freeze it or can I freeze it right after I roll and cut them?
Steam and freeze.
can i please bake the mantou because i don’t have a steamer or will i be able to use the rice cooker steamer?
You can try but I can’t guarantee results.
Hi, looks v nice. When do you add the vinegar to whiten the mantou?
Hope to try this.
When you steam, add vinegar to the steaming water.
Can I use more yams instead of flour for the steam sweet potato buns?
You shouldn’t because I don’t know how it will affect the recipe.
Bee Yinn Low
Y U M M M M M!!! Looks so colourful and delicious! I’m sure my kids love this. Thanks, Bee!
My son LOVES mantou and we have not found any like this since moving to Austin — I am going to surprise him with these! Thank you!!
Awesome. I am sure he will love it.
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I was delighted by the soft fluffy mantaus. ??❤️❤️
Thanks Patricia, please try more recipes on my site!
I don’t have a steamer and its for a school project it can’t have wheat? What should i do?
These worked out great for me, used cake flour in Canada :)