Bao Wow: Master the Art of Bao Buns

If you have a combi steam oven, or even just a bamboo steamer, there’s no better use for it than to make your own freshly steamed bao buns! We filled ours with sticky hoisin glazed pork tenderloin and a ponzu asian slaw, but these buns are amazing vessels for all your favourite bao fillings.


To make bao at home, you’ll need:



  1. Begin by mixing the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a measuring cup, stir together the warm water and butter until the butter melts, then add the milk.
  3. Pour the butter, water, and milk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead for 10 minutes. The dough will have a smooth texture with no lumps or graininess when it's done being kneaded.
  5. Rub oil around the inside of the large bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to proof for around 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  6. While the dough is proofing, cut parchment paper into small 3” squares.
  7. After the dough is done its first proof, pour it out onto a floured countertop and knead for an additional 1 minute to knock out the large air bubbles.
  8. Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a flat oval, approximately 2.5” wide and 5” long.
  9. Lightly brush the tops of each oval with oil before placing a chopstick across the middle of the dough and folding the dough in half over itself to create the bao.
  10. Place each folded bao onto one of the pieces of parchment paper and place them on a tray.
  11. Cover the tray loosely with a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, and allow to proof a second time for another hour.
  12. When you’re ready to cook the bao, either heat up the combi-steam oven to max steam at 212F, or bring a bamboo steamer to a boil.
  13. Gently place the bao into the combi-steam oven or bamboo steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  14. Remove from the steamer and allow the bao to cool on the counter for 2 minutes before splitting open and filling!


For the filling we did, all you’ll need is:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Coleslaw
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu (can substitute 1/4 cup soy sauce with 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Medium Mixing Bowl
  • Basting Brush
  • Large Ziplock Bag


  1. Start by mixing the hoisin sauce, rice wine vinegar and brown sugar together in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Add the trimmed pork tenderloin to the bag and allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge is better.
  3. Heat a grill up to medium heat, or approximately 300F.
  4. Cook the pork tenderloin on the grill for 10 minutes per side and brush with any extra marinade while it cooks.
  5. While the pork cooks, in a medium mixing bowl mix the coleslaw salad mix with the ponzu and oil.
  6. Once the pork tenderloin is cooked, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Take your freshly steamed bao buns and split them open, stuff with a pinch of the asian slaw and a slice of pork tenderloin and enjoy while hot and steamy!