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5 from 20 votes

Pan-fried Steamed Buns '生煎包' (Sheng Jian Bao)

Do you need a delicious bun recipe filled with juicy vegetables? This recipe is for you! The buns have a fluffy texture with a crispy bottom that'll have you wishing for more after just one bite.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Dough Resting Time*30 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Breakfast, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: Bao, PanfriedBun, SteamedBuns
Servings: 4
Author: woonheng


  • Nut milk bag


Dough Recipe

  • 240 g all-purpose flour or plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • cup warm unsweetened plant-based milk or water think of bathwater temperature
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil


  • 1 lb [450g] zucchini
  • 1 small carrot
  • ¼ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 stalks of scallions/green onions chopped
  • oil for cooking
  • salt

Filling's Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Other Ingredients

  • chopped green onions
  • black and white sesame seeds


Option 1: Knead the dough with a mixer

  • Mix sugar and yeast in warm water/unsweetened plant-based milk until well-combined. If this is the first time using your yeast, let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. If you see a foamy top, then, your yeast is good, if not, then it's expired.
  • Mix flour and salt until well-combined in a large mixing bowl. Then, add in the yeast mixture and oil.
  • Using a dough hook, knead the mixture into a soft dough. Transfer dough onto a cleaned surface until knead until you get a smooth top.
  • Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a lid, and proof until double its size.

Option 2: Knead the dough with hand

  • Mix sugar and yeast in warm water/unsweetened plant-based milk until well-combined.
  • Place flour and salt on a cleaned surface like a mound.
  • Using your palm or a bottom of a bowl, make a hole in the middle. Slowly pour in the yeast mixture while bringing the flour from the side to the middle.
  • Knead into a soft and smooth dough then place it in a bowl. Cover and let it proof until double its size.

How to make the filling

  • First, shred zucchini into a bowl and massage it with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture.
  • Meanwhile, in a heated non-stick pan with a drizzle oil, sauté mushrooms until aromatic. Set aside.
  • Shred carrot into a small bowl.
  • After 30 minutes, place zucchini in a nutmilk bag and squeeze out all the liquid. Transfer the drained zucchini into a large bowl.
  • Add the carrot, mushrooms, and chopped onions. Season accordingly.

How to make the buns

  • Transfer proofed dough onto a cleaned surface, roll it into a log and divide into 14 equal portions. Then, roll each dough into a ball and set aside, covered.
  • Work with one dough at a time. Roll out the dough into about 5" oblong shape, then fold the dough into half. Roll it out again and fold for the second time. This step is to remove as many air bubbles as possible. (See Notes)
  • Then, roll the folded dough into a circular wrapper.
  • Fill the middle of the wrapper with a spoonful of filling, then pleat to seal. Set aside, covered and continue with the rest of the dough.

How to cook the buns

  • Heat a 10" non-stick pan and add about ½ tablespoon oil.
  • Place the buns pleated side down in one layer and cook until the bottom turns slightly golden over low med heat.
  • Add about 1 cup of water, place a lid over and cook until all water has evaporated. Then, turn off the heat.

How to serve

  • Once the buns are done cooking, place a plate in the pan, and flip to remove or remove the buns with a spatula. Serve warm with your favorite sauces.



Dough Resting Time* varies based on room condition and temperature. 
How to make the buns
  • If you prefer not to roll out the dough and fold, once you cut them into 14 portions, knead each ball again to remove as many air bubbles as possible. 
How to cook the buns
  • I am using a 10" pan which is just the right fit for all the buns. If you have a smaller pan, try to fit as many buns in it as possible, leaving only a small gap in between (check my video for visual picture). On the other hand, if you have a larger pan, place buns closer to the middle of the pan.
  • I used 1 cup of water which when added cover about 1cm of the buns' height.