Chinese buns with spicy lamb

Spicy lamb in a Chinese bun sandwich

Making Chinese buns is so very easy, simply pick up a good quality pack of bun flour & follow the instruction on the pack, and add a bit of baking power.  There are a few popular type of buns – plain ‘man tou’ (馒头), ‘bao zi’ (包子) which is a bun with meat or vegetable in the center, twisted bun Huajuan (花卷), and in the north, ‘Rou jia mo’ (肉夹馍) which is a meat sandwich.

Here is a meat-bun sandwich I made today, filled with lamb stir fried with Sichuan soy bean chili paste.

Chinese buns with spicy lamb

Recipe is as follow:

(Makes about 10 sandwiches)



  • 4 cups of low gluten flour (approx 500g), more for dusting
  • 1.5 tsp (approx 5g) yeast
  • 1 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup condensed milk
  • a little sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • a little sesame oil (or vegetable oil), for brushing
Chinese steamed bun flour mix - low gluten
Chinese steamed bun flour mix – low gluten


  • Put yeast in a glass, filled with 1/4 cup of warm water, add a little sugar; Wait for yeast to be activated, approx 15 minutes (depending on room temperature).
  • Knead the dough:   I use a stand mixer with a bread hook, approx 10 minutes. I add all the ingredients and some of the water, then add the remaining the water gradually during kneading.
  •  Let the dough rest until it rises to at least double the volume; collapse it and let it rise again.
  • Roll the dough into a sausage, cut into small pieces (I use approx 50gm)
Chinese steamed bun dough - ready to be cut into portions
Bun dough – ready to be cut into portions
  • Roll each piece into a ball; then roll a ball out to a round disc (or oval if you like); brush some oil on the top side of the disc, then fold half over;  run the rolling pin lightly over the disc to firm it up; place the disc over a piece of baking paper (non stick paper)
Chinese steamed bun - rolling out the dough into a round disc
Rolling out the dough into a round disc


  • Repeat with the rest of the  balls
  • Place buns in a steamer, leaving plenty of space in between each bun; let the buns rest again for 15-30 minutes
  • Starting with cold water, steam the buns for approximately 20 minutes (depending how thick the buns are)
  • When steaming is completed, don’t open the lid immediately – leave the buns in the steamer for 10 minutes to ‘settle’ before opening the lid.


Spicy lamb with chili soy bean paste


  • 400g lamb mince (or thin lamb stir fry strips)
  • 20g leek, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 capsicum, sliced
  • 1 tsp chili soy bean paste
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • a little cooking oil


Bring a frying pan to medium heat, add cooking oil, onion & leek , stir fry for 1 minute or until aromatic; add chili soy beach paste, stir fry for 1 minute; add lamb mince & sugar, stir fry until the mince is mostly cooked; add capsicum & oyster sauce; simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.

Chili soy bean paste
Chili soy bean paste















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