Makes about 25 small bao.

Vietnamese Banh Bao usually include a quail egg and Vietnamese sausage. My easy recipe has a simple meat and mushroom filling and is similar to some of the Chinese Bao Zi I’ve had, but my family enjoys saying “Banh Bao” so that’s what we call them.

I make them small so I get 25 instead of just 12 like it says on the package. I also make a yeasted version which takes more time and doesn’t yield a significantly better bao. If you want to try it, get the Momofuku cookbook. You can use their dough to make traditionally shaped bao.

To make meat filling

Mix in small bowl:

1/2 pound ground pork, chicken, turkey or beef (or mixture)

8 shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted if dried, and chopped

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

about 2 T oyster sauce

½ t salt

pinch of ground black pepper

To make dough

Thoroughly mix by hand for ten minutes:

1 cup milk

¼ cup sugar

1 t vegetable oil

1 16 oz bag banh bao flour mix

Let sit for 15 minutes or so.

Knead for about 5 minutes.

Roll dough into a long cylinder and then divide dough into 25 sections.

To put together the bao

Cut wax paper into 25 2×2 inch squares.

For each Banh Bao, roll out each section of dough into a little circle. Put 1 T uncooked meat filling in center. Pleat dough up and around, gathering edges together on top. Pinch to seal well. Place on small square of wax paper and arrange in large steamer basket and large pot. Put extras on a cookie sheet and cover with a dish cloth.

To steam the bao

Put water in bottom of steamer or large pot with lid (and without the steamer basket) and set over high heat. When water starts to boil, put steamer tray on the pot and the lid on the steamer.

Steam until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
When done, allow to cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy.

Banh Bao freeze well. Put left-over steamed buns in a container in the freezer. Thaw for about 15 minutes and re-steam them for about 1-2 minutes.

Shopping list

large steamer basket

½ pound ground pork or other meat

8 shiitake mushrooms

1 16 oz package of banh bao flour mix (Ba Chuong Vang or other brand)

oyster sauce





veg oil

salt and pepper

wax paper

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