This pork bao zi recipe is the perfect warm comfort meal to make this winter. I love making these because it reminds me of home, and cooking with my mom. My mom makes the best bao zi recipe I have ever had, and it definitely beats out any dim sum or Chinese restaurant.
Bao Zi’s are popular as street food, at dim sum restaurants, and as a traditional family meal. This recipe might seam daunting especially with the wrapping portion, but I assure you that you will only get better with practice. The tricky part is getting the white fluffy bao bun, but don’t worry I’m sharing my moms recipe that is fail proof.
What flour should I use for the pork bao zi?
I used all purpose flour and that worked great in getting a fluffy texture. Unfortunately for all my gluten free people, bao buns are difficult to make gluten free. I have not tried using gluten free flour, so if anyone does, please let me know!
How long do I rest the dough?
At least 1 hour in a warm environment!
How to steam or cook without a steamer basket?
- I used a bamboo steamer basket from Amazon, and I used a pan that was the same diameter as the basket to use as the water boiler. On trick U have is to place a wet coffee filter down on the base of the steamer basket so that the bao zi’s don’t stick. I steamed mine for 13 minutes!
- I also recommend letting the bao zi’s sit in the basket for a couple minutes after they steam with the heat off. If you open the steamer basket immediately, then the bao bun will deflate and not be as fluffy.
Key ingredients fo the Pork Bao Zi Filling:
- Ground pork
- Ground pork is the traditional choice when making traditional bao zi’s. However, I love using ground chicken or turkey as well.
- Soy sauce and oyster sauce
- These two sauces add a salty umami flavor! If you are allergic to shell fish sub the oyster sauce for some vegetarian oyster sauce.
- Ginger and green onion
- These two ingredients are essential in Chinese cooking. You them for sauces, stir fry’s, dumplings, and more!
- Chicken broth
- This helps keep the filling moist, and also adds some additional flavor!
- 1 egg goes a long way in this recipes! It helps keep the dough together and tender.
- Shaoxing wine
- Shaoxing wine is super common in Chinese cooking. It adds another level of flavor and complexity to any dish, especially when marinating meat.
- This is a key ingredient that people often miss! I‘ve tried dumplings both with and with out sugar, and I will tell you that the one with was much better.
- White pepper
- I LOVE WHITE PEPPER. It is by far my favorite seasoning to flavor any of my Asian dishes.
- Sesame oil and olive oil
- I added two types of oil here: olive oil and sesame oil. I added olive oil because a large amount of sesame oil will over power the flavor! This keeps the filling nice and juicy.
- I like using cabbage because it takes on the flavor of whatever you season it with, and it does not water the filling down! You can also add carrots, zucchini, or nothing at all!
Chinese Traditional Pork Bao Zi
- Steamer basket
- 1 lb ground pork
- 3 stalks green onion finely diced
- ½ inch ginger finely diced
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp shoaxing wine
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ cup finely diced cabbage
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1½ cup warm water
- Use a wooden spoon to mix together the flour, yeast, and warm water. One the dough has been combined knead with your hands for 1-2 minutes. Let the dough rest in a warm environment for at least 1 hour.
- Prep the green onion, ginger, and cabbage. Dice finely.
- Now mix together everything for the filling except for the cabbage.
- Right when the dough is done rising add in the cabbage. Adding this in later keeps the filling from getting soggy.
- Once the dough is ready, sprinkle the work space with some flour. Knead the dough for another minute then use a knife to split it in half. Roll half the dough in to a long log shape, about 1½'' in diameter. Cut the long into equal pieced about 1½'' long. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough and make a circular shape.
- Place about 1 tbsp of the filling in the center of a wrapper. Pinch the seams together in a circular pattern around the filling. Make sure that the filling is completely sealed inside.
- Start boiling water in a wide pot or pan. Make sure it is the right size for your steamer basket
- Line your steamer basket with a wet coffee filter. Place 5-6 bao zis on the filter. Steam for 13 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the bao zis sit there for an additional 2 minutes.
- Now they are ready! Enjoy!