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BBQ Pork Japanese Steamed Buns

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A new to us culinary adventure, Japanese Steamed Buns. If you’ve ever had Bao buns you should try the Japanese version, so delicious.

Imagine the SOFTEST steamed dough wrapped over succulent tender barbecue pork belly topped with crispy onions and steamed to perfection, that’s what you get in these BBQ Pork Japanese Steamed Buns.

I’ll admit I’d never HAD a Japanese Steamed Bun until THIS week. I’ve had Bao plenty of times, but I’m not sure I’ve had Japan’s version. Until Japan Week on the GBBO, then I HAD to make them!

Yes, I understand it seems silly that someone my age wouldn’t have had a Japanese Steamed Bun but please recognize the fact that I live in a culinary desert. There’s maybe one Japanese restaurant that serves more than JUST sushi within an easy drive from here.

And there were even less when I was a kid. The main restaurants around here are pizza or burger places. YAWN.

BBQ Pork Steamed Bun Filling.

But I HAD to dive right in on it for the sheer knowledge and of course research. Not because it would be tasty or anything.

Notes on the BBQ Pork Steamed Buns

You WILL need a steamer of some sort for this recipe. I used a big stacking steamer from my Mother-in-Law but a bamboo steamer will work too. You could also try the steamer and trivet in the Instant Pot if you have one.

If you can’t find pork belly you CAN use thick cut bacon, just don’t use the smoke flavor and adjust the sauce for your taste.

I used Lottie’s buns recipe on the Bake Off site but made my own filling. I wanted to use her dough recipe because the judges seemed to like it best out of all the buns presented.

Japan Week on the Great British Baking Show

This week had some interesting bakes to choose from. Here they are:

  • Signature Bake: Japanese Steamed Buns, any flavor, and recipe, can be cute if desired, must be steamed
  • Technical Bake: Matcha Crepe Cake, Matcha crepes cooked one by one and stacked with a buttercream and strawberry layers
  • Signature: Kawaii Cake any cake, any recipe, must be CUTE

Grab Some GBBO Love to Share with Friends!

Pin for Steamed Buns.
Yield: 10 Buns

BBQ Pork Steamed Buns

Perfectly steamed bbq pork steamed dumplings.

Imagine the SOFTEST steamed dough wrapped over succulent tender barbecue pork belly topped with crispy onions and steamed to perfection, that's what you get in these BBQ Pork Japanese Steamed Buns.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 300 grams or 2 3/8 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 20 grams or 1/8 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp instant rise yeast-see notes below on use regular yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 170 mls of warm water

BBQ Pork Belly

  • 1/2 pound uncured pork belly
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP Hoisin Sauce
  • splash of seasoned rice vinegar, can use a little splash of any kind of vinegar
  • splash of smoke flavor, start small it packs a wallop
  • French's crispy onions 
  • 1 TBSP milk


  1. put the flour, sugar, instant yeast, baking powder, and salt, together in the bowl of a stand mixer
  2. mix the water and oil together
  3. pour over the dry ingredients and mix on low with the bread hook
  4. let the mixer knead until the dough comes together, it will look dry at first but don't worry it will work out
  5. once the dough comes together let it knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough is soft and silky
  6. put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size
  7. while the dough rises start the filling
  8. heat a heavy pot over medium heat
  9. chop the pork belly into bite-sized pieces
  10. brown it in the hot pan
  11. add the onions, and mushrooms and let the thing cook over medium heat stirring to keep it from burning
  12. when the pork is browned add the water and scrape up any crispy bits
  13. mix the ketchup, hoisin, vinegar, and smoke flavor together and pour into the pan
  14. cook and stir over low heat until the meat is glazed and the sauce thick, set aside until ready to use
  15. cut 10 4 inch squares out of parchment paper or foil
  16. once the dough has double gently punch push the air out of it and divide it into 10 equal pieces
  17. roll each piece into a ball and place on it's own square of parchment
  18. brush with a little milk and cover with plastic wrap
  19. let rise 15 minutes until puffy
  20. when puffy gently flatten one ball by hand leaving a bump in the middle
  21. place a teaspoon or so of crispy onions on the dome
  22. put one TBSP of filling over the onions
  23. bring the sides up and over the filling, pinching it shut, and sealing
  24. place it back on the square and cover with plastic wrap
  25. repeat with remaining balls of dough until all the buns are filled
  26. leave covered while you start the steamer
  27. get the steamer set up and steaming over high heat
  28. once it's going steam as many as you can without crowding them in, they need several inches between them for expansion
  29. cover and leave covered for 15 minutes
  30. don't open the lid to see what's happening
  31. once the timer goes off remove the steamer from the heat and carefully remove the buns to a baking sheet
  32. serve while still hot


  • if you don't have instant yeast just mix the yeast into the warm water and let it bloom for a minute
  • you need a steamer or steamer basket for these buns

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 152Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 1mgSodium 133mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 4g

This nutrition information was calculated using a computer program, results may vary.

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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