Steamed Gua Bao Buns are the essential pieces you’ll need to make your delicious Gua Bao sandwich. It’s a soft and fluffy bun that has a ton of flavor inside. It’s incredibly easy to make and will only take you a matter of time before you can start using it to make your Gua Bao Sandwich.
Gua Bao is one of my all time favorite things to eat.
Every year when I travel to Taiwan, I always make it a mission of mines to go visit one of the night market stands and find this particular food.
I noticed that many of these places will use this type of bun and add in various kinds of fillings into it. The traditional filling which is with braised pork belly and vegetables is a popular treat to have here in Taiwan.
But as time went on, I noticed more and more places are starting to adopt in some changes. Many of these places decided to be creative and add in all kinds of unique fillings into this bun.
For instance, there was a place that served this bun with soft shell crab, another with fatty duck meat, and one even with smoked salmon.
All of which made for a wonderful treat to have.
And that’s when I knew that this bao bun was something special.
And here in this post, I want to show you all exactly how people make this delicious bao bun. That way, if you ever want to create your own custom “Gua Bao” type sandwich, then you can use this bun recipe to make it.
What Is A Steamed Gua Bao Bun?
If you have never heard about or seen what a Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包 is, then you are in for a treat!
And because it is made in the form of a sandwich, you can use it for any kind of fillings you want.
For instance, Gua Bao Bun is traditionally used with braised pork belly meat, cilantro, pickled vegetables and peanut powder. But you don’t have to use it that way if you don’t want to.
You can add whatever kind of filling you want as this bao bun is very versatile.
Whatever filling you decide to add inside it, I guarantee it will taste amazing.
Ingredients To Make Steamed Gua Bao Bun
The ingredients you’ll need to make this Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包 are all very easy to find.
In fact, you most likely already have all the ingredients inside your pantry.
The ingredients you’ll need to make Steamed Gua Bao Bun is as followed:
- All Purpose Flour – 4 Cups
- Water – Up to 1 1/3 Cup
- Instant Yeast – 2 Teaspoons or 1 packet
- Sugar – 1 Tablespoon
- Baking Powder – 1 Teaspoon
How To Make Steamed Gua Bao Bun
Making Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包 are a relatively simple thing to do.
The process to make steamed gua bao buns is as followed:
First grab a large mixing bowl, and pour in your flour, water, sugar, baking soda, and active yeast.
Mix it around really well until it starts to form into a doughy type texture.
Then onto a working surface, dust some flour onto the top of the surface.
Pour your doughy texture out onto the work surface.
Once you have your doughy texture, it is time to knead the dough until it is smooth. This should take a few minutes.
After the dough has become kneaded smoothly, put the dough back into the mixing bowl and cover it up with a warm towel or cloth.
Then put the bowl somewhere warm to rest for about an hour.
I chose the oven as the best place for my dough to rest.
After time is up, your dough should have grown double or triple in size.
Dust your work surface with some flour again and then take your dough out and place it on the work surface.
Continue to knead the dough.
Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a log shape.
Then once you have rolled your dough into log shapes, its time to cut them into equal sections.
I would suggest to cut the dough into about 1 inch wide sections.
If you want a smaller gua bao bun, then you would make smaller sections. If you want a bigger gua bao bun, then you would want a bigger section. this is totally dependent on how big you want your bao buns to be.
Then using a rolling pin, roll each section into a circle shape.
Make sure not to roll the dough out too thin. You want to have about a centimeter of thickness to it.
Now it’s time to make it into the shape of a Gua Bao Bun.
So with your circle dough that you have just made, gently rub some oil over the top of the surface. This will prevent the dough from sticking together and when you fold it in half.
Now all you do is simply fold the circle in half.
That is basically how you make a Gua Bao Bun.
Don’t worry if they don’t look pretty, that takes time and practice!
In fact, in the pictures you’ll see below, my Gua Bao’s are actually pretty ugly. That’s because my nieces and nephews were helping me make them. But it turned out to be a fun family experience.
Now just repeat what you did until you have finished making all of your Gua Bao Buns.
Then its time to steam them!
Steaming Your Gua Bao Buns
Steaming your Gua Bao Buns is a really easy thing to do.
First get your wok or pan and fill it with water.
Turn the heat up to high and wait for the water to boil.
Once the water is boiling, you’ll want to line your steamer basket with your Gua Bao Buns you have just made.
Then put your steamer basket into the boiling water so that it can steam.
Make sure to cover the top of the lid.
Let it steam for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, it should be done and you can use your Gua Bao Buns for whatever dish you want to make.
You’ll notice that the Steamed Gua Bao Buns have puffed up in size. That is when you’ll know that they are done.
What Can You Pair It With?
Because this Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包 is in the shape of a sandwich, you can typically pair it up with anything you want.
One of the most common and traditional ways you’ll see this bun sandwich being paired with is using braised pork belly, cilantro, pickled vegetables, and peanut powder used as the filling.
You can also get creative and use things like:
- Soft Shell Crab
- Fatty Duck Meat
- BBQ Pork
- Smoked Salmon
- And anything else you want
Basically the filling can be anything you want to put inside. The bun basically acts like a bread, so whatever filling you think might be good for a sandwich, then you should go for it.
How To Store/Keep For Future Use?
Storing these Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包 for future use is a relatively simple thing to do.
If you want to store it in the fridge to be eaten later on in this week, then all you need to do is put the buns in an air-tight container or just cover it up with plastic wrap. They should stay good in the fridge for up to 4 to 5 days.
If you want to freeze the buns however, I would say to put them in an air-tight container or cover them with plastic wrap. They should stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to eat them, simply put them back on the steamer and steam for a few minutes until they are soft and fluffy again. They will taste exactly like new!
Steamed Gua Bao Buns 刈包 Recipe
- 4 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/3 Cup Water
- 2 Teaspoon Instant Yeast or 1 Packet
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- Grab a bowl or a cup and fill it with water. Then take your instant yeast and pour it into the water.
- Grab a large mixing bowl and add in your ingredients ( flour, sugar and baking powder). Then slowly pour into the bowl your yeast water while also making sure to mix it around evenly. Keep mixing the mixture around until it forms into a dough like substance.
- Dust your working surface with some flour and knead the dough until it becomes a smooth dough. Then put it back into the bowl and cover it up. Let the dough rest and rise for about 1 hours.
- After your dough has rested, take your dough out of the bowl and knead the dough again. Then cut it in half and roll each half into a log shape.
- Cut the logs into equal sections of about 1 inch wide.Then using a rolling pin, roll each section into a circle shape. Make sure to not roll it too thin, you want to give it about 1 centimeter in thickness.
- Lightly brush some oil onto the top surface of the circular dough. Then fold it in half.Continue repeating this step until all of the dough is turned into a sandwich shaped bun.
Steaming Your Buns
- Grab a wok or a pan and fill it with some water.Bring the water to a boil.
- Place the sandwich shaped baos into a steamer lined with a breathable cloth.
- Once the water is boiling, you'll want to place your steamer basket into the boiling water. Make sure to cover the lid.Let it steam for about 15 minutes or until its done.
- After your buns have finished steaming, turn off the heat and serve immediately.
Did you try making my Steamed Gua Bao Buns / 刈包? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.