steam vegetarian bun

Steam Vegetable/Vegetarian Buns | 素菜包子

These Steam Vegetarian Buns are super soft and fluffy just like those in Chinese Dim Sum Restaurants! I love these vegetable buns because they are so tasty and healthy.

Made these during Nine Emperor Gods Festival ” (“Gao Ong Yah” 九皇大帝/九王爷 ). This festival is mainly celebrated in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. This year, the Nine Emperor Gods Festival is celebrated from 17 Oct 2020 to 25 October 2020. During this period, devotees will go to the temple to pray and have vegetarian meals. So these vegetarian buns are just the perfect breakfast or snack during this time.

The baozi dough for this vegetable bun recipe is delicate, soft and fluffy. Its not the chewy texture but has a soft, delicate and cakelike texture similar to baozi served in Chinese Dim Sum restaurants. The filling is mainly cabbage and carrots with very minimal seasoning but yet very tasty. Do try it! 😋😊😁


One key ingredient is Hong Kong Flour. In Chinese its called “香港水仙面粉”. Directly translated it is Hong Flour Waterlily Flour. It makes the bun whiter and have a softer, cake like texture just like the Hong Kong Dim Sum Restaurants. The texture is very different from using all purpose flour or cake flour to make the dough.

I have another soft and fluffy custard bun recipe using Hong Kong flour. It seems to be very popular. See link

You may not have it now but its definitely worth the effort buying them later. You may be able to get them from specialty baking shop or chinese grocery shops. See picture

Top Tips:

  1. Steaming wok has to be filled with water and the water at boiling point before placing the steam basket in to steam. Make sure the level of the steam basket is above the water level
  2. Serve the baozi warm right after steaming. Best eaten warm. Baozi is soft and fluffy when its warm

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to keep Steamed Baozi?

Let the steam bun cool to room temperature. Recommended to keep baozi a airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

If kept in the fridge, it can last for about 1 week. When ready to eat, remove from fridge and steam for about 10 minutes on high heat. (note: water preboiled before steaming). Serve warm to enjoy.

If kept in the freezer, it can last for about 2-3 weeks. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and steam for about 20 minutes on high heat. (note: water preboiled before steaming). Serve warm to enjoy.

Why is my baozi not as soft and fluffy when cold or at room temperature?

Baozi or any steam cakes or breads becomes tougher when left at room temperature or cold. Baozi is always served warm or right after steaming from the steamer.

Once its cold, steam the baozi again to enjoy it the soft and fluffy baozi when its warm

Can I use all purpose flour to substitute Hong Kong flour?

Its not ideal to use all purpose flour to substitute Hong Kong flour because the the texture of the baozi is very different. All purpose flour will produce chewy buns. But Hong Kong flour will produce soft finer texture.

Also the process and the water content required is different when using all purpose flour. So its not ideal to substitute with all purpose flour

What is the best flour to substitute Hong Kong flour?

There may be other brand that sell flour specifically to make baozi. They are usually labelled as pau flour, low gluten pau flour. You may be able to find it at the Chinese Supermarket or Specialty Chinese Baking Shops. In Malaysia, I get from Bake with Yen


Vegetable/Vegetarian Filling:

  • 1/4 (220 grams) cabbage finely chopped 包菜 四分之一 (220克)
  • 1 medium size (150 grams) carrot (diced) 胡萝卜1个中等 (150克)
  • 1 small (100 grams ) sweet potato 甘薯 1个小条 (100克)
  • 1 handful black fungus (ear wood mushroom) 黑木耳 少许
  • 4 tablespoon of oil 菜油 4汤匙
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 盐 1/2茶匙
  • 1 tablespoon light soya sauce 生抽 1汤匙
  • 2 tablespoon oil for frying 菜油 2汤匙
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch 土豆淀粉 1汤匙


  • 200 grams (1-1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon) Hong Kong flour 香港水仙面粉 200克 1-1/2杯+2汤匙
  • 35 grams ( 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) Wheat starch 澄粉 35克 1/4杯 + 1汤匙
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) icing sugar 糖粉 30克 1/4杯
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 泡打粉 1/2茶匙
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast 酵母粉 3/4茶匙
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup less 1 teaspoon) room temperature water 室温水 120毫升 1/2杯 减 1茶匙
  • 20 ml (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) vegetable oil 菜油 20毫升 1汤匙 + 1茶匙

Method on Steam Vegetable/Vegetarian Buns | 素菜包子