Bao, aka steamed buns, are the perfect food. Doughy, light, and airy, and stuffed with a variety of fillings, these Chinese dumpling steamed bread sandwich hybrids are super fun to make and eat. If you’re looking for bao bun fillings, then your search is over! Here are 10 essential steamed bun bao recipes.
Bao Steamed Bun Fillings
I’ve got 10 new awesome bao (aka steamed buns) recipes up on my Sandwich Expert Page on The Spruce Eats!
From beef bulgogi with pickled vegetables to a delicious vegetarian variety with hoisin braised mushrooms, this recipe collection has it all!
Where to buy Steamed Buns
All you have to do is find the pre-made buns in the freezer section at your local Asian market and steam them before filling them!
Or you can always buy them from amazon if you don’t have a local Asian market!
To get the recipe for each one, simply click the link below each picture! Enjoy!
Steamed Bun Recipes
Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts + Crispy Pork Belly Steamed Buns
Sweet, Spicy and full of flavor, this sriracha glazed brussels sprouts and crispy pork belly recipe will become your new favorite!
I love how the steamed bun melts in your mouth while the crunchiness of the peanuts and earthiness of the brussels sprouts all balance out. This flavor combo of these steamed bun fillings will have your mouth watering!!
Bulgogi Beef Bao
Then, freshly shredded carrot, sprigs of cilantro, slices of pickled burdock (or radish), and pickled cucumbers rounds are added to the steamed bread sandwich to lighten and freshen it up.
And as for the kewpie mayo, well that creamy Japanese goodness is smeared on the inside of the buns to help it all stay together.
And trust me, if you’re mouth isn’t watering, go ahead and re-read the first few sentences. See what I mean? Ok, it’s time for you to try this.
Dorito Kimchi Carbonara Bao
Musubi Steamed Buns with Teriyaki Fried Spam, Pineapple + Nori
Next comes this wild child! Yeah, that’s right – there’s Spam on this steamed bun! But wait, don’t get freaked out! This version is an adaptation of Musubi, a traditional Hawaiian sushi snack.
It’s typically made by grilling spam and then brushing it with teriyaki sauce. The glazed spam is then placed on top of pressed sushi rice and wrapped in nori to make it handheld.
And when you turn it into a steamed bun, well it’s insanely delicious! The sweet and sticky crispiness of the Spam will make you question why you don’t eat it more!
Vegetarian Bao with Hoisin Glazed Mushrooms
Traditionally made with pork belly, this version of bao is not only vegetarian-friendly but even meat lovers will dig its umami richness.
Spicy Chicken Katsu Toasted Sesame Bao Steamed Buns
These spicy chicken katsu bao are one of my favorite ways to enjoy this Taiwanese delicacy!
With a kick from Sambal, a spicy Asian vinegar-y hot sauce paste, a hint of tartness from quick pickled cucumbers, and a pop of herbal freshness from cilantro, this chicken katsu steamed bun recipe results in one heck of a deliciously spicy chicken sandwich.
Spring Roll Inspired Bao
Imagine combining a fresh spring roll with the richness of a Chinese steamed bun. Well that’s what’s going on in these spring roll inspired steamed buns. I
First, add sweet a dollop of some spicy Sambal chili sauce, a few creamy slices of avocado, crisp strands of carrots and cucumbers rounds.
t’s no wonder why I’m obsessed the bao bun fillings in this recipe!
Curry Fried Chicken Steamed Buns
If you like curry and fried chicken, you will LOVE this steamed bun recipe! This colorful sandwich features crispy curry katsu fried chicken paired rich kewpie mayo and tart pickled red onions.
To make it, simply begin by frying your chicken curry katsu. Then, toss together a refreshing cabbage slaw with lime and mint. Then, add a little mayo to hold the whole thing together. Lastly, close the sandwich and enjoy!
This steamed bun filling flavor combo that will have you begging for more!
Vegetarian Steamed Buns with Sesame-Orange Fried Tofu
These vegetarian bao are out of control flavorful!
To begin, you’ll dry out your tofu then douse it in batter. Next, the crispy fried tofu nuggets are tossed in a sweet yet slightly spicy sesame orange sauce.
Then, they’re topped with Thai basil for freshness. Lastly, you’ll add a few pinches of toasted sesame seeds which add another note of texture and awesomeness!
All in all, this is vegetarian friendly and utterly delicious. Feel free to make it more spicy by adding extra sriracha!
Five Spice Fried Tofu Bao with Avocado and Kimchi Mayo
If you like crispy tofu, and spicy kimchi mayo you’ll love this 5 spice fried tofu steamed bun recipe!
It’s quite simple to make! First you’ll need to make crispy five spice fried tofu nuggets and the easy spicy kimchi mayo. Next, you’ll add avocado and pickled red onions. Then once the buns are steamed, you’ll add all the fillings together then voila! They’re ready to be enjoyed!
And if you don’t have 5 spice on hand, you can either order it from amazon or make it yourself! Just combine ground cinnamon with cloves, toasted fennel seeds, star anise, and toasted Szechuan peppercorns.
These bao bun fillings are perfection!
And if you like this recipe, you might also like my latest book!
Or if you’d like more information about MacKenzie Smith, you can read about here her!
Kenz aka GCS