Red Bean Steamed Buns

5.0 from 2 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson





Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 3 hours

Serves: 12


  • Red bean paste filling
  • 300 gram red bean
  • 300 gram sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon honey (optional) (*)
  • a pinch of salt
  • Steam buns skin
  • 150 ml warm water (38 Celsius or 100 Fahrenheit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 300 gram all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oil (or 2 tablespoon unsalted butter) (**)


  • Red bean paste filling
    1. In a pot, soak well rinsed red beans in ample of fresh cold water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Heat until boiling, add 4 cups of water. When it boils the second time, drain in a sieve.
    2. In fresh cold water, boil beans again until tender and slightly fall apart. Add water so that liquid always covers the beans by about 1 inch while cooking. Drain again in a sieve.
    3. Transfer beans back to a pot, add sugar, and mix well. Cook over low heat and stir gently.
    4. Add honey, and mix well. Add a pinch of salt, stir lightly, and remove from heat.
    5. Mash with the side of a spatula or a potato masher. Chill until needed.
  • Steam buns skin
    1. Mix together warm water with active dry yeast and sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 15 minutes.
    2. Sieve together all purpose flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Make a well and pour the yeast solution and oil. Knead until the dough is non-sticky, soft, and elastic. Hand kneading is about 20 minutes, with electric mixer is about 10 minutes.
    3. Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel/saran wrap. Let the dough proof until volume is doubled, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
    4. Punch the dough to release air bubbles, knead again for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions.
  • Red bean steamed buns
    1. Roll a piece of dough into a flat circle of about 4 inch diameter, and try to make the outer 1" edge thinner than the inner portion.
    2. Place one medium ice cream scoop worth of red bean paste filling on the center of the dough (about 1 1/2 tablespoon), then gather the edges and close the seam tightly to fully enclose the filling inside the dough. Place on a cup cake liner.
    3. Repeat for the other 11 portions.
    4. Heat a steamer on medium high heat. Steam the red bean buns for 12 minutes, then turn the heat off, and let the buns rest inside the hot steamer for another 5 minutes. Remove buns from steamer and serve immediately. If your steamer is small, you may need to steam the buns in batches.


  • (*) Skip honey for vegan.
  • (**) Use oil for vegan.

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