BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Easy Folded Steambuns

  • Prep Time 30 minutes (including rising time)
  • Cook Time 12 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $1.50

David Chang of Momofuku is perhaps responsible for making these famous in the United States. Here in San Francisco, The Chairman and American Bao Bar churn these out for the hungry masses. One makes a great snack, and two to three make for a full meal. Their fillings are highly customizeable. I like them with spicy pork and kimchee, Chinese meatballs and cabbage, crispy tofu and peanut sauce, or even leftover grilled chicken and pickled radishes. Usually, I'll serve them as a bar: I'll set out a basket of the freshly-steamed buns, a couple of protein choices (usually one meat, one vegetarian), an array of sauces (hoisin, peanut, sweet chili) and toppings (cilantro, mint, basil, kimchee, sliced jalapeños, daikon, shredded carrots, bean sprouts--whatever I have around), and then let people fill their own steambuns, taco bar style

You can buy the buns pre-made in the freezer section, but like anything else, they're better when you make them at home. Also, like almost anything else, they can be made from my favorite kitchen staple, pizza dough. It's super-easy to make the dough yourself, but it's also totally fine to cheat and use storebought dough (usually $2 or so at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods). Just let it come to room temperature before using. 

It's a thing of beauty, isn't it?

Speaking of dough, I'm very excited to tell you that my second book, Pizza Dough, 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes will be out next month and is available for pre-order! I can honestly say that I have never been so proud of anything. It's absolutely beautiful, and features design by the amazing Gretchen Scoble, photos by the endlessly talented Frankie Frankeny and food styling by the inimitable Fanny Pan. I feel so lucky to have had such incredible people working on it. Here's the final cover, which offers just a taste of what's inside.


I literally can't wait for you to have it in your hot little hands. Stay tuned for info about events and signings. Until then, make these easy steambuns for someone you love!


  • flour for rolling Pantry
  • 1 recipe pizza dough $1.50
  • canola or vegetable oil Pantry

Recipe Serves 8-10


  1. Cut a large sheet of parchment paper into 20 2"x2" pieces of parchment, and set aside.
  2. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 20 small pieces. 
  3. Gently roll each piece into a round ball.
  4. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll a dough ball out into a 4” oval.
  5. Lightly grease a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon with the canola or vegetable oil.
  6. Place the greased chopstick or wooden spoon in the center of the dough.
  7. Fold the oval in half, and gently withdraw the chopstick or spoon handle. 
  8. Place the folded dough on a parchment square and set aside. 
  9. Repeat with the remaining dough and parchment squares, until you have 20 parchment-lined folded doughs.
  10. Arrange the folded doughs into lines, and drape loosely with plastic wrap.
  11. Let rise for 20 minutes.
  12. Prepare your steamer on the stove. If you have a bamboo steamer, use that. I used a colander and large pot with a fitted lid. 
  13. Working in batches, steam the buns on the parchment for 12 minutes
  14. The buns can be filled and served immediately, or brought to room temperature and transferred to an airtight container and frozen until needed. 
  15. To serve, gently pull open (they should open easily) and fill with desired fillings.


Category: Meals

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