Banh bao


Bánh bao literally means “bun cake.” The Vietnamese banh bao is a steamed bun that is light and airy, and it can be filled with a flavorful pork filling. This dish is comparable to the Chinese bao zi. However, while banh bao and bao zi are both similar, banh bao recipes call for fish sauce, whereas bao zi recipes call for Chinese five-spice. In addition, a distinguishing characteristic of banh baos is the inclusion of Chinese sausage and quail eggs in the filling.

Every person should absolutely get themselves a Vietnamese Banh Bao for either breakfast or an afternoon snack. In addition to being suitable for the freezer and being an excellent addition to lunch boxes, you will adore how simple it is to reheat them. The most exciting part? The flavour of each one is still as incredible as it was on the first day!

Why do people like Banh bao

Banh bao being enjoyed

When done properly, homemade banh bao will come out light and fluffy, with just the right amount of hold to wrap tightly around the meatball.

The filling has a springy texture and is so incredibly moist that it is oozing with porky juices. When you take a bite out of a slice of sweet Chinese sausage and a creamy quail egg, you will be overcome with feelings of nostalgia.

This Banh Bao recipe may take a little bit more time than others, but trust us when we say that every single minute will be well worth it. When you remove them from the steamer and find that each one is scalding hot and full of steam, you'll understand what I mean.


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Ingredients that go into Banh bao


  • 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (I used this one)
  • 1 3/4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup water or milk


  • 1 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 3 Tbsp oyster sauce (I like this one)
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 green onion/scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

Chinese sausage, thinly sliced
hard-boiled eggs or quail eggs, quartered

How to cook Banh bao


  1. Put the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, yeast, and oil into a large bowl. Stir to combine. Combine the ingredients, then slowly pour the water or milk into the mixture while continuing to stir. Mix again until just combined.
  2. Dust your hand with a little bit of additional flour (this will help the dough from sticking to your hands). Perform a light kneading of the dough, then roll it into a ball.
  3. You should dust some flour onto the surface that you are rolling on. After that, begin kneading the dough on the surface that has been dusted with flour for approximately ten to fifteen minutes, or until the dough is very smooth. To prevent the dough from becoming too sticky, I've found that sprinkling in a little bit of flour every now and then helps. Roll the dough into a ball with your hands.
  4. Apply oil all over the inside of a large bowl, then place the dough inside. Place the bowl in a warm location, cover it with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and let it sit there for about 30 to 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.


  1. In the meantime, add the ground pork, oyster sauce (my personal favourite), fish sauce, shallots, green onions, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly.
  2. Wait at least 20 minutes, but preferably overnight, before using the filling mixture.


  1. After the dough has doubled in size, dust some additional flour onto your rolling surface, then cut the dough into sixteen equal pieces.
  2. Flatten each piece into a circle, making sure the middle is slightly more substantial than the edges. Roll each piece into a ball.
  3. I use a cookie scoop to place some of the pork filling in the middle of the dough circle. Next, I add the egg and the Chinese sausage.
  4. Wrap the meat in the dough, then bring the ends together and pinch them together to seal. You can either shape it into a ball or twist the top to create a design.
  5. Place the banh bao that have not yet been cooked on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. Continue in this manner until all of the dough has been utilised, then wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  6. Give the dough half an hour to relax in a warm room before proceeding.


  1. Start the steamer by bringing the water to a boil (I use this one). As soon as the water begins to boil, place the buns in the steamer tray (I like to use pre-cut parchment squares under each one). It is important to ensure that there is a gap of about 2 inches between each bun.
  2. Cook for an additional 11–12 minutes over high heat with the lid of the steamer closed.
  3. After the heat has been turned off, place the buns on a cooling rack. It is recommended that you consume these banh bao as soon as possible; however, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days and stored in the refrigerator. ENJOY!

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What can Banh bao be served together with

Banh bao served

Every Vietnamese child is exposed to the traditional dish known as banh bao, which is considered to be the most important meal of the day in Vietnam. As we were getting ready for school when we were kids, my grandmother would often steam frozen baos that we had purchased from the store for both my brother and I to eat.

Each bun was loaded with a mouthwateringly satisfying and hearty mince filling, and together they provided enough fuel to get through the entire morning. Bonus points for consuming it immediately after it was removed from the steamer.

Other popular Vietnamese food

Besides Banh bao, there are other vietnamese food dishes that are highly popular in Singapore and around the world. Below is a list of some of the most mentioned ones:

Pho, Cha Ca, Banh Xeo, Cao Lau, Rau Muong, Nem Ran Cha Gio, Goi Cuon, Bun Bo Hue, Banh Khot, Ga Tan, Nom Hoa Chuoi, Hoa Qua Dam, Pho Cuon, Ga Nuong, Pho Xao, Ca Phe Trung, Bo La Lot, Xoi, Banh Cuon, Ca Tim Kho To, Bot Chien, Bun Dau Mam Tom, Banh Goi, Com Suon Nuong, Chao, Bo Luc Lac, Hat De Nong, Banh Uot thit nuong, Bun Cha, Banh Mi, Lau, Banh Bao, Com rang, Bo Bit Tet, Com Chay, Che, My Xao Bo, Dau Phu Sot Ca Chua, Canh Bun

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