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Vietnamese with Tram – Banh Bao

For 10 middle sized or 15 small  


INGREDIENTS: Tbsp : Tablespoon  Ts : Teaspoon



500 g Low gluten wheat flour (can use a normal wheat but the
buns won’t be so airy and white)
2-3 dl Milk (depends on humidity flour can be wet and less liquid is needed)
½ pack Fresh or dry yeast
½ ts Baking powder
80 gr Sugar (4 full tbsp)
2-3 tbsp Sunflower oil
½ ts Salt
1 ts/L water Lemon juice or white vinegar (to avoid the buns turn
yellow during steaming) – for steaming (not in the dough)

Filling  (10 meatballs for big bao – 15 meatballs for smaller bao)  

½ (1 if small) Onion, finely chopped  (2×2 mm)
½ (1 if small) Garlic Clove, crushed
400 gr Ground chicken meat (you can use minced pork
1 tbsp Fish sauce (or 1 ts salt in case of allergy)
1 ts Crushed pepper (chili powder if you like it spicy)
1 ts Sugar
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Soya sauce
4-5 pieces Dry shitake (soak and squeeze out liquid), finely chopped
1-2 tbsp Coriander, finely chopped (leaves and stems)
3 Hard boiled eggs (each egg cut into 4-6 pieces/“boats”)
1 tbsp Maizena or potato starch (to avoid soggy filling)
1-2 tbps Raps/Sunflower oil for frying  

Equipment :


  • Muffin  paper cups or baking paper cut in 16 squares (6x6cm)


  • Steamer (if you don’t have a steamer you can use 2 large pots and damping inserts)



Steam time: 12-20 min, depends on the bao size

If raw meat filling, 12 min for small bao, 15 min

If filling is already cooked or sweet bao, less steaming time is required (8-10 min)



Bao dough :


  • Add the flour, baking powder and the dry yeast in a mixing bowl for machine (if you use fresh yeast, crumble it in the bowl)
  • Heat the milk with sugar, salt and oil up to 37 deg (you can still touch it with your finger) – stir until dissolved. A too warm milk will kill the bacteria of the yeast!
  • Add the liquid into the dry mix and knead for about 8 min, until the dough is glossy and smooth
  • Let the dough in a bowl and cover it with a cloth
  • Let the dough raise for about 45 min or until it has doubled in sizePrepare the filling while the dough is raising




Filling :

  • Cook the eggs, peel them and share them into 6 boats each
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan
  • Fry the onion and the garlic, add the mushrooms, sesame oil, salt, sugar, fish sauce, soya sauce and fry for about 2-3 more minutes.
  • Put the warm mixture over into a large bowl, add the ground chicken/pork, mix all together and add the maizena and the coriander. Mix well.
  • Make about 12-15 meatballs – chill before use (10-15 min minimum)

Folding :


  • Press out the air from the dough
  • Have some flour on flat surface, put the dough over and knead quickly
  • Make a kind of thick log and cut it into 10 (80g) -15 equal pieces (50gr)
  • Roll to round buns and cover with a cloth to avoid them drying out
  • Prepare one bun at a time by rolling out the dough in about 10-12 cm circle
  • Put the filling in the middle
  • Lift the the bun supporting it with one hand and fold the edge around with fingers on the other hand. Needs lots of practice!
  • Put the bun in a muffin paperform and leave it for about 30 min




Steaming :


  • Boil the water and add the vinegar
  • Stream for about 15-20 min, depending on the space below the lid in your pot/steamer.




Serve and eat while they are warm, but can be also eaten lukewarm.

For inspiration

You can add whatever you like in the filling, sweet or savoury. In class, we added nugatti to make sweet bao for dessert, but try salted caramel.

For savoury filling, the recipe is only a guideline. You can add leftover grilled chicken (finely chopped mixed with pesto sauce). Or vegetarian filling with fried eggplant, indian spices … it’s up to your imagination and taste buds! Good luck!

Folding needs practicing, use rolling pin for smoother surface. You can make half moon shape if easier (circle and fold over)

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