Red Bean Buns (Dou Sha Bao)

Chinese Steamed red bean buns dou sha bao

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Soft and fluffy steamed buns filled with sweet red bean paste, a classic Chinese treat!


Units Scale

Red Bean Paste

  • 150g Red beans, aka adzuki beans (3/4 cup)
  • 135g Brown sugar (3/4 cup)
  • Water, enough to cover the beans

Bao Dough

  • 270g All-purpose flour (2 1/4 cups)
  • 30g Cornstarch (1/4 cup)
  • 180g Whole milk (3/4 cup), lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp White sugar
  • 1 tsp Instant yeast
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds, optional


Red Bean Paste

  1. Wash the red beans and place them in a large saucepan filled with water, cover
  2. Bring the water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, or until tender (you should be able to mash the beans between your fingers)
  3. Top up the water as necessary as the beans cook
  4. Drain and place in a saucepan with the sugar and bring to a simmer
  5. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is just thick enough to draw a line down the centre of the pot
  6. Remove from the heat and chill until firm
  7. Portion into 10 balls

Bao dough

  1. Cut 10 pieces of baking paper at  5 x 5cm / 2 x 2 inches
  2. Combine the flour, lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast, in a large bowl and mix until just combined
  3. Knead for 5 minutes until a rough ball forms
  4. Divide the dough into 10 portions, and cover with cling wrap or a tea towel
  5. Allow the portioned balls to rest for 15 minutes
  6. Uncover and knead each ball until smooth, then flatten and fill with a ball of red bean paste
  7. Seal and place on a square of baking paper
  8. Place on a baking tray or in a steamer and cover
  9. Proof for 45 mins or until the buns have plumpened, but not doubled in size
  10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high
  11. Place the steamer over the pot of water and steam the buns for 10-12 mins
  12. Allow the buns to rest in the steamer after cooking for 5 mins then enjoy
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