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Soft and Delicious Chinese Traditional Steamed Bun from Chengdu. Authentic Recipe of Mantou.

Things to know about Mantou Reicipe

Chinese Traditional Steamed Bun from Chengdu – Mantou is a plain bun, but you can prepare it with any filling you want, from savory to sweet. It is consumed as a snack or together with the main dish. It is one of the many staple foods in Northern China.

The traditional buns are tasteless, soft, and without a crust. It is made from flour and yeast as its leavening agent. The famous legend during the Three Kingdoms tried to capture the head of a barbarian named Meng Hou. Chancellor Zhuge Liang was told that barbarians used witchcraft so only gods can help him.

Barbarians throw the heads of their human victims, and Liang used buns filled with pork and mutton to sacrifice to the River God. Plain buns appeared during the 17th century, and now it is a very popular snack for busy people. It is now available in most Asian stores in the frozen section, but nothing can beat a freshly made Mantou bun.

Agoralia Recipes Traditional Authentic Dishes

Mantou – Chinese Traditional Steamed Bun from Chengdu

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: 饅頭, 馒头
User submitted Recipe
5 from 1 vote

— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins


Servings 4 Buns
Calories / Serving 324 kcal


  • 300 grams (10.58 oz) All Purpose Flour – Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour – Plain Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 2 tbsp White Sugar – Regular Sugar – Granulated Sugar
  • 150 grams (5.07 floz) Water
  • 1 pinch Salt
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  • Prepare and measure all ingredients accuratelyahead of time.


  • Have warm water about 35°C or 95°F and melt the sugar and yeast. Combine the ingredients well and leave for 5 minutes. In case you want to make sugar-free buns, then you can skip the sugar.
  • In a large bowl, combine the salt and flour, then pour the water with the yeast and sugar. Stir the mixture using a chopstick.
  • Once it forms crumbs, knead the dough until it becomes soft and smooth. At the start, the dough might be very sticky. You may choose to use a stand mixer instead of kneading using your hand.
  • Afterward, place the dough in the bowl and cover it, let it rest for 1 hour. You will see that the dough will double in size.
  • Once the dough doubles its size, transfer it to a working table dusted with flour. Knead the dough for another 4 minutes until it becomes very smooth. You may use a stand mixer for easy kneading.
  • Divide the dough into two, then make a long thick log.
  • Take out the end of the dough and cut the log around 2 cm or 20 mm wide using a sharp knife. It is crucial to keep its original shape before putting it inside the steamer.


  • Put each bun inside the steamer with enough space from each other to avoid sticking as the buns rise.
  • Cover the steamer and cook the buns for 10 to 20 minutes until they become fluffy.
  • Take out the steamer from the heat and wait for 5 minutes before you open the cover.
  • Serve the buns hot and enjoy.


  • You may substitute water with soy milk, low fat, skim milk, or whole milk for a richer taste.
  • In case of a sour taste, it means that the dough is over-fermented. It is common during summer or when you used more yeast than what is in the recipe.
  • The best temperature for proofing the dough is around 28°C or 82°F. During the summer, place the dough in cooler areas.
  • Also, rest the dough until it becomes 1.5 times its original size during summer and 2 times in winter.
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If you are using a steel steamer, you may consider higher heat all the time because it does not allow enough vapor to pass through its holes. On the other hand, for a bamboo steamer, it is better to cook the dough in low to medium heat. You may adjust the steaming time, especially if you have larger buns. Keep in mind not to open the lid of the steamer and wait for another 5 minutes after removing the steamer from the heat. Otherwise, the buns may collapse.

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:


Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 68gProtein: 10gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gSodium: 15mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Chinese Traditional Steamed Bun, Mantou Recipe, 饅頭, 馒头
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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