Pork buns

Pork buns on a plate with one torn in half.
Pork buns (Nikuman in Japanese) are one of the most widely available favourite winter snack foods in Japan. Most food stores have steaming cases by the checkout selling them steaming hot. They are quite easy to make at home too.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proofing time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Appetiser, Snack
Servings 8 buns


  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g high grade flour
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oil

For the pork filling

  • 250 g minced pork
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 dried shiitake mushrooms hydrated and chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp corn flour


  • In a large bowl, mix plain flour, high grade flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add oil and 3/4 to 1 cup of water. Work into a soft dough. Knead until smooth. Then cover and leave it for 1 hour.
  • In another bowl, mix all the filling ingredients. Divide into 8 balls.
  • Divide the dough into 8 portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll dough into a 12cm round. Place a pork mixture ball into centre of each round. Draw edges up to form buns. Pinch tops together. Place the pork bun on a piece of baking paper (cut into 5 cm squares)
  • Steam the buns for 15 minutes. *

To steam buns — 3 ways

  • 1. Wok or a saucepan with bamboo steamer over a heating element.
  • 2. Rice cooker - put 3 cups of boiling water in the cooking bowl, then insert the 'steam tray' comes with the rice cooker. Place 3–4 buns on the steam tray at a time. Switch on.
  • 3. Microwave - place buns on a microwave proof dish, sprinkle water over the buns, cover loosely. Microwave medium 4–5 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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