Asian Chicken Buns

A few years ago, my aunt sent me a steamer basket. It’s a beautiful wooden steamer basket with several layers, so you can steam veggies, leftover rice and meat all at once. I decided it was finally time to break it out to try these steamed chicken buns. These delicious little buns are very similar to pot stickers, but the outside is slightly different. Pot stickers are usually made with wonton wrappers, but these buns are made with a homemade yeast dough. I wanted to make these a little healthier than the original recipe, so I used half whole wheat flour. I’ll admit, since this is a yeast dough, it’s a little more involved than I would typically do for an appetizer type recipe, but it was definitely worth it. The outside is tender and savory, and the filling is delicious. For the filling, I started with ginger and ground chicken (or turkey). Add the bamboo shoots and shallots adds to the savory flavor for the filling. Then the filling is rounded out with the delicious seasonings that make the whole bun just delicious. While these are supposed to be an appetizer, if you’ve got a little extra time to make the dough, these are delicious for appetizers or even for a main dish. Serve them with some steamed, fresh or stir fried vegetables to make this a complete meal. You can also make a little extra of the seasoning sauce to use it for a dipping sauce. These are absolutely delicious – well worth waiting for the dough to rise!

Asian Chicken Buns

Steamed Chicken Buns

These steamed buns are well worth the effort of making the yeast dough. The outside is tender and light, while the inside is savory and packed with the flavors of Asia.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese
Servings 8



  • 1 pkg dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 8 oz ground or minced chicken
  • 2 Tbsp bamboo shoots drained and chopped
  • 4 small shallots chopped
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth mixed with 2 tsp cornstarch


For the Dough:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk and oil. Heat until warm, but not hot or boiling. You should be able to place your finger in the milk without being uncomfortable.
  • Remove from heat and add the yeast.
  • Stir in the yeast and allow the mixture to sit for 7-8 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly.
  • In a bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar.
  • Slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir.
  • Knead the dough until it comes together.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic, about 5 - 6 minutes.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover.
  • Place the dough in a warm place and allow it to rise until doubled in size.

For the Filling:

  • In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Saut√© the ginger for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining filling ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Continue to cook until the mixture begins to thicken.
  • Allow the filling mixture to cool while finishing to prepare the buns.

To Finish:

  • Punch down the dough and place it on a floured surface.
  • Knead the dough a few times, adding more flour if it's too sticky.
  • Pinch off a small piece of dough, about 1 1/4 inches in diameter.
  • Roll or gently stretch the dough into a small circle, about 3 inches around.
  • Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture into the dough.
  • Fold up the edges of the dough and pinch or twist the top together to seal it.
  • Cover the completed buns with a damp towel while the rest are being prepared.
  • Fill a pot with a couple of inches of water and bring the water to a simmer.
  • Steam the buns for about 20 minutes in a double boiler or steamer basket, or until they are firm when touched.
  • To avoid crowding, steam the buns in batches, working from the first ones done to the last filled.
  • Serve hot.

Entire recipe makes 8 servings
Serving size is about 2 buns
Each serving = 7 Smart Points/7 Points
PER SERVING: 272 calories; 6g fat; 1g saturated fat; 42g carbohydrates; 6g sugar; 13g protein; 4g fiber

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