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Buckwheat Buns {Steamed Chinese Style}

Easy and Plain Northern China Style Steamed Buckwheat Buns

by Shirley
buckwheat buns {Chinese Style} Recipe

Steamed Buckwheat Buns {Easy Northern China Style} featuring organic buckwheat flour and organic all-purpose flour is fluffy, naturally yummy, and nutritious. Perfect for breakfast or a side dish.

buckwheat buns recipe {Easy Northern China Style}

Buckwheat Fun Facts

Buckwheat is a popular ancient crop in many cultures including China (northern) and Russia.

Despite the name, buckwheat is actually a type of seed and not wheat. Therefore, it is naturally gluten-free and belongs to a seed group dubbed “pseudo-grains”, which simply means they are not grains but treated like one.

Quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat are among the most popular pseudo-grains. All are super nutritious and I regularly add them to oats porridge.

buckwheat flour for buckwheat flour buns

Buckwheat Health Benefits

People generally consider buckwheat a superfood for good reasons. It is rich in flavonoids, a type of anti-inflammatory substance, as well as protein and fiber. Buckwheat is also high in many essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Magnesium, copper, and Manganese.

In light of all these nutrients, buckwheat can help boost the immune system, slow down the aging process, and improve digestion. It can also help manage blood sugar, manage weight, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

How to make buckwheat buns?

Tip No.1 is to dissolve the active dry yeast with water first thing first for fluffy buckwheat buns

active dry yeast dissolved in water

I use active dry yeast for making all kinds of buns and bread. They work out excellently. Two tricks I’d like to share on the topic of how to use active dry yeast for super fluffy buns or bread.

Firstly, store the active dry yeast powder in an airtight glass jar in the freezer, if you get a bulk half-pound package at a time, as I do.

Secondly, take the time to mix the active dry yeast with room-temperature water first thing first. Keep whisking until the active dry yeast powder is fully dissolved in water and the whole thing turns into a smooth paste. This will maximize the yeast power. Do not add the active dry yeast powder directly into the flour.

Tip No.2 is having the optimal ratio between buckwheat flour vs. all-purpose flour

I use 495 g all-purpose flour to blend with 150 g buckwheat flour.

How to fold buns

The fluffiness of a bun or bread is ultimately depending on two factors – the dough itself and the proper folding method. The goal of folding a bun is to make ample room for the bun to expand during rising and steaming.

how to fold buns

Like wholesome buns? Check out the blue corn buns recipe, another of my favorites.

Blue Corn Steamed Buns {Mantou}
Blue Corn Steamed Buns {Mantou}
buckwheat buns {Chinese Style} Recipe

Buckwheat Buns Recipe {Easy Northern China Style}

Yield: 18 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Steamed buckwheat buns {Easy Northern China Style} featuring organic buckwheat flour and organic all-purpose flour are fluffy, naturally yummy, and super nutritious. Perfect for breakfast or a side dish.


  • 495 g all-purpose flour, about 3 cups, organic unbleached preferred
  • 150 g buckwheat flour
  • 3 tsp active dry yeast powder
  • 15 g cane sugar, about 1 tbsp, organic unrefined preferred
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 25 g avocado oil, about 2 tbsp
  • 335 g room temperature water {a little under 1 1/2 cups), approximate, see notes
  • 3 dried bamboo leaves, or unbleached parchment paper, used as liner for steaming


Prepare the Dough:

  • Gather and measure ingredients using the kitchen scale. Add organic all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, avocado oil, sugar, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tsp active dry yeast to a small bowl and fill a 2-cup glass measuring cup with 335 g water.
    buckwheat buns ingredients
  • Add about 1/4 cup of water from the measuring cup, and whisk well until the active dry yeast is completely dissolved into a thin paste. Set it aside.
    active dry yeast dissolved in water
  • Add the yeast to the mixing bowl, using the flour to scrape the yeast bowl clean. Gradually add water from the measuring cup while kneading and pulling the dough apart repeatedly until you form a soft dough.
    buckwheat flour dough
  • Place the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 45 minutes.
    Cover the Dough with a Damp Kitchen Towel for better proofing
  • While waiting, prepare the things needed for steaming the buns. I use bamboo leaves as liners for steaming. You can also use parchment paper. Wash and rinse the bamboo leaves and then use a kitchen scissor to cut into small patches, each patch is about to hold a bun.
    bamboo leave liner in the bamboo steamer

Fold the Buns:

  • Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, lightly knead to get rid of the gas, and then divide the dough into equal portions, with each portion weighing about 50 g.
    buckwheat dough divided into bun size
  • For each dough, knead inward to get rid of the gas.
    knead each portion of the bun dough toward center
  • Fold inward as if you are wrapping the bun with filling.
    fold the buns
  • Hold the bun in your left palm (less dominant hand) and use your right hand to gradually close the opening.
    fold the buns
  • Use both hands/palms to gently shape the bun into a meatball shape.
    fold the buns
  • Place the bun on the bamboo liner. Repeat until all the buns are done. This recipe makes about 18 small buns, perfect to use the 2 bamboo steamers, each holding 9 buns.
    freshly folded buckwheat buns

Steam the Buckwheat Buns:

  • Add 6 cups of water to a cast iron wok, cover the wok with a lid and bring the water to a boil.
  • Stack the steamers, cover them with the bamboo lid and place the whole set on top of the wok. Steam for 18 minutes.
    14-inch Wok and 12-inch bamboo steamer steaming set
  • Once done, turn off the heat and wait for about 2 minutes before removing the lid and removing the steamers from the wok. Be very careful as the steam can be extremely hot.
    freshly steamed buckwheat buns
  • Enjoy a naturally yummy and super nutritious buckwheat bun!
    buckwheat buns recipe {Easy Northern China Style}
Nutrition Information
Yield 18 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 125Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 0mgSodium 24mgCarbohydrates 23gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 4g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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