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Red Bean Buns (Dou Sha Bao 豆沙包)

by Shirley
Published: Last Updated on
Homemade Red Bean Buns {Dou Sha Bao}

Red Bean Buns, Dou Sha Bao (豆沙包) or Dou Shao Mantou {豆沙馒头} in Chinese, are a popular and well-liked breakfast, side dish or snacks in China. Homemade Red Bean Buns feature soft & fluffy bun wrappers filled with delicious homemade red bean paste. With this recipe, you can easily make a yummy and healthy Red Bean Buns at home.

How to make Red Bean Buns yummy and healthy at home?

It is super easy to make a yeast dough for fluffy Chinese buns as long as you understand a few tips and tricks. Homemade red bean paste using whole adzuki beans is easy, delicious and healthy.

Tip No.1 is to make a fluffy yeast dough for Chinese Buns {Bao Zi}

Read here to see the guided recipe and easy to follow step-by-step tutorial for making a fluffy tasty yeast dough that is great for Chinese buns.

Tip No.2 is to use Homemade Red Bean Paste if you can

Homemade scratch Red Bean Paste using dried adzuki beans, virgin organic coconut oil and organic cane sugar is so yummy and healthy. Read here for a detailed recipe and step-by-step tutorial to make red bean paste easily healthy way at home.

homemade red bean paste

Tip No.3 is to make a fluffy Bun Wrappers

You can make wrappers at home in two ways either by hand using a rolling pin or use a Stand Mixer (pasta machine).

This yeast dough recipe makes about 20 buns {Bao zi}. When use a rolling pin to make bun wrappers, divide the dough into 20 equal portions, and then work on one portion at a time. Read here for a detailed step-by-step guided tutorial.

If you own a Stand Mixer with pasta making attachment or Manual Pasta Machine, use them to roll the dough into a sheet and then cut into 4.5 inch rounds. Read here for more details.

Homemade Chinese Bun Wrappers

Tip No.4 is to wrap Chinese buns easy and classic

When I break down the steps, you will see it is actually super easy to wrap Chinese buns in the classic bun shape.

how to wrap buns {easy classic way}

This is the same method as wrapping Shanghai Soup Dumplings or Pork Buns (Rou Bao Zi}. See here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.

Last but not least is to steam Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao} properly

My favorite steaming set is a 14-inch wok with a two-tiered double 12-inch bamboo steamer. The bamboo steamer sits & snugs on the edge of the wok halfway through without requiring a separate steaming rack.

If you are using a 14-inch wok, add 5 cups of water into the wok. Bring it to a boil and then add the buns and steam for 18 minutes.

freshly steamed Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}

For steaming, you don’t have to worry too much about over-steaming. Just make sure your steaming pot doesn’t run out of water. However, if you do not steam buns long enough, the dough may still be partially raw and therefore sticks to your teeth. In addition, the dough may not get as fluffy as it should be.

You surely can use any steaming set. Just make sure you bring the water to a boil first before adding the steamer with raw buns. This is the same principle as baking when you pre-heat the oven at a certain temperature before adding food to the oven to bake.

Homemade Red Bean Buns Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to let the bun second proof after wrapping?

No need for additional proofing for this recipe. Just use your normal speed, making all 20 buns, and then bring the steamer water to a boil, and then steam. It may take about 1 hour to make the wrappers and wrap the buns. Therefore, the buns shall have received their fair share of additional proofing along the way.

What kind of liner can I use for steaming the buns?

I usually use dried bamboo leaves. It is an all-natural liner that also gives off a pleasant bamboo smell during the steaming.

No need to soak them beforehand, just quickly wash and rinse and then cut at 2-inch intervals.

Freshly Wrapped Blue Corn Mantou
Freshly Wrapped Blue Corn Mantou

Lately I also discovered the unbeached parchment paper, which works great for both baking and steaming.

Freshly Wrapped Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}
Freshly Wrapped Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}

How long does it take to steam the Red Bean Buns?

15 minutes of steaming.

How do I reheat red bean buns?

The best way to reheat the buns is by using a steamer. Bring the water to a boil and then steam for about 6 minutes.

I also use a microwave sometimes for convenience reasons. Cover the bun with a microwave glass splatter cover and microwave for 40 seconds on high. Serve the microwaved buns immediately before it gets dried.

Homemade Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}
Homemade Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}

May I freeze the buns?

Yes. While you can generally freeze either freeze the raw red bean buns or cooked red bean buns, I recommend freeze the cooked ones.

When freezing raw red bean buns, you lay them flat on a sheet and place them in the freezer for a few hours until they become stiff. This is the same method when you freeze dumplings {Jiao Zi}. You can then store them in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag or container, and use them within 3 months.

How do I cook frozen red bean buns?

Steam the frozen red bean buns directly for an extra 5 minutes for steaming. Instead of steaming for 15 minutes, steam for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy a yummy & healthy Red Bean Bun!

Like Chinese Buns and Dumplings? Make sure you check out below:

Homemade Red Bean Buns {Dou Sha Bao}

Homemade Red Bean Buns {Dou Sha Bao} Recipe

Yield: 20 buns
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Red Bean Buns {Dou Sha Bao} are a popular traditional food in China. Now that you can make fluffy buns with moist, tasty, and healthy homemade red bean paste. Perfect for breakfast or side dish.


For Yeast Dough:

  • 660 g all-purpose flour, unbleached organic preferred, about 4 cups
  • 25 g avocado oil
  • 335 g water, see notes
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 15 g cane sugar, organic preferred
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

For Fillings:

  • 4 cups of red bean paste, homemade preferred, see notes.

For Steaming the Buns:

  • Two large dried bamboo leaves, use as liner for the buns, optional


Make Red Bean Paste:

  • If using homemade red bean paste, make this in advance.
  • Soak the adzuki beans overnight, simmer the soaked beans for 2 hours, mash and pan fry with coconut oil and sugar and turn it into a smooth red bean paste. Read here for more details.
    Making Homemade Red Bean Paste

Prepare Fluffy Yeast Dough for Buns:

  • You will need all-purpose flour {organic unbleached}, avocado oil, Himalayan pink salt, active dry yeast, and water. Remember to dissolve the active dry yeast in the water first.
    Dry Active Yeast and water smooth paste
  • Proof and dough for 1 hour and then start to make bun wrappers and wrap the buns.
  • See here for detailed yeast dough for buns recipe and instructions.
    Yeast Dough After Proofing

Make Bun Wrappers:

  • Read here for a detailed guided how-to guide.
  • You can either use a rolling pin and roll the wrapper one by one. It is easier than you thought. Divide the dough equally into 20 portions, with each bun weighing about 50 g.
    Use a rollilng pin to roll the bun wrappers
  • Or use a Stand Mixer with pasta attachment or a manual pasta maker, roll the yeast dough into a sheet, and then cut into 4.5-inch diameter rounds.
    Cut Dough Sheet into 4.5-inch Diameter Rounds for Bun Wrappers

Wrap the Buns:

  • I use a simple classic bun wrapping technique, which is the same technique as wrapping the Shanghai soup dumplings. See here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.
    Freshly Wrapped Bun
  • Repeat the roll of the wrapper and fold the bun steps until you've done with all buns.

Steam the Buns:

  • I am using a 14-inch wok paired with a 12-inch bamboo steamer set consisting of two steamers. The bamboo steamer sits snugly inside the wok.
  • Add 6 cups of water into the wok, turn the heat to medium-high, cover with a lid, and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the bamboo steamer, cover the lid, and steam for 15 minutes
  • Turn off the heat, wait for 5 minutes or so, and then remove the bamboo steamer from the wok.
  • Enjoy a yummy and healthy Red Bean Bun!
    freshly steamed Red Bean Buns {Dou Shao Bao}


  • For easier measurement purposes, I use Gram as a unit for the dough, which you can use a kitchen scale to manage. Most kitchen scale has a "TARE" function which allows you to read the incremental or "net" weight. A very helpful function.
  • For homemade red bean paste, I usually double the recipe and make some extra for Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings, Qing Tuan {Green Rice Flour Dumplings}, or Cantonese Mooncake.
  • This recipe makes about 20 buns, which can be steamed in one sitting using this two-tiered bamboo steamer. Each of this 12-inch bamboo steamer can hold 10 buns.

Recommended Ingredients:

Organic all-purpose flour, avocado oil, Himalayan pink salt, organic unrefined cane sugar, organic turbinado sugar, dried adzuki beans, organic virgin coconut oil, and large dried bamboo leaves.

Recommended Kitchen Tools and Gadgets:

Kitchen scale with various units of measurements and "TARE" function, mixing bowl, Chinese rolling pin, dough mat, dough cutter, stand mixer with pasta making attachment, manual pasta maker, wok, a bamboo steamer set, kitchen towel

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 487Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 7gSugar: 42gProtein: 14g

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

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