The Best Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)

Mantou!!!! aka steamed buns!!!! These are the Classic Mantou that is staple in all Chinese households. These are so traditional it’s nostalgic. I actually made a variation of mantou awhile back: Multigrain Mantou.

I absolutely LOVE mantou because they only require 4 ingredients and make for the perfect base to a meal. This recipe is very easy and, to be completely honest, I never measure now. I just go by the feel of the dough.

Don’t you worry. I have measured the ingredients out and put them below. Since bread can be very picky, I highly HIGHLY recommend weighing the ingredients because it is very easy to mess up the ratios when measuring by volume. Scales are definitely worth it, especially if you make lots of bread or baked goods.

For this recipe, I would also use a high quality all purpose flour. I use King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour and have had good results. To best honest, use any UNBLEACHED all purpose flour and these will turn out and taste great. I previously used Costco’s all purpose flour and it never got the natural wheatiness of a mantou.

Look at the texture!! These are definitely a crowd pleaser. Make these for your next dinner alongside some soup and you will be so satisfied!

5 Word Summary:



4 ingredients


Simple/easy to make

5 from 2 votes

Classic Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)

These mantou (steamed buns) are super easy and fool proof!

Vegan, dairy-free, and oil-free.

Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword banana bread, steamed buns, yeast bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proofing time 1 hour
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 200 kcal


  • 400 g unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt or sugar (depends on what flavor you want)
  • 1/2 tbsp instant or active dry yeast
  • 250 g lukewarm water


  1. Microwave the water to about 100-110 degrees F. When you stick your finger in, it should feel warm, but not hot.

  2. Place the yeast in and mix well. Let it sit for a couple minutes.

  3. In a bread machine, bowl of an electric mixer, or just a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar/salt.

  4. Once the yeast has bubbled up, add that in and stir. Knead for a good 10 minutes.

  5. The dough should be firm and should not stick at all. Add flour as needed. This dough works best if you knead it for a long time (10 minutes in a machine, about 15 minutes by hand).

  6. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. I like to cover it with a damp towel and then into the oven that is turned off.

  7. Then, shape into a log and cut into whatever you size you please.

  8. Let them rise again, covered, until puffy and swollen looking.

  9. Line a steamer with parchment paper or a damp cloth. Bring the water to a boil. Then place the buns in leaving space in between each bun.

  10. Steam for 12-15 minutes depending on size. Turn the heat off and then open the steamer after a couple minutes. This will prevent the mantou from deflating. Enjoy!

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