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Chinese Steamed Flower Buns (Hua Juan)

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“In Eastern China, Hua Juan are filled with sesame oil and green onion, and most of the recipes I've found online give that method. In the Western provinces of Yunnan and Gansu, where I've lived, they are flavored with Sichuan pepper, so that's the recipe I'm posting here. These are a simple breakfast or snack food. They may also be served as part of a Chinese meal.”
2hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 -2 teaspoon yeast (use the higher amount in cooler weather, or if you want the dough to rise more quickly)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 -4 tablespoons oil (for brushing dough)
  • sichuan pepper (sprinkled to taste)


  1. In mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the water. Wait until it bubbles.
  2. Whisk in salt and 1 c flour; stir in 2nd cup of flour, and knead in 3rd cup gradually to form smooth, soft dough.
  3. Cover dough an let rise until double (the dough will no longer bounce back when gently pressed with a fingertip.).
  4. Divide dough into 2 or 3 portions. Roll each into a rectangle less than 1/2-inch thick on floured surface. Brush dough with oil and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper powder. Roll the dough into a log.
  5. To shape the buns, slice the dough as thin as possible with a very sharp, floured knife, and press 9 or 10 of them together to form each bun. You can see pictures here:
  6. Let buns rise on floured surface for half an hour.
  7. Steam 15 minutes.

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