Go Back
+ servings
Sweet Potato Steamed Buns (Bao)

Sweet Potato Steamed Buns (Bao)

Full of Plants
Soft and fluffy bao filled with shredded sweet potato, mushrooms, lemongrass, shallots, and chili. Moist on the inside and packed with flavor!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Resting Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Servings 8 buns
Calories 191 kcal


  • Bamboo Steamer



  • 1 and 1/2 cup bao flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/4 tsp chopped red chili (optional, only if you like it spicy)
  • 1 tbsp dry wood ear mushrooms soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 2 dry shiitakes soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • 1 medium sweet potato shredded and then cut into 1/2-inch shreds
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper or more to taste



  • Add the bao flour, water, sugar, oil, dry yeast, and salt to a mixing bowl. Knead until it forms a smooth dough, about 5 minutes. Cover with a clean wet cloth and let it proof in a warm place for about 1 and 1/2 hour, or until it has almost doubled in size. In the meantime, prepare the filling.


  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced shallot, lemongrass, garlic, green onions, and chili if using. Sauté for about 2 minutes.
  • Drain and finely cut the shiitakes and black mushrooms and add to the skillet. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the shredded sweet potato and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender.
  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, cornstarch, sugar, and black pepper. Add to the skillet and stir to coat. Cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Scoop out about 3 tbsp of the sweet potato filling and squeeze it into a ball using your hands (you can also use a cookie scoop to make it easier). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining filling.
  • Punch the dough down and divide it into 8 balls (6 if you want larger buns). Cover with plastic film to prevent them from drying. Take one ball and flatten it into a circle of about 4-inch diameter. Place the sweet potato filling in the middle of the dough and wrap the dough around it. Check out this video to get an idea on how to wrap it. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your bamboo steamer over it. Depending on the size of your steamer, place 3-4 buns inside, leaving about 2-inch between each (they will rise). Steam for 17-20 minutes. Remove from heat and repeat with the remaining buns.
  • Enjoy warm, or at room temperature! These buns will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in the steamer for 7-10 minutes.


Serving: 1bunCalories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 3.5gFat: 5.2gFiber: 2.3gSugar: 7.1g
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants