breakfast, cooking, Recipe, snacks
Comments 14

Sweet Red Bean Steamed Buns (Dou Sha Bao)

We all have our own way to remember the one we loved, the one we lost, the one we would like to spend more time with but no more chances.

I pretty much grew up with my granny. My parents were both working. Granny was the one fed me, walked me to school, taught me things, and cared for me. She passed away many years ago. I never forget her smile, the stories she told me, and the taste of her food. Chinese New Year is just five days away. It’s a festival for family, and I really really miss her.

I always loved the red bean buns made by granny. She made them so delicious but light. I ate tons of it when I was a kid. I loved them as my breakfast before school or a snack after school.

She always made the red bean paste at home. I started doing the same thing these days. You can buy bean paste in any Asian supermarket I reckon. However, I found the paste I get from the store is too sweet and too smooth for my liking. I guess I was looking for the taste of red bean paste my granny made.


Although the process is a little bit long from making the paste to steam the buns. I always like to make at least 20 buns every time. So I can freeze some for later. When I want to have one or two for breakfast, I can just simply take few out of the freezer and microwave for 30 secs. My breakfast is ready!


Makes 20 small buns


For Red Bean Paste

  • dried red beans – 500 g
  • water – 2.5-3 cups for boiling
  • caster sugar – 120 g
  • honey – 2 tbsp
  • coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  • pinch of salt

For Steamed Buns:

  • all purpose flour – 750 g
  • dried yeast – 7 g
  • caster sugar – 2 g
  • lukewarm water – 180 ml
  • lukewarm milk – 200 ml


For Red Bean Paste:

  1. Wash and soak the red beans overnight.
  2. If you have a rice cooker, cook red beans the same way you cook rice. A pressure cooker is a good alternative if you have one. Otherwise, cook the red beans in a medium saucepan until they are soft.
  3. After the red beans are cooked, use a blender to blend sugar, coconut oil, salt and the red beans together. I often just use a potato masher to mash them up since I don’t like my bean paste too smooth.
  4. Once the bean paste is ready. Set aside to cool.

For Steamed Buns:

  1. Mix the yeast in the lukewarm milk, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix sugar with flour in a large bowl. Add the milk and use hand to mix them together. Make sure the milk is absorbed by the flour completely.
  3. Start kneading the dough and add the water slowly.
  4. Knead the dough until it’s soft and smooth. Add extra water if needed.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling wrap. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise until doubled the size.
  6. While waiting for the dough to rise, divide the bean paste into 20 portions and shape into 20 balls.
  7. Prepare a bamboo steamer or any steamer with muslin cloth or baking paper.
  8. When the dough is ready, punch the air out and knead for few more minutes. Roll the dough into a log, divide it into 20 portions and shape into 20 balls. img_1456img_1457
  9. Flatten a pastry ball to a circle and place a red bean paste filling in the middle. Pleat and pinch the edges to seal into a ball. img_1461
  10. Turn the buns over . The sealed side is underneath. Brush some oil at the bottom and place it in the steamer. Do the same for the rest of the dough and paste.img_1458
  11. Cover the steamer lid and set aside for 15 minutes.
  12. Bring the water to a boil and steam the buns for 15 minutes (depends on the size of buns you make).
  13. Remove from the heat and let the buns set for 5  minutes. This will stop the buns from shrinking.
  14. Serve when it’s warm. It goes well with milk/soy milk or anything you like. 🙂


  1. rebbit7 says

    Oh, I love dou sha bao! One of my favorite type of steamed buns out there. Haven’t had it in a long while, so your post brought back great memories for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s yummy. I grew up with these sweet red bean buns. My grandmother used to make it a lot for us. I hope you get a chance to try it. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


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