Making Chinese steamed buns (Mantou)

Flattening the dough
@kaka135 (13442)
Malaysia
January 28, 2016 11:37am CST
I tried to make these Chinese steamed buns (or we call it Mantou in Chinese) a few years ago, together with my son. I didn't know how to bake or make such things, but just wanted to try to have some fun with my son. It was a total failure though my son still ate the buns happily. After some time only I found out the yeast was expired. After so many years, I attempted to make the Mantou again this morning. I was glad it turned out to be quite good, even my husband thinks it's nice to eat. He's quite picky at food, perhaps it's because his mom can cook and bake well. The ingredients I used include plain flour, sugar, yeast, water and a little bit of oil. The bread maker helped me to knead the dough so it was so easy for me. I just used the rolling pin to roll it, and the children happily used the cookie cutters to cut into shapes. We decided to make Wednesday our Mantou Day, so we'll have Mantou for breakfast for Wednesdays. I am glad I finally learned to make another food for my family. Have you tried Mantou in Chinese restaurants before? Do you like it? Image: My son was teaching my little girl how to flatten the dough with rolling pin.
10 people like this
11 responses
@youless (85225)
• Guangzhou, China
29 Jan 16
Did you try to make mantou by your bread machine? Actually it is not difficult to make mantou. You ingredients are correct, but actually I think even if you use the bread recipe, it will be fine, too. The difference between bread and mantou is how to cook it. The bread needs to be baked and you have to steam the mantou. I am not very interested in eating mantou because it is so plain for me. But my husband is crazy for it. So whenever I make mantou, I will put some butter on it so that I can eat it
2 people like this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
I actually used the bread maker to knead the dough, then we just took out the dough, flatten it and used cookie cutters to cut them into shapes. I don't know how to make bread yet, I have only made the whole loaf of bread with my bread maker - just put all the ingredients in the maker, and it'll handle everything. Now that I have made these Mantou, I think it should be same process as making the buns (bread). I am glad you said that as well, as I'd always love to try making buns. My children like to eat mantou, as they usually don't eat the fillings when eating pao. I wonder if pao is more difficult than mantou.
2 people like this
@youless (85225)
• Guangzhou, China
29 Jan 16
@kaka135 I think "bao" is similar with mantou, but you need to make some meats or fillings inside I don't use the bread machine to make the bread because I am not quite satisfied with it. I just use it to make the dough and then put it into the bread mould. And bake it in the oven. Is it complicated?
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
@youless You have the bread mold? That's good. I understand what you meant, I think it's fine. I like making buns actually, so I think I'll use the bread maker to knead the dough, then I take out and make the shapes of the buns, then bake it, am I right? I'll look for some tutorials before I try it out. Now I have more confidence in making buns. I thought "bao" is more complicated. I saw my uncle making bao when I was young, he made bao for selling. It's interesting to add the fillings and make the bao shape.
1 person likes this
@salonga (27961)
• Philippines
30 Jan 16
Yes I know Mantao. A fastfood here is serving mantao here and I also know how to make but I prefer adding meat fillings to the dough before cooking. We call this Siopao.
2 people like this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
31 Jan 16
Siopao is those with pork fillings inside, am I right? I like those as well. I actually prefer those will fillings as well, but my children like the plain ones.
2 people like this
@salonga (27961)
• Philippines
1 Feb 16
@kaka135 yes mostly pork but i don't eat pork so i use chicken.
1 person likes this
• Lakewood, Colorado
28 Jan 16
Do you steam them in a steaming machine? I have a big rice cooker with a steaming tray for the top.. I could make them in there. I am glad now they turned out for you good this time Lee. And I laugh when you said your son ate the first batch, though they did not turn out good haha No I have never had them anywhere. I love the photo of your children doing baking lolz
2 people like this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
I don't have steaming machine, but we always just use the pot to steam it. I have a big pot to cook soup, and there's a steaming tray for the top, just as the rice cooker. Can you imagine the yeast was not working, and the buns were so hard? My son ate the first batch, and he asked me to try them as well, as he said they are nice! Though I really didn't want to try, I tried as sincerely requested by a little boy. It was awful and I almost vomited. Glad that this time they turned out to be alright. I always like to see two of them working, playing or just being together. I just think it's so sweet to see brothers and sisters being together.
2 people like this
• Lakewood, Colorado
29 Jan 16
@kaka135 It is wonderful Lee.
2 people like this
• Philippines
29 Jan 16
I wish i can eat that, I think i haven't seen one before. that's too bad maybe if my mom have chinese friend here so that i can taste some of these. I will do some little research on these so that i can eat some of them.
2 people like this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
I think your mom's Chinese friends might know these steamed buns. Perhaps they can even make these steamed buns for you to try out.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (113144)
• Switzerland
28 Jan 16
I have tried Mantou in a Chinese market in Vancouver (Canada), they are good.
2 people like this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
Glad that you like it. Some people think mantou is too plain and tasteless.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jan 16
Aww ,that is so sweet your kids are teaching each other. I have never tried Mantou before but I have tired other steamed buns. Do you add any fillings for the buns?
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
Yes, I think my son likes to teach, so he always teaches or guides the little sister. Of course, the little sister learns from him and likes to teach as well. I didn't add any fillings for these buns. My children prefer no fillings in the buns, even if we eat other steamed buns, I have to eat the fillings.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Jan 16
@kaka135 It is good to teach/learn from each other. Your children seem to get along very well, I love to hear that. So the bun can have filling, so it is optional or by reference, I see. I think I would like the filling too.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
@infatuatedbby They always play together, and of course there are some "fighting" moments as well, but not too bad. Yes, there are many varieties of the steamed buns, some put meat (mostly pork, I think) inside, some put vegetables, red beans, etc. We usually buy those with fillings.
1 person likes this
@just4him (85245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
29 Jan 16
I have never heard of it.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
Mantou - Chinese steamed boat
I think you can only find them in Chinese restaurant. We can also buy the frozen Mantou in the supermarket here. I am not sure if you can find them over there. I have found a picture in wikipedia, those are deep-fried Mantous, the steamed one look similar.
1 person likes this
@just4him (85245)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
29 Jan 16
@kaka135 They are like a puff pastry it looks like.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
@just4him They are like buns to me, instead of baking, we steam them.
1 person likes this
@Micmac (6496)
2 Feb 16
I haven't tried them but they sound tasty. Your story reminds me of the pizza crust I made recently which turned out hard like a brick because the yeast I used was expired. Oh well, live and learn.. Glad you've enjoyed the buns the second time around.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
2 Feb 16
I didn't think there's someone like me as well! I'd like to learn how to make pizza crust one day. Yes, now I will always check on the expiry date.
1 person likes this
@Micmac (6496)
2 Feb 16
@kaka135 haha. I guess we are two peas in a pod. Yes for sure, I will do the same, keep my eye on the expiry date before cooking.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
2 Feb 16
@Micmac Then I am sure you'll make good pizza crust the next time.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (73924)
• Philippines
2 Feb 16
Is it like a siopao which is a white soft bun with meat and half an egg inside ?
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
2 Feb 16
I don't know there's egg inside the pork bun you have. It's something like the siopao you mentioned, but these Mantou are without fillings. They are just plain white soft bun. Mine are not white because I used brown sugar. We have the other steamed buns with fillings as well, some with meat, some with vegetables, and red beans as well.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (73924)
• Philippines
3 Feb 16
@kaka135 So they are just plain white soft bun with no fillings . But i suppose the bun by itself is already tasty .
@paigea (20019)
• Canada
31 Jan 16
A long time ago when my kids were young I made some steamed buns that were stuffed with a meat mixture. I thought they turned out pretty tasty, maybe not perfectly pretty. Now I want to make some for my husband!
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
31 Jan 16
That's good. I am always satisfied if it's okay to eat. Mine is not pretty at all, but at least they are edible now. Your husband will be happy with the steamed buns you make.
1 person likes this
@paigea (20019)
• Canada
31 Jan 16
@kaka135 Well, maybe tomorrow!
1 person likes this
29 Jan 16
I do not know this, but it sounds enjoyable!
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (13442)
• Malaysia
29 Jan 16
It's Chinese food, and I think these can only be found in Chinese markets or restaurants. I always enjoy making things together with the children, as we always have fun.