Hua Juan and Sao Bing

I have a bone to pick with airplanes/airports/air-travel-in-general.  

For some reason, my flight and all other flights to my hometown are always delayed or canceled or something! Even when the weather is perfect and clear, my flight is pushed back an hour -or two. All other flights are on time and are fantastic. Only mine!

On the other hand, I have to admit that seeing family and friends or going to new places to have new adventures is worth all of the hassle that is traveling. 

I love being able to sink into my favorite spot of the couch. Or to swivel in my desk chair. 

Although Em likes to use my bed to hold her dirty laundry.  It's not very pleasant.

Hua Juan! Mantou type things! Em already made this once while I was at school, but I was so excited to try to make these when I got home.  

Essentially steamed buns or bread, Hua Juan is a constant in the Em&M household. Previously, we had always bought them, but a family friend, the expert in Chinese cooking in our little town,  graciously allowed us to learn her secrets.  Not only did she teach us how to make Hua Juan, but also Sao Bing and scallion pancakes!

Sao bing! These are actually a staple of our Asian Thanksgiving and a part of my family's Black Friday tradition. Since there are always Sao bing left over from the previous night, we take some on the road with us -in case we get a little hungry while we do a little shopping!

Filled with scallions and sprinkled with sesame seeds, making sao bing can get a little messy with scallions and sesame seeds flying everywhere in the kitchen.  The vacuum definitely got a work out afterward. 

Em got rather confused when some of the sao bing turned out so small...until someone pointed out that the ones she sees on Thanksgiving are the larger perfect ones that are fit for company and the little ones are long gone.

It was a great week to kick back and learn all these great recipes.  They don't actually take that much time and the yield is high.  You can always freeze the Hua Juan, if you're not making them for company, you can always cut the recipe in half for the Sao Bing. Most importantly, they are worth every minute and every bit of work!

After making the dough and dividing it up into five sections, add oil and roll the dough up into a log. Using a knife dusted in flour, cut thin strips -about 1/4 of a cm. The thinner the strips, the better! If the crease starts to show, just flip the log over and continue cutting for 9 or 10 strips. 

Take the ends of the segment of strips, fold and press them together so it forms a little ball shape.


1 pkg yeast
2 1/2 cup warm water 
1 tsp sugar

Mix the above ingredients and place in warm spot like the microwave to proof the yeast.  
After 5-10 min, you should see foam.

6 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar

Add the flour and sugar to the yeast.
Mix and knead until smooth. 
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic warp and place in a warm spot and wait to double.
Divide the dough into 5 sections. 
Cover the dough with a towel if you're not using it!

Flour the counter and roll one section into a 12-15 in circle so that the dough is less than 1 cm thick.  
Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil and spread all over the circle of dough. 
Roll the dough into a log
Cut into thin strips -about 1/4 of a cm. If the crease starts to show, just flip the log over and continue cutting for 9 or 10 strips. 
Take the ends of the segment of strips, fold and press them together so it forms a little ball shape. 

Flour a baking sheet and wait for the dough to rise a second time for 1/2 hour.
Make sure to cover them!

Steam for 12-15 minutes. 

Dump them out onto a towel and wait to cool.
Freeze the ones you won't eat immediately!

Recipe for Sao Bing

Use the same dough as the Hua Juan

6 bundles of scallions
Sesame seeds
Sugar water: 1 tbsp sugar and 1/4 cup water

Chop the scallions finely.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
Sprinkle salt over the rectangle and liberally sprinkle the scallions all over. 
Fold the dough into thirds length wise and pinch to seal.
Brush sugar water on top and sprinkle the sesame seeds. 
Cut the dough diagonally to get the parallelogram shaped pieces.  
Allow to rise for another 1/2 hour. 

Bake at 500 degrees for 9 minutes. 

Sorry for the long post, but there was just so much goodness to share!

Also on Cupcake Apothecary Lark's Country HeartMangia MondaysWit, Wok, and Wisdom and  Sweet as Sugar Cookies!


  1. I LOVE the look of those steamed buns. How cool is that!

  2. The Hua Juan buns look so cute. And they've got a huge stringy thing content! That's my favorite part--think of it as Asian-style string cheese. There is clearly something very basic about the joy of deconstructing one's food (for both children and the child-like). I am excited to make these one day and see what reallllllyy fresh steamed buns taste like!

    Also, Sao Bing. I love the crunchiness of the outside. The sesame seeds are so good. I know this may seem weird, but I wonder if they would taste good with black sesame seeds. They might look a little bit scarier though with the startling color contrast...

    I really like the pictures documenting everything mid-process. It'll help a lot when I try it out myself! :D

  3. Also, I really dig how the new blog format has little boxes around each entry. It might have been that way before, but I didn't realize it until now.

  4. those are the prettiest little buns! they look so tasty, too! do you serve them with anything in particular?

    thanks for linking up to mangia mondays!

  5. These are new to me.. and they look fabulous!

  6. I LOVE the look of those steamed buns. How cool is that!

  7. im a huge fan of hua juan and sao bing!! def stuff i grew up with (but never made before!)...thanks for sharing the recipe...cant wait to get my hands on the hua juan (altho i hope my cutting/slicing skills are up to scratch!)

  8. It's totally worth the effort!! =)


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