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pumpkin chinese steamed buns.

Planning a Halloween party this year? Make sure you have all those spooky essentials at the ready. pumpkin? Check! Scary decorations? Check! Fancy dress outfit? Check! Chop sticks... what? 

When traditional Chinese sauce brand Lee Kum Kee got in touch to see how I fancied writing a Chinese pumpkin recipe i couldn't wait to step up to the challenge. inspired by my trip to flesh & buns, i set about developing a Chinese steamed bun recipe.

Shopping list. 
For the steamed buns
(makes six)
♥ 200g strong flour, such as “00”
♥ 7g dried yeast powder
♥ 1/2 tsp baking powder
♥ 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
♥ 5g caster sugar
♥ 20g butter
♥ 100ml water, room temperature 
♥ A splash of milk

For the pulled pumpkin mix
♥ 1 tbsp sesame oil
♥ 2 garlic cloves, crushed
♥ 1 inch of fresh ginger
♥ 150g fresh pumpkin flesh
♥ 1 tbsp lee kum kee sweet soy sauce
♥ 1 tbsp lee kum kee premium oyster sauce, omit for vegetarian version
♥ 1 tsp red chilli paste
♥ A handful of fresh coriander

♥ A mixer with dough hook
♥ A lined baking tray 
♥ Greaseproof paper cut into squares
♥ Bamboo steamer basket

Note: You will need at least 2 hours to make and prove the buns.

Step one. Bring the dry ingredients together in your electric mixer bowl and rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Step two. Attach the dough hook and begin to mix further. Slowly add in the water and milk.

Step three. Knead with the hook for 5-7 minutes. The mixture should be pale in colour with a slight shine. dust with flour if it is a little sticky.

Step four. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for at least one hour.

Step five. When proved, divide into equal balls. The 300g mix should yield 6 x 50g small balls.

Step six. Distribute evenly on a lined baking tray with room to grow. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.

Step seven. On a floured surface, roll out the balls into flat circles. Fold in two - I've actually seen this done with chopsticks which I loved. Cover for the last time and leave to prove for 30 minutes on greaseproof paper squares. 

Step eight. Whilst the buns prove for the last time, prepare your pumpkin mix. Frstly add the sesame oil to a saucepan and cook the garlic and ginger slowly on a low heat.

Step nine. The part of the pumpkin you want is the stringy flesh, with the seeds removed. This is a great texture as it resembles pulled pork. If you use the harder flesh, it would be best roasted for 30 minutes first.

Step ten. Add the rest of the sauces. The oyster sauce in particular is delicious with the pumpkin and really enhances the sweet flavour. Cook together for 5-10 minutes.

Step eleven. When the pumpkin mix is ready, set aside and keep warm. place the buns in the bamboo steamer over a pan of boiling water. Steam for ten minutes with the lid on.

Tip: for a party you could prepare ahead and then simply steam the buns and warm the pumpkin when your guests are ready to eat.

Step twelve. Assemble your buns with pumpkin and a coriander garnish.

These soft and silky steamed buns filled with Chinese pulled pumpkin are the perfect Halloween party dish to share. The deep and intense flavour of the LKK signature oyster sauce paired with the slight sweet and salty soy sauce makes for a delicious combination. Make ahead so you can work on your fancy dress outfit!

Miaow! Happy Halloween!

Note: written in collaboration with lee kum kee and their fantastic sauces.


  1. Ooh I have been wanting to try Chinese steamed buns for a long time now, but wasn't convinced how well they would turn out in a home kitchen. Think you may have just given me the confidence boost I needed..!

    1. Really pleased to hear it! I've since had some with salmon and coriander :) x

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