Easy Steamed Buns (Bao) with Short rib and Kimchi

Easy Steamed Buns (Bao) with Short rib and Kimchi

Steamed buns or Bao, stuffed with short rib and topped with kimchi. What could go wrong with that combination? This recipe is based off the steamed bun recipe from Momofuku which is absolutely fantastic. The great thing about this recipe is that the filling can be really anything you want it to be.

You can make this with chicken or any other protein that you like or you can make it simply with grilled vegetables. Either way you decide to go the end result is going to be great. Here is the recipe for steamed buns, I hope you enjoy it! 

Steamed Buns (Bao) with Short Rib and Kimchi

Steamed buns or Bao, stuffed with snake river farms short ribs, and topped with kimchi. What could go wrong with that combination?

For the short ribs

  • 6 lb kobe short ribs (boneless)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 3 oz ginger (sliced)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole onion (chopped)
  • 2 whole carrots (chopped)
  • 1 whole leek (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp sambal
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup miso
  • 1 cup tamari
  • 48 oz chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil

Steam Buns

  • 4 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup water (warm)
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp dry milk powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil


  • 2 lb napa cabbage (chopped)
  • 1 cup daikon radish (julienned )
  • 2 tsp garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp korean chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp sambal
  • 1 cup green onions (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt ((iodine free))


  • 1/4 cup green onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (micro)
  • 4 each red radish (sliced )
  • 1/2 cup cucumber (julienned)

How to make steamed buns (Bao)

  1. Combine yeast, water, and 1 tbsp of sugar into stand mixer bowl and mix well with a fork for 30 seconds. Allow to activate for 5 minutes. Then with a dough hook attachment add flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and fat.

    Mix on the lowest speed for 8 minutes. The dough should gather together into ball on the hook. Add a little more oil to the bowl, and cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour and 15 min.

    Punch dough down and turn out onto a clean surface. Using a bench scraper or a knife, divide dough in half, then divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Gently roll the pieces into logs, then cut each log into 8 pieces, making 48 pieces total.

    They should be about 1 -1/4 oz. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap & allow to rest oil or spray. Flatten one ball with palm of your hand, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into a 4-inch-long oval.

    Lay the greased chopstick across the middle of the oval and fold the oval over onto itself to form the bun shape. Withdraw the chopstick, leaving the bun folded, & put bun onto the sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    Cover the sheet pan while you form the rest of the buns. Let the buns rest for 30 minutes. Set up a steamer on the stove. Line your steamer with parchment paper, it doesn’t have to be perfect, gaps will allow the steam to circulate (just make sure your buns are on the parchment paper and not on the steam or they will end up sticking.

    Working in batches so you don't crowd the steamer, steam the buns on the parchment squares for 10 minutes. Remove parchment. You can use buns immediately (reheat them for a minute or so in the steamer if necessary) or allow to cool completely and reheat.

How to braise short ribs

  1. You will need a large braising pot or soup pot.  Add 3 tbsp of sesame oil to the pot on medium high heat.   Season the snake river farms short ribs lightly with salt and place in the hot braising pot.  Sear on each side for about 3 minutes. 

    Once you have seared the second side, move the center pieces of short rib to the outer part of the pot (on top of the other short rib pieces) so there is an empty space in the center of the pot. 

    Place all of the vegetables in that empty space (onion, ginger, garlic, lemon grass, carrot, leek tops) and saute for 3 minutes.  Then add the orange juice, miso, soy, sambal, and chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. 

    Lightly simmer the short ribs or braise them for about 2 1/2- 3 hours or until they are very tender.  My short ribs were very thin and boneless so they cooked relatively fast.  Once just let them sit in the liquid until your ready to plate.

How to make kimchi

  1. In a bowl add your cabbage, daikon radish, and green onions. Then using gloves add the rest of the ingredients and massage and crunch together for 5 minutes making sure everything is completely and thoroughly mixed.

    Then place into a one quart jar making sure everything is well packed inside the jar (you want to make sure the liquid is completely covering the vegetables). Leaving about an inch from the top of the jar.

    If you have a weight you can place a small piece of parchment paper on top of the vegetables and then place a weight on top of the parchment insuring the liquid stays above the vegetables.

    Place the lid on top of the kimchi and allow to ferment for at least 7 days. You want to “burp” jar every other day as pressure will build up and to release some of the gases. The longer you allow to ferment the more intense the flavor.

To finish

  1. To plate, simply take some short rib meat either with a fork, or chop and place in a bowl with a little braising liquid on top (You can thicken your braising liquid with a cornstarch slurry and that could be your glaze for the meat).

    Take your Bao, or steam bun and place a little kimchi on the bottom. Then add your short rib meat on top. Finish with radish, green onion, cucumber, and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

    steamed buns
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