Kirbie's Cravings

5 Minute Microwave Chinese Buns

These homemade Chinese buns are so easy to make and just as good as traditional ones. Each bun takes less than five minutes to prepare and cook in the microwave. No dealing with yeast, or steamers! Fill them with your favorite proteins like char siu or pork belly.

chinese bun filled with pork and cucumber

Happy Lunar New Year! I’m celebrating with these easy, made-from-scratch Chinese buns, which I stuffed with pork belly, scallions, cucumbers and hoisin sauce, inspired by the famous Momofuku’s Pork Belly Buns.

Each bun takes less than five minutes to prepare and cook. No dealing with yeast, steamers, etc.

process photo collage showing the batter on a plate and a cooked bun on a plate
pork-filled 5-minute homemade chinese bun
Chinese steamed buns come in various different forms: plain, sealed with a savory or sweet filling, or in a thin pancake form. The pancake form is quite popular at restaurants. A thin round bun has pork belly or some sort of protein like char siu, in the center, and is then folded over and eaten like a sandwich.

I always crave Chinese buns this time of year and I usually make them. But, I’ve been pretty exhausted from my weekend of cooking for my Lunar New Year party, and the thought of having to deal with yeast, proofing, waiting, was just too much.

Luckily, last year, I accidentally discovered a way to create a Chinese bun mug cake. I had been meaning to create a new cake and instead what came out of the microwave was something that tasted exactly like the Chinese steamed buns of my childhood.

I decided I would make those buns again, but I made them even better by making them into pancake form. When they cook in a mug, they are a little thick and dense, so I usually do half servings. However, by spreading out the batter, these stay light and fluffy and I honestly could not taste the difference between these and the traditional steamed buns I usually make.
a close-up photo of chinese bun with pork, hoisin sauce, and cucumber slices
In the past, I’ve used the Pillsbury dough shortcut method, but I prefer these. The Pillsbury ones are a little too buttery. These look and taste exactly like the Chinese steamed buns and are faster since there is no steaming involved. Each one takes just a minute to cook and then it’s ready.

You can pair the buns with any sort of protein or vegetables and top with scallions and hoisin sauce. I just happened to have some leftover pork belly, and this was such a delicious way to eat up the leftovers.

Happy New Year!

a stuffed Hello Kitty doll


5 Minute Homemade Chinese Buns

Servings: 1
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
A quick and easy single Chinese bun that takes only a few minutes to make. I like to stuff mine with pork belly, but you can use whatever protein you like to fill yours. 
5 from 5 votes


  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 3 tbsp skim milk


  • Using a small whisk, mix all ingredients in a small bowl until batter is smooth. The batter will be thick.
  • Line a small round plate with parchment paper. Pour batter into the center. Usually a spatula, carefully smooth out the batter so that it forms a circle 4 inches in diameter.
  • Microwave for about 1 minute (see note). Add desired fillings and fold the round in half. Eat immediately.


The cooking time may vary depending on your microwave settings. My microwave is a 1000 watt and it took 1 minute to fully cook.


Serving: 1bun, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 46mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, NET CARBS: 35

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!





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Recipe Rating

53 comments on “5 Minute Microwave Chinese Buns”

  1. Hi I just tried making the bao bun but when I fold it, it cracks. What am I doing wrong?

  2. This was delicious.  I didn’t have condensed milk, so used Greek yogurt instead.  It turned out perfect.  Reminded me of the steamed buns (puto) my Mom used to make…this one is a keeper.  Thank you!

  3. I’m going to be making this often! Very tender -I’m going to try using part bread flour so it will fold instead of breaking. Will cream work instead of condensed milk?

  4. Hi. This sounds like a great and easy recipe! I got a shock when I checked the nutritional info section – but then quickly realized it must be wrong. I checked it twice (two different sites), and I get this instead:
    Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
    139 27 1 5 143 2

    That looks much better, don’t you think? 🙂

    • The nutrition information is an estimate but we did recheck it and get the same result that is listed on the card.

    • The calories are actually 210, 47 from condensed milk, 20 from skimmed milk, 141 from flour, and 2 from baking powder

  5. I used some leftover homemade condensed milk for the recipe instead, and it turned out a little sweet, but the texture and convenience are A+. So glad that I didn’t need to deal with proofing or steaming or baking for some delicious bao with my braised pork belly for dinner tonight!

  6. Good recipe. Too sweet for my taste, but just swapping the condensed milk for an extra tablespoon of skimmed or semi skimmed milk made it good for me. Thanks for this

  7. Love this recipe. Thank you so much. I made 2 buns from 1 recipe because I want it a little smaller and thinner. I microwave them separately for 40 seconds each. Come out perfectly. Soft and fluffy.
    I wonder if I put the batter in silicon muffin mold and some filling then top it up with batter, it will come out like a bun? It tastes good without anything too.

  8. Omigosh. I just made this recipe. I actually made two buns from one recipe and microwaved each one for one minute. They were amazing and taste just like the traditional steamed buns. I filled them with diced roast pork mixed with a hoisin glaze and they were absolutely delicious! Thank you so much. Do you think the recipe will work if I put the batter in a silicone (4 inch diameter) muffin top pan?

    • So glad you enjoyed the recipe! It should work, but make sure you only cook one at a time. The microwave will not cook the buns evenly if you try to cook multiple ones.

  9. Sounds amazing. Do you cover up the plate with plastic wrap when you microwave?

  10. I wanted to try a recipe that I found for Sous Vide Pork Belly Buns and had everything but the buns. I found your 1 minute buns recipe and thought I’d give it a test run.

    We didn’t have condensed milk or whole milk so I tried evaporated milk and half and half. Since I had no idea what they should taste like they tasted fine to me. I’ll try it with condensed milk before I make the Pork Belly Buns but I’d be happy to use it as is.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Made it Gluten free – AMAZING!!! I used 3 T almond milk and 1 T heavy cream (although I’m sure it would be fine with just almond milk). Delish. I used a blend of brown rice flour, tapioca flour and buckwheat flour. Making another right now!

  12. I am pretty sure you were genius. I had some leftover pork belly. I decided to make this. Amazing!

  13. Is this sweetened condensed milk?

  14. Hola, Genious! Could they be frozen or refrigerated? Then reheat in pan? Gracias.

  15. How many buns does this recipe make?

    • one! you can make more, but I don’t recommend cooking more than one at a time in the microwave because they will cook unevenly

  16. So glad I found this recipe, thank you! However, I don’t like the very sweet taste of condensed milk. Can I use evaporated milk instead? I’ve heard that the only difference between the 2 is the sugar content.

    • unfortunately, this recipe does not work with evaporated milk. Condensed milk is much thicker than evaporated milk and it’s the key for the texture. The bun isn’t that sweet even though it uses condensed milk, so maybe give it a try with the condensed milk?

  17. These are simply ingenious and delicious! I’ve just eaten two with simple spicy pickled cucumber and while the vegetarian version is great, I’m excited to try one (or 5, hee hee) with some leftover meat from the evening dinner. Thank you for the awesome recipe!

  18. Will omitting the condensed milk makes a difference ? If its to sweeten the taste, can I replace it with auger or honey ?
    Thanks, Nellyn

    • Yes omitting the condensed milk makes a huge difference! it’s actually the key ingredient to getting the bun texture.

  19. These were wonderful! Yes, exactly like the steamed bao I get in restaurants. And they literally only took me 5 minutes. Amazing, thank you so much.

    Seriously, 4 ingredients and 1 minute in the microwave and you have delicious fluffy buns. 
    Thanks SO much!! 

    10/10 will cook again.

  21. I’m so excited to try this! Did you use whole milk? Do you think it would work with soy or other kinds of milk?

    • i used skim milk, but i think it should work with other kinds. def should work with whole and lowfat. not positive about soy but usually soy works

  22. Hi Kirbie,
    I don’t have a microwave oven. do you think I could steam it or bake it.  Love buns and hope to make the 🙂  Please help. Thanks! 

  23. Great idea! Love that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients.  Looks like you just made your own Chairman Bao. ^_^

  24. Awesome!  I can’t wait to try this out! 🙂

  25. This is brilliant! I tried steaming Pillsbury biscuits and it wasn’t my favorite (I’d rather steam frozen chinese buns) but this looks super easy!

  26. This is such a great idea!