Delicious Kimchi Steamed Buns Recipe

I am all for not heating up the house in the summertime, eating fermented foods, and trying new recipes. And this recipe for Kimchi Steamed Buns has it all. Put it on your list to try, today.

Looking for more ways to incorporate ferments into your cooking?  Why not experiment with these delicious Kimchi-Filled Steamed Buns!

Though the oven can be found in just about every American kitchen, it’s an uncommon appliance in China.  Hard to imagine a kitchen without an oven?  It was for me when I first learned this.  I’m a fan of crusty sourdough and all things fresh bread, but without an oven it’s hard to bake.  There is another way, and once you’ve tried it you’ll marvel at the simplicity.  Steamed buns lack the hard crust of conventionally baked bread, but they make up for it in flavor and a rich and appealing texture that’s hard to duplicate outside of the steamer basket.

Steamed buns can either be prepared using baking powder and cake flour for a snow white cake-y pastry or using higher gluten flour and yeast for a bun with more texture and bite.  This recipe straddles the mid line and employs both baking powder and yeast, and a moderate gluten, all-purpose flour to give you buns with a bit of soft sweetness, but just enough character and texture to stand up to the zing of the kimchi filling.

Kimchi-Filled Steamed Buns

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Rise Time: 1 Hour first rise, 20 minute second rise

Steam Time: 12-15 Minutes

Yield: 12-16 Buns


  • Large Pot with Lid
  • Steamer basket (metal or bamboo)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Food Processor


  • 1 teaspoon Bakers Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • ¾ Cup Warm Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour

Other Ingredients: 

1-2 Cups kimchi for stuffing


  1. In a small measuring cup or bowl, re-hydrate the yeast in the warm water and add canola oil.
  2. Place baking powder and flour in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  3. Slowly pour liquid mixture into the food processor with the processor running. The dough should come together into a cohesive mass. If it does not, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough forms.
  4. Run the food processor for about 40-60 seconds to knead the dough into a smooth ball.
  5. Pull the dough out, give it a few quick hand kneads to smooth it out before placing it in an oiled bowl to rise for one hour.
  6. After one hour, punch the dough down and divide into 12-16 balls.
  7. Cupping a dough ball in one hand, flatten it out into a smooth disk. Place a small amount of kimchi in the center of the disk, and wrap the dough around the kimchi to form into a ball.
  8. Cut parchment paper into small squares (2-3 inches square) and place each finished kimchi stuffed ball on top of a small parchment square.
  9. Allow buns to rise 20 minutes while preheating water for the steamer basket.
  10. Place buns along with parchment onto the steamer basket and steam covered for 12-15 minutes. It should take several batches to steam all the buns.
  11. Serve hot and enjoy!

Ashley is an off grid homesteader in central Vermont. She is passionate about fermentation, charcuterie and foraging. Read more about her adventures at

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