Chinese RecipesFlourRecipesSweet Potato

Mantou (馒头) – Chinese Steamed Buns

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Mantou (馒头) is a yeast-based Chinese steamed bun made of yeast, flour, sugar and water. This mantou recipe with sweet potato is so soft and fluffy. Learn how to make mantou with this easy and fail-proof recipe!

Mantou in a bamboo basket.

Mantou Buns

Mantou is one of my favorite Chinese food! In Chinese, mantou is written as 馒头, a staple food in China.

They are endless variations that you can try, with or without filling.

In this recipe, I added some mashed sweet potatoes (yam) to the dough and turn them into sweet potato mantou.

These Chinese steamed buns are so soft, fluffy, especially when they are fresh off the steamer. They are absolutely delicious!

Soft and fluffy mantou buns with yeast.

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Mantou recipe made of sweet potatoes, flour, yeast and water.

Mantou Recipe

In this recipe, you are going to learn the simple step-by-step for DIY homemade mantou from scratch.

My recipe calls for very simple ingredients:

  • Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cooking oil

Mantou buns steamed in a bamboo basket.

How to Make Mantou?

It’s very easy to make mantou at home and the recipe is very simple and straight forward.

First, you will need a yeast mixture to make the mantou dough. To activate the yeast, add warm water and sugar to the yeast. The yeast mixture will become foamy once the yeast is activated.

Next, make the dough by combining the yeast mixture with flour, sugar and oil. For this recipe, I added mashed sweet potatoes to the dough.

Knead the dough until smooth and shiny. Divide and cut the dough. Let rise for 1 hour or until the dough expands.

The final step is to steam the dough in a steamer. After 10 minutes, you will have soft and fluffy mantou ready to serve.

A mantou insider a bamboo steamer, ready to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Add Filling to the Dough?

Absolutely, you can wrap mantou with all kinds of sweet or savory fillings to make steamed buns or baozi.

Check out my char siu bao and steamed chicken bun recipes.

You can also use sweet filling such as red bean steamed buns.

Can I Freeze the Dough?

I don’t recommend freezing the dough, however you can keep the dough in the fridge overnight.

When you are ready to proof the dough, just remove it and let rise and proof and continue with steaming.

How Many Calories Per Serving?

This recipe is only 169 calories per serving.

What Dishes To Serve with this Recipe?

Serve these mantou as a breakfast item or afternoon snack. For a wholesome Chinese breakfast, I recommend the following recipes.


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