How to Steam Buns in the Microwave: Quick, Easy, and Delicious Results Every Time!

How to Steam Buns in the Microwave?

To steam buns in the microwave, there are three methods you can try.

First, using a microwave steamer, fill it with 2-3 glasses of water, place the buns inside without touching each other, and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat.

Second, use a damp paper towel to wrap the buns, place them on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat.

Lastly, fill a microwavable glass mug with one inch of water, place the buns on a plate next to the mug, and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat.

These methods produce warm, fluffy buns, but using a microwave steamer is the recommended option for better texture and quality.

Key Points:

  • There are three methods to steam buns in the microwave
  • Method 1: Use a microwave steamer and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat
  • Method 2: Wrap the buns in a damp paper towel, place on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat
  • Method 3: Fill a microwavable glass mug with water, place buns on a plate next to the mug, and microwave for 20 seconds on medium heat
  • All methods produce warm, fluffy buns
  • Using a microwave steamer is the recommended option for better texture and quality


Did You Know?

1. Steamed buns, also known as baozi, originated in China and have been enjoyed for thousands of years.
2. The process of steaming buns retains more nutrients compared to other cooking methods like boiling or baking, making them a healthier choice.
3. Did you know that microwaving steamed buns could actually result in a softer texture, as the steam generated during the process helps to keep the dough moist?
4. In some Asian cultures, steamed buns are often filled with savory ingredients like pork, chicken, or vegetables, but they can also be filled with sweet fillings like custard or red bean paste.
5. You might be surprised to learn that the earliest record of baozi can be traced back to the Eastern Han Dynasty in China, which was over 1,800 years ago!

Steaming Bao Buns In The Microwave: Different Methods

There are several methods to steam bao buns in the microwave. These methods include:

  • Using a microwave steamer
  • Placing a damp paper towel over the buns
  • Using a mug filled with water

Using a microwave is the quickest option, but it may result in a soggy and gummy texture. However, by following the right techniques, you can achieve warm and fluffy bao buns directly in your microwave.

Pros And Cons Of Using A Microwave To Steam Bao Buns

Using a microwave to steam bao buns offers both pros and cons. One of the main advantages is the speed at which the buns can be steamed. Unlike traditional steaming methods that require a steamer basket and stovetop, the microwave allows for a much quicker cooking time. This can be especially convenient when you’re in a rush or craving bao buns at a moment’s notice.

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However, there are some drawbacks to microwaving bao buns. The texture can be a challenge to get right, often resulting in a softer, spongier consistency compared to the light and fluffy texture achieved with traditional bamboo steamers. Additionally, microwaving may not evenly distribute the heat, leading to certain areas of the buns being overcooked while others remain undercooked.

Bamboo Steamers: Recommended For Best Results

If you’re looking to achieve the best texture and quality for your bao buns, traditional bamboo steamers are highly recommended over microwaves. Widely used in Asian cuisine, bamboo steamers are known for their ability to evenly distribute heat, resulting in perfectly steamed buns with a soft and fluffy texture.

Key points:

  • Bamboo steamers are preferred for their ability to evenly distribute heat
  • They create the perfect environment for cooking bao buns
  • The steam gently cooks the dough, resulting in a soft and fluffy texture

Bamboo steamers come in various sizes and have multiple layers, allowing you to steam multiple buns at once. Simply place the steamer over a pot of boiling water, and the rising steam will cook the buns to perfection. Investing in a bamboo steamer is worthwhile for those who frequently enjoy bao buns or other steamed foods.

Quick And Easy Hacks To Steam Bao Buns In The Microwave

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer or simply prefer the convenience of the microwave, there are some quick and easy hacks you can utilize to steam bao buns. These methods can produce warm and fluffy buns in a fraction of the time.

  • Microwave method: Place the bao buns in a microwave-safe dish, add a splash of water, and cover with a microwave-safe lid or damp paper towel. Microwave on high for about 1-2 minutes until the buns are heated thoroughly.

  • Plate and steam method: Fill a large pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil. Place a heat-resistant plate or metal steamer rack inside, ensuring it sits above the water. Arrange the bao buns on the plate, cover the pot with a lid, and steam for 5-7 minutes or until the buns are soft and fully heated.

Tip: Don’t overcrowd the plate or steamer rack. Leave enough space between the buns for proper steam circulation.

With these convenient alternatives, you can enjoy delicious steamed bao buns without the need for a traditional bamboo steamer.

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Method 1: Using A Microwave Steamer

To steam bao buns using a microwave steamer, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the steamer with 2-3 glasses of water.
  2. Place the buns inside the steamer without touching each other.
  3. Microwave the buns on medium heat for approximately 20 seconds.
  4. Check for doneness and adjust the cooking time as needed.
  5. Be cautious not to overcook the buns.

By following these steps, you can easily steam bao buns using a microwave steamer.

Method 2: Using A Damp Paper Towel

To steam bao buns using a damp paper towel, follow these steps:

  1. Dampen the paper towel: Wet a clean paper towel without soaking it.

  2. Wrap the buns: Place the bao buns on the damp paper towel and wrap it around them securely.

  3. Prepare a microwave-safe plate: Find a microwave-safe plate that can accommodate the wrapped buns.

  4. Microwave on medium heat: Put the plate with the wrapped buns into the microwave and set it to medium heat.

  5. Steam for 20 seconds: Microwave the wrapped buns for about 20 seconds.

  6. Adjust time as needed: Depending on the desired texture, you may need to adjust the steaming time.

Remember to exercise caution when removing the plate from the microwave as it may be hot. Enjoy your perfectly steamed bao buns!

Method 3: Using A Mug Filled With Water

To steam bao buns using a mug filled with water, follow these steps:

  • Fill a microwavable glass mug with approximately one inch of water.
  • Place the buns on a microwave-safe plate next to the mug of water.
  • Microwave both the buns and the mug of water on medium heat for about 20 seconds. Adjust the time if necessary to ensure proper steaming.

Note that while this method can produce warm and fluffy bao buns, using a microwave steamer is generally considered the best option for achieving the ideal texture and quality. Whether you choose to use traditional bamboo steamers or the convenience of the microwave, steamed bao buns are a delicious treat that can be enjoyed with a variety of savory or sweet fillings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you steam a bun in the microwave?

For optimal results, steam a bun in the microwave for approximately 1 minute. Start by placing the frozen buns in a covered microwave safe container. Set the microwave to high heat and let it cook for the specified time. After a minute, the bun should be cooked to perfection, with the meat inside steaming hot and ready to be enjoyed.

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How do you steam store bought buns?

If you’re looking to quickly steam store-bought buns, you can try a simple microwave method. Start by microwaving some water for 1 minute, then carefully wrap the bun in a damp paper towel. Microwave the wrapped bun for 10 seconds, which will help create a steamy environment and soften the bun. This efficient method saves you the wait for water to boil and still provides a steamed texture to your store-bought buns.

1. Can you achieve the same results by steaming buns in the microwave compared to using a traditional steamer?

While it is possible to steam buns in the microwave, the results may not be the same as when using a traditional steamer. Microwaving tends to heat food unevenly, which can result in unevenly cooked buns, making them dry or rubbery in some areas. Additionally, microwaving may not create the same steamy environment that a traditional steamer does, which helps in achieving soft, fluffy buns. Therefore, while steaming buns in the microwave is a quick and convenient option, the texture and overall result may differ from using a traditional steamer.

Using a traditional steamer is preferable for achieving the best results when steaming buns. The steamer creates a consistent steamy environment that evenly cooks the buns, resulting in a fluffy and tender texture. It ensures that the buns are moist and that the flavors are properly infused. Therefore, for the best outcome, it is recommended to use a traditional steamer rather than microwaving the buns.

2. What are some tips and tricks for steaming buns effectively in the microwave to ensure they come out perfectly cooked and moist?

To steam buns effectively in the microwave, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind. First, lightly wet a paper towel and cover the buns with it while placing them in a microwave-safe dish. The moisture from the towel will create steam and prevent the buns from drying out. Next, add a small amount of water to the bottom of the dish to generate more steam. To ensure even cooking, space the buns apart and avoid overcrowding them. Lastly, microwaving the buns in short bursts of 20-30 seconds will help maintain their soft texture without overcooking them. Keep an eye on the buns while microwaving and adjust the timing as needed to achieve perfect results.

In summary, use a damp paper towel and a bit of water in the dish to provide moisture for steaming. Do not overcrowd the buns, and microwave them in short intervals to keep them moist and avoid overcooking.