Hua Juan (Steamed Scallion Buns)

By • April 14, 2014 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Hua juan are steamed buns flavored with scallions and twisted to look kind of like a flower (hua juan means "flower twist" in Mandarin).

It is a yeast dough recipe, so you'll have to plan ahead to allow time for the dough to rise and then for the shaped buns to proof. Also, you'll need a way to steam the buns; I use my stock pot with the pasta insert and steamer insert for two layers of steamy goodness.
Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy


Makes 12 buns

For the dough:

  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup milk, heated to 90-95 degrees F
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the scallion-sesame glaze

  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions, green parts only
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  1. Turn on oven to lowest setting. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the dough and knead. Cover with a moist cloth or seal tightly and place in oven for 1 hour.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the scallion-sesame glaze and allow to macerate at room temperature. Cut out 12 squares of parchment paper, about 4" x 4".
  3. Knead the dough again after it has doubled in size and then separate into 12 egg-sized pieces.
  4. Roll each piece into a long oval and cut into long strips, leaving a 1/4" section attached at one end. Brush lightly with the glaze.
  5. Pick up the dough with both hands, twist, and tuck the ends underneath to shape the buns and place on a square of parchment paper. (Here's a small video to show you how:
  6. Place the shaped buns into baking pans (I have to use 2 pans to fit all 12 buns) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the pans in the warm oven for another 40 - 60 minutes to proof.
  7. Steam the buns for 13 minutes. Using my stock pot with my pasta insert and steamer basket, I can steam 6 buns at a time (3 on each level).
  8. If not not eating immediately, transfer to a freezer bag once it has cooled and freeze. To reheat, wrap with plastic wrap or put in a fold-and-close sandwich bag and microwave for 45 seconds.

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