Soft and Fluffy Matcha Spiral Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)

Soft and Fluffy Spiral Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)

Course: Dim Sum, Steamed Buns
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Proofing the dough: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8 large mantou
Author: Marv
Soft and fluffy spiral mantou (steamed buns) are favorites from kids to adult. They are fun to make and have super soft fluffy texture and pretty spiral patterns.
Print Recipe


  • 300 gr all-purpose flour about 3 cups, see notes
  • 60 gr Wheat starch or use cornstarch
  • 4 gr instant yeast about 1 1/4 tsp
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or more if you like it sweeter
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 150 ml milk (cold or room temperature) or more
  • 2 tsp matcha powder or flavor of your choice



  • Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and cooking oil in a mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment. Gradually add in milk. You may need more than 150 ml or not. Add more teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes together and continue to knead for 5 minutes. If you are kneading by hands, about 10 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and smooth
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions. Keep one of the dough covered with plastic wrap. Put the other dough back to the mixing bowl. Add matcha powder and knead until the color is distributed throughout the dough 


  • Line your work surface with a parchment paper or silicone mat. Place matcha dough on top. Roll matcha dough into about 12 x 8 inch rectangle using a rolling pin
  • Now we are going to roll out another dough, so prepare another parchment paper or silicon mat. Place the plain dough on top and roll it out into about the same size as the matcha dough
  • Flip the plain dough on top of the matcha dough. Remove the silicon mat or parchment paper. Use a rolling pin to gently roll them out again into thinner dough
  • Roll the dough up, starting from the side near you into a long log
  • Use a serrated knife like bread knife to cut into 8 pieces of mantou. I used to use dough cutter and that is a bad idea as it doesn't give a very "clean" cut. We need a sharp knife
  • Place this freshly cut mantou on top of parchment paper (seam side down)
  • Cover and let them proof. They won't necessarily double in size, but at least puff up to about 50% of original size. This may take about 15 mins at warm temperature. Do not overproof your dough


  • Most likely your steamer won't be able to accommodate steaming all buns at one go. You may need to steam in 2-3 batches, which means, the rest of the batches will sit longer and continue to proof while waiting for the steamer. Not good for the buns! Here's what you can do: Make sure the cover them with plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator to slow down the yeast activity or halt it all together until they are ready to be steamed
  • Bring the water in your steamer to a boil. Wrap the lid of your steamer with a kitchen towel to prevent moisture dripping back on the steamed buns as this will create "burn" spots
  • LOWER THE HEAT TO LOW (Yes, I type this in caps so you don't miss it!). Place the buns in there, leaving about 1-inch space in between and steamed on LOW heat for 5 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, turn off the heat. DO NOT OPEN THE LID of the steamer. Let the buns sit there for 1 minute like this. The buns will not sink or wrinkle due to the sudden change in temperature


  • Remove the buns to wire rack to let them cool down. This is to ensure the bottom of the steamed buns will not be wet and soggy


  • If you make extra and plan to store them, place them on a baking sheet, not touching each other, and then put the entire tray inside the freezer for about 1 hour. They will harden, but not completely frozen yet. Transfer to a freezer bag and they will not stick to each other anymore. Try not to keep for more than 1 month


  • They can go straight from freezer to steamer when you ready to eat them. Steam on high heat for 5 minutes and they are as good as new


You can also replace all 300 gr of all-purpose flour with cake flour or premixed Hongkong/Vietnamese bao flour and omit the wheat starch/corn starch.