Soft and Fluffy Scallion Steamed Buns (Hua Juan) - 2 ways

Soft and Fluffy Scallion Steamed Buns (Hua Juan) - 2 ways

Course: Dim Sum, Steamed Buns
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 33 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 39 minutes
Servings: 12 small buns
Author: Marvellina
Learn how to make soft and fluffy scallion steamed buns studded with scallion and infused with sesame oil. Hua juan can be cooked by steaming or pan frying. So, no worries if you don't have a steamer!
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  • 300 gr all-purpose flour about 3 cups, plus more for dusting. See notes
  • 60 gr wheat starch or use cornstarch
  • 4 gr Instant yeast about 1 1/4 tsp
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt and more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup green onion (green parts only) finely chopped
  • Start with 150 ml about 1/2 cup water (cold/room temperature) plus more to dab the buns later

For pan frying the buns (if you choose to do so instead of steaming):

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup water


Making the dough:

  • Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, sesame oil, chopped green onion in a mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment. Gradually add in milk or water. 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. Then add in the salt and continue to knead until the dough is smooth again


  • Roll the dough into a long log. Cut into 48 roughly equal pieces
  • Keep the rest of the small doughs covered. Take 4 doughs. Work with 1 dough at a time. Flatten the dough with your palm and then roll it out into about 4-inch circle
  • Repeat with the other 3 doughs. Overlap each circle by about 1-inch. Gently press on the overlapped part to secure
  • Roll it up from the short side like rolling a Swiss roll
  • Cut it into two. Place the cut side down on a parchment paper or muffin paper. Use your fingers to gently "open" up the petal of the flower. Repeat with the next 4 sets of the dough


  • Keep the flower shaped dough cover with a cloth and let them rise until about 50% of its original size, may take about 15-20 minutes or longer. They don't have to double in size. Do not overproof the dough

Pan frying the buns:

  • Preheat a large non-stick pan that has a lid over medium heat. Add about 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Gently place the hua juan on the pan, about 1-inch apart. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes or so
  • Pour in 1/2 cup of liquid. It will sizzle. Cover with a lid and let the buns steamed for the next 2 minutes. Uncover the lid and let the leftover liquid cooked until evaporates and you will see some oil. You should be able to remove the buns from the pan. If they don't slide, don't panic. remove the skillet from the hit. Place the lid back on and wait for a moment before removing them, they will be easier to be removed after that.

Steaming (you may need to steam in batches):

  • 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 rolling boil
  • Arrange the buns in the steamer basket (if you use bamboo basket). Wrap the steamer's lid with a cloth (not needed with bamboo basket). Close the lid and lower the heat to LOW (not medium, LOW!) and let the buns steamed for 5 minutes
  • After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let them sit for another 1 minute so the steamed buns won't shrink due to sudden temperature change. Remove from the steamer
  • Continue to steam the rest of the buns


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.