Kimchi Shrimp Bao Buns

Sautéed shrimp, cucumber-carrot kimchi, teriyaki glaze, and fluffy steamed bao buns.

Bao or baozi is a type of Chinese yeast-leavened bun. The dough for these buns can be baked or steamed, wrapped around a filling, or rolled and folded over like this recipe.

Filling for bao buns varies greatly. In China, char sui pork, sweet bean paste, or pork belly are most often used. In America, bao buns are filled with almost anything you can think of. This recipe pairs mild-flavored steamed buns with sweet sautéed shrimp and spicy cucumber-carrot kimchi.

Traditionally bao is made with rendered pork fat instead of butter. If pork fat is readily available in your area, by all means, use it. It will add a lot of flavor to the buns. To render pork fat yourself, cut hard white fat into small cubes and place it in a pot with a little water. Cook it on low until all of the fat has rendered out and any solids are crispy. Strain and cool the fat before using.

The buns are fairly easy to make but are a little time-consuming. Check out the video above for instructions. When rolling out the balls, make sure to coat the dough with a layer of oil. The oil keeps the two sides separated during cooking. The thickness of the dough, I feel, is a matter of preference. I like a thinner bun so that I can taste more of the filling. You may prefer a thicker bun. Just keep in mind the dough will puff to almost double it’s size during cooking.

Kimchi Shrimp Bao Buns

Course Appetizer, Snack
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 22


Bao Buns

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup water warm 170 grams
  • 2 1/8 cup bread flour 337 grams
  • 3 tbsp sugar 42 grams
  • 1 1/2 tbsp nonfat milk powder 10 grams
  • 1/2 tbsp salt 10 grams
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp butter softened 38 grams
  • oil as needed for rolling

Teriyaki Glaze

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1/8 tsp chili flake
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar


  • 2 cups cucumber deseeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup carrot cut into matchsticks
  • 1-2 jalapeno deseeded julienne more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Korean chili flake
  • 1 tsp ginger minced
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 green onion chopped


  • 44 shrimp 21-25 peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp reserved kimchi marinade
  • 1 green onion chopped for garnish


Bao Buns

  • Add all the ingredients except oil to a stand mixer bowl. With the dough hook attachment, mix on low for 8-10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and proof for 1-1 1/2 hours or doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide into 22 one ounce portions. Roll the dough into balls, place on a sheet pan, cover, and proof for 30 minutes.
  • Cut 22 four inch squares of parchment. Oil a rolling pin and countertop. Roll the balls into long ovals. Fold the oval in half and place on parchment squares. Cover and proof 30 minutes.
  • Set up a steamer pot with water over medium low heat. The pot should be at a low simmer. Place as many bao with paper in steamer basket as will fit with space in between. Cover and steam for 8-10 minutes. Remove from pot and repeat until all bao have been cooked. Serve immediately or reheat for 1-2 minutes in steamer pot.


  • Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small pot. Reduce by half or until the liquid has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Yields 1/3 cup


  • Mix cucumber, carrot, jalapeno, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar. Place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes.
  • Combine all other ingredients in a bowl. After the salt and sugar has dissolved, remove 1 tablespoon of kimchi marinade and set aside. Squeeze out any excess water from the cucumber and carrot. Mix the veggies with the remaining marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes up to 2 days.


  • Heat a large skillet with oil over medium high heat. Cook the shrimp 1-2 minutes until pink. Mix in the reserved kimchi marinade and turn off heat.
  • Stuff 2 shrimp into each bao bun. Top with kimchi, drizzle with teriyaki, garnish with green onions and serve.

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