Chinese Steamed Buns with Cheese

Spread the love

This Chinese steamed buns or mantou recipe is just perfect for your breakfast or snack. It is savory with a hint of sweetness. The pao is so soft and the cheese melts when heated.

cheese mantou recipe

My First Encounter with Chinese Steamed Buns or Mantou

I still remember the first time I tasted Chinese steamed buns or Mantou. It was on a chilly morning at a bustling street market in Taipei.

The soft, pillowy texture and the subtle sweetness of these traditional Chinese steamed buns were unforgettable.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am, experimenting with a delightful twist to this classic – cheese-filled Mantou!

Why Cheese in Mantou?

The idea might seem unconventional, but the fusion of creamy, savory cheese with the soft, sweet Mantou creates a perfect harmony of flavors. It’s a bold blend of East meets West, and the result is absolutely delicious.

What is Mantou or Chinese Steamed Buns?

Mantou (饅頭) is traditional Chinese steamed buns that is soft, fluffy and milky. It is usually eaten as breakfast or snack in the afternoon.

Mantou can be eaten with smoked beef and cheese, braised pork belly, your favorite jam, condensed milk, or just the mantou alone is already very delicious and satiating. It has a little bit of sweetness in the bun.

Chinese steamed buns have many kinds of flavors and style, plain, chocolate, taro, green tea matcha, corn flavor, and many others.

How to Eat Mantou

Mantou is Chinese people daily breakfast. It is so common and easy to find in any Asian countries.

Mantou, the versatile Chinese steamed bread, can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, making it a delightful and adaptable component in meals.

Here are some common and popular methods to eat Mantou:

  1. Plain as a Side Dish: Mantou can be eaten plain, serving as a neutral-tasting side that complements the flavors of other dishes. It’s particularly good at soaking up sauces and broths from stews, braised dishes, and soups.

  1. With Sweet or Savory Spreads: Just like toast, Mantou can be sliced and spread with sweet (like condensed milk, jam, or honey) or savory (like garlic butter or pâté) spreads. This can turn it into a quick snack or a light breakfast.

  1. As Sandwiches: Sliced Mantou can be used similarly to sandwich bread. Fillings can range from braised meat, like pork belly, to vegetarian options like stir-fried vegetables.

  1. Dipped in Condiments: In some regions, Mantou is often dipped in condiments such as sweetened condensed milk or soy milk for a simple and satisfying snack.

  1. Fried Mantou: For a different texture, Mantou can be sliced and lightly fried until the exterior is crispy. This method adds a delightful contrast between the crispy outside and the soft, fluffy inside.

  1. As a Dessert: Sweet versions of Mantou, often smaller and more delicate, can be enjoyed as a dessert. These might be filled with sweet red bean paste, custard, or even chocolate.

  1. Steamed with Fillings: Mantou can also be prepared with various fillings, ranging from sweet to savory. Cheese, as in the Cheese Steamed Bun Mantou recipe, is an example of a savory filling, while sweet bean paste is a common sweet filling.

Store-bought Mantou

There are many frozen mantou available in grocery stores nowadays. You can choose from plain milk mantou to chocolate steamed bun. You only have to steam it for 10-15 minutes.

Of course it is more efficient and practical to just use a store-bought mantou. I think if you make your own steamed buns, it will be more exciting to create and experiment with many mantou recipes.

If there are not many people in your house, you can keep them in the freezer for later. Just keep them in a container to avoid getting dry.

Cheese Mantou Recipe

This time I want to share melted cheese steamed bun recipe. I use Yudane method. It makes the mantou soft and fluffy. Yudane method makes the mantou stay fresh much longer. It holds more moisture in the bun, so the buns don’t dry up so quickly.

Japanese makes their bread with Yudane method.  It makes their bread so soft, fluffy, and can stay fresh longer.

Yudane method is combining a portion of flour and a portion of hot water to create a gel-like dough.

The ratio of flour and hot water in Yudane method is 1:1.

You can leave it to cool down and use it in the dough or leave it for 2-3 hours before using it. You can also keep the yudane in the fridge and use it for making bread up to 3 days.


I use Dairymont cheese slices. It melts when heated and plus the taste of the cheese is so delicious.


  • 100 gr all purpose flour
  • 100 gr hot water


  • 65 gr sugar
  • 5 gr instant yeast
  • 85 gr water
  • 120 gr all purpose flour
  • 120 gr pao flour
  • 30 gr teng mien flour
  • 3 gr baking powder
  • 35 gr white butter
  • 5 gr salt
  • Cheese slices (Dairymont)

How to Make Chinese Steamed Buns / Mantou


Start by making yudane first. Mix the flour and hot water. Stir with spatula until it becomes dough. Cover with cling wrap. Leave it for 2-3 hours.

yudane method


Sieve all-purpose flour, pao flour, teng mien flour, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Put in sugar and instant yeast. Pour in water.

cheese mantou

Put in the yudane. Mix until the dry ingredients are mixed.

Put in the white butter and salt. Mix until the dough is smooth. Total mixing time should be 18-20 minutes.

Put the dough in a greased glass bowl. Cover with cling wrap. Leave it for 1 hour to ferment.


After 1 hour, punch the air out of the dough. Flatten the dough on a work table. Roll it to become 45×22 cm.

steamed bun

Set the cheese slices to cover the surface, leaving 1 cm each lengthwise.

cheese steamed bun

Roll the dough tightly. Pinch the end to seal it tightly.

steamed bun

Cut the rolled dough at about 4-5 cm length with a knife or a string. I find it better with a string. If you want to use a knife, use a bread knife.

cheese steamed buns

Set the shaped dough each on a piece of pao paper, the cheese slices facing up. Leave it to ferment until it doubles its size. Meanwhile, heat the steamer.

chinese steamed buns

After the dough has doubled its size, put it in the steamer for 10 minutes with medium heat. Do not open the lid after 10 minutes. Turn off the stove. Leave it for 2 minutes.

chinese steamed buns recipe

Take out the mantou to enjoy.

cheese mantou chinese steamed buns

It is also best served with condensed milk. So the taste of cheese will blend with the condensed milk nicely.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I use any type of cheese?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment.

Q: How to tell when they’re perfectly steamed?

A: They’ll be puffy and slightly shiny.

Q: Can they be frozen?

A: Yes, freeze them after they cool down post-steaming.

Chinese steamed buns

If you like this cheese steamed bun recipe and decide to make it, please tag me on my Instagram.

This melted cheese steamed bun is best paired with Assam Milk Tea or Oolong Milk Tea.

You can also pair the bun with Charsiu Roast Pork for added protein.

cheese mantou recipe


Yield: 9
Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 52 minutes

This mantou recipe is just perfect for your breakfast or snack. It is savory with a hint of sweetness.



  • 100 gr all purpose flour
  • 100 gr hot water


  • 65 gr sugar
  • 5 gr instant yeast
  • 85 gr water
  • 120 gr all purpose flour
  • 120 gr pao flour
  • 30 gr teng mien flour
  • 3 gr baking powder
  • 3 gr baking powder
  • 35 gr white butter
  • 5 gr salt
  • Cheese slices (Dairymont)


  1. Yudane: Mix 100 gr all purpose flour and 100 gr hot water.
  2. Cover with cling wrap. Let it ferment for 2-3 hours.
  3. Sieve all purpose flour, pao flour, tengmien flour, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Mix with medium speed for 20 minutes.
  4. When dry ingredients are mixed, put in the white butter and salt.
  5. Continue mixing until 20 minutes is over. You can see the dough is not sticky.
  6. Proof the dough in a greased glass bowl, cover with cling wrap. Let it ferment for 1 hour.
  7. Punch the air out of the dough. Flatten the dough.
  8. Roll it to rectangle shape 45x22 cm. Set cheese slices on top of the surface.
  9. Roll the dough and pinch to seal it tightly.
  10. Cut the dough 4-5 cm width, put on a pao paper.
  11. Let it ferment for 1 hour.
  12. Prepare the steamer. Heat it with medium heat.
  13. Steam for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, do not open the lid for 2 minutes.
  14. Take the pao and cool it down. Server it hot or warm with a cup of tea.
  15. Enjoy!


You can use any brand for cheese slices. Dairymont cheese slices will melt when heated.

White butter is the same as shortening.

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe