Friday, January 29, 2016

Piggy Chinese Steamed Buns (ManTou) 小猪猪饅頭 – Made with All Natural Food Coloring

Did you have a chance to check out my recent post "How to Make the All Natural and Organic Red Food Coloring"?  If not, click here for a quick recap.  Otherwise, let's talk about these super adorable Piggy Chinese Steamed Buns.  Let's start by watching the YouTube video tutorial above for a step-by-step instructions on how to make these piggies, from start to finish.  By the way, I always post the complete written recipe at the end of each post for your reference.

Check out how to make these adorable Piggy Chinese Steam Bun 小猪猪饅頭 with step by step video tutorial!

These little piggies are inspired by the Hello Kitty Dim Sum we had when we visited Hong Kong last summer.  This cute character simply makes any food a lot more fun to eat and enjoy.  We have had our fair share of the plain Chinese Stem Buns (Mantou or 饅頭 in Chinese) in the past.  They are soft and slightly dense buns with a hint of sweetness.  People usually eat them as is or with savory dishes, similar to dinner rolls in American cuisine.  Or, you can dip them in sweetened condensed milk as a light dessert.  Either way, they are just as good and very versatile.

Check out how to make these adorable Piggy Chinese Steam Bun 小猪猪饅頭 with step by step video tutorial!

Don’t you love these super adorable little piggies?  They are almost too cute to eat, almost!  My kids love them so much, especially my little girl.  I can’t wait to create some other characters for them to enjoy.  And I think I’ll add some fillings to these buns next time.  Chinese BBQ pork would be a great option for savory, and red bean paste or custard would be nice options as sweet versions.

Check out how to make these adorable Piggy Chinese Steam Bun 小猪猪饅頭 with step by step video tutorial!

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe and video tutorial.  Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.  You’ll be the first to know when I have new video tutorials published.   Stay tuned for more fun and scrumptious recipes in the near future.

Piggy Chinese Steamed Buns (ManTou) 小猪猪饅頭

Makes: 15 buns

1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast 
2 1/2cups all-purpose flour 
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon all natural red food coloring (recipe followed)
30 black sesame seeds

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine warm milk, water, sugar and yeast together and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes, or until bubbles form.

Meanwhile whisk flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Turn on the mixer to the manufacturer recommended speed for dough (mine is speed #2) and start kneading the ingredients.

Carefully pour in the flour mixture into the stand mixer. When the dough comes together, add the oil.
Knead for 15 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Grease a mixing bowl with cooking spray. Form the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour, or until double in size.

Gently knead the dough a few times to release some air and evenly divided the dough into 16 equal portions. Shape each portion of dough into a ball and place them back to the mixing bowl to rest for 15 to 18 minutes.

Take 1 piece of portioned dough onto a clean surface and add in 1/4 teaspoon of the natural beet root coloring (see recipe below). Knead until the color is evenly distributed into the dough. It will turn the dough to an adorable pink color.

With a rolling pin, flatten the pink dough to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 30 small triangle pieces (for the ears), 15 medium size rounds (for the knouts) and 30 small rounds for the cheeks.

Then, work on 1 portioned dough at a time. Gently knead the portioned white dough a few times and roll it into a ball. Gently put some water on the back of 2 pieces of the pink triangle dough and attached them to where the pig ears are located.

Gently flatten a medium size round pink dough and shape it into oval. With the back of a skewer, put 2 indentation for the snout and dab a little water on the back of the snout and place it in the middle of the white dough.

Take 2 small round pink dough and roll them into balls and place on the cheek area. Last but not least, place 2 black sesame seeds above the cheek for the eyes.

Place the shaped piggy buns onto a piece of parchment paper and into the bamboo steamers, and cover with towels. I usually place them in the oven along with a bowl of warm water. Let them rest for another 1 hour before steaming.

When ready to steam, bring the water in the steamer to a boil and lower the heat to medium. Place the piggy buns inside, cover with a lid and steam for 12 minutes, or until buns are fluffy and fully cooked. Then, turn off the heat and tilt the lid to release some steam. Wait for about 5 minutes before opening the lid to avoid the buns from shrinking. Serve hot with sweetened condensed milk or just the way they are, enjoy!

All Natural Beet Root Coloring:

3 beets, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup water

Place beats and water into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and uncover the saucepan. Let the beets simmer for 30 minutes or only have 2 tablespoons of liquid remaining.

Strain and reserve the liquid to use as natural food coloring. You can toss the beets with a little salt and pepper and they make a healthy and yummy snack!

Check out how to make these adorable Piggy Chinese Steam Bun 小猪猪饅頭 with step by step video tutorial!


  1. These piggy buns are so adorable- too pretty to eat! Have a great week!

  2. Children would love these piggy buns - they are so cute!