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Two tangerine bao on wood countertop.

Tangerine Bao - Red Bean Filled Steamed Buns - Dou Sha Bao

These Chinese steamed bao look just like tangerines, but are in fact, fluffy buns filled with sweetened red bean paste. These bao are SO realistic, you can peel them as you would a tangerine. For reals. I first spotted these baos on PrivateCitrus' Instagram account and this recipe is an adapted version of her Basic Bao. Thank you, Carmen!
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Resting and Proofing Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 38 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 10


  • steamer
  • kitchen scale
  • Rolling Pin
  • parchment paper


  • 170 ml. whole milk
  • 6 g. instant yeast
  • 5 g. granulated sugar
  • 300 g. all-purpose flour I used a Pearl Orchid brand low-gluten (8% protein) wheat flour purchase at a Chinese market.
  • 2 g. baking powder
  • 1 g. Kosher salt 
  • 5 g. butter at room temperature
  • 1 can sweetened red-bean paste


  • Add the milk to a large bowl, reserving 20 ml. to add if needed.
  • Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on the surface of milk. Whisk to dissolve.
  • Whisk in the salt and butter.
  • Stir in the flour and baking powder and work into a shaggy dough. Add the remaining milk if the dough seems to dry. Form the dough into a ball and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rest for 15 minutes.
    A shaggy ball of dough.
  • Weigh out the red bean paste in to 10, 15 g. balls. Gently roll the balls in the palms of your hands to smooth out the surface.
    Small balls of red bean paste on a black and white geometric patterned plate.
  • Cut a 110 g. portion of dough, add 4 drops of orange paste food coloring. Knead until the food coloring is evenly distributed, cover with plastic wrap to rest for 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Knead the remaining dough for 3-5 minutes or until the surface of the dough is smooth. Place into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Cut and weigh out the orange dough into 10, 11 g. balls.
  • Cut and weigh out the white dough into 10, 30 g. balls.
  • Take a ball of white dough and using a rolling pin, roll it into a 4 inch circle. Then use the pin to thin the edge of the dough circle, rolling and turning the dough around the entire perimeter.
  • Place a ball of bean paste in the middle and using your thumb and index finger pleat the dough to encase the bean paste. Turn the dumpling over on to the work surface and use your hands to cup the dumpling and round it out.
  • Take a of orange dough a roll out a 5 inch circle. Place the red bean paste filled dumpling and place it upside down on the orange dough circle. Pull up the edges of the orange dough to encase the dumpling, pinching to seal. Place on a square of parchment.
  • Place a toothpick in the middle of each dumpling. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof 15-20 minutes or until a scrap of dough floats in a cup of water.
  • Place the buns in a steamer and steam on medium heat for 8 minutes.
  • After 8 minutes turn off the heat and place a chopstick under the lid of the steamer to allow the steam to escape gently and to prevent the bao from collapsing.


Keyword bao, bread, buns, Chinese food, dou sha bao, red bean paste, steamed bao
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!