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No Sweet Sour: Yunnan Posubao (破酥包)

Author: Michelle Zhao @nosweetsour | The Mala Market


  • Steamer


Jujube Filling (fills 8)

  • 100 grams dried jujube, pits cored
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or other neutral oil
  • 50 grams walnut, toasted and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons toasted white sesame seeds

Shiitake Pork Filling (fills 8)

  • 8 large dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese rapeseed oil (caiziyou)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 100 grams minced pork (at least 20% fat) approx. 3.5 ounces, see note
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese dark soy sauce (laochou)
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese sweet soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon cornstarch

Posubao Dough (makes 8)

  • 230 grams low-gluten wheat flour such as cake flour
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • 130 grams lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 25 grams unbleached all-purpose flour more for dusting
  • 25 grams freshly made lard


Jujube Filling

  • In a small pot, cook the jujube in about 1½ cups (350 mL) water over medium heat. Cover the pot with a lid; this will take about 20 minutes. They are sufficiently rehydrated when the jujubes become plump and soft and the water is almost reduced.
  • Transfer the jujube to a blender. Pulse and blend into a fine, runny paste. Using a strainer, pour the paste through the sieve onto a non-stick pan.
  • Add the peanut oil. Fry the paste over medium-low heat to draw out the moisture. Stir every 1-2 minutes to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Gradually, you will notice the runny paste becoming thicker and the color getting darker. Once the paste reaches a dense, dry consistency (like cream cheese), add the crushed walnuts and sesame seeds to combine well. Transfer to a bowl to cool down.
    The filling can be prepared several days ahead, stored in the freezer using a freezer-safe bag/container.

Shiitake Pork Filling

  • Soak shiitake mushrooms for at least 2 hours and up to overnight in cold water. Cut the mushrooms into strips, then mince roughly using a knife or food processor. Reserve about 1 cup + 2¾ teaspoons (250mL) of the shiitake mushroom soaking water.
  • Heat oil over medium heat. Add the minced ginger and fry until it smells good. Add the pork and fry until the fat starts to release. Season with Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, white pepper powder and salt. Add minced shiitake mushroom, ½ tablespoon cornstarch and the reserved shiitake mushroom soaking water. Simmer for 5 minutes until water is reduced and the filling thickens.
  • Transfer into a covered bowl and let the filling chill in the fridge until you are ready to begin wrapping. The filling can be prepared one or two days ahead.

Posubao Dough (makes 8)

  • Whisk together the low-gluten flour, baking soda, sugar and yeast for the dough. Add the lukewarm water and combine well. Like all baozi dough, the dough will be pretty soft at this point. Knead into a soft and smooth dough—but do not over-knead, as that may activate the gluten and result in less-fluffy baozi. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough proof to twice its size.
    If you are making this in the winter, or keep the house below 68°F (20°C), the dough will take longer to proof. To mitigate this problem, you can use your oven as a proofing box or even a microwave.
  • While the posubao dough is proofing, combine the lard and AP flour into a lard dough (see note). Set aside.
  • Dust flour on a flat, clean surface. Press on the posubao dough to let the air out. Then roll the dough out into a thin, rectangle shape. Using a scraper, apply a thin layer of the lard dough across the top and dust with a thin layer of AP flour. Then, starting from one edge, roll the dough into a long, thin roll. Divide into 2 long sections.
    Gently roll one of the logs to adjust the shape. Then, divide the log into 4-5 equal sections by hand. Repeat with the second log. Let the pieces rest for 10 minutes or so before starting to wrap, giving the wrapper time to relax so it will be easier to wrap the baozi.
  • Take one piece of the divided dough and fold the corners towards the middle to form a round ball shape. Then, press it with your palm to flatten the dough into an approximately 4-inch (10-cm) wide wrapper. Repeat with the rest.
  • Place 1/8th of the filling in the middle of a wrapper. Fold into a simple bun shape, with as few folds as possible. Be sure to make a tight closure on the top.
  • Transfer the buns to a steamer with a small piece of baking paper or cheesecloth on the bottom. Let the buns proof in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  • In a wok or other steamer-compatible wide pot, bring a couple inches of water to a boil on full heat. Once boiling, place the steaming racks on top. Set a timer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat.


For meat filling: Alternatively, you can select pork belly instead of minced pork. Dice the pork belly into about 0.2 inch (0.5 cm) cubes.
For lard dough: I add AP flour to keep a firm consistency to the lard so it doesn't become too runny. I once tried to apply lard directly on the dough, it was too runny and became impossible to work with.
To make your own lard: 
  1. Rinse about 14 ounces (400 grams) pork fat under cold water, tap dry with kitchen paper. Using a sharp knife, cut the fat into 2cm wide pieces.
  2. Add about ⅓ cup (80mL) water and pork fat in a wok. Bring water to boil. Continue to cook until the water is completely reduced.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium heat once the water is reduced. You will notice the fat beginning to release. Stir once every two minutes.
  4. Once there is more liquid coming out into the wok pan, the pork fat turns into a golden brown color. You can turn off the heat. Pour the liquid lard into a sealable jar through a strainer. 
  5. Reserve the strained pork pieces if you wish. They make a crunchy noodle topping.
  6. Store the sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 months. Use a clean spoon to scoop lard every time you use it.