Ming’s Mantou


Steamed buns, known also as mantou (饅頭), are a popular breakfast staple in Taiwan. This version of the mantou pairs traditional mantou with a hand-crafted bread blossom centerpiece.


  • Flour 250 g
  • Milk 130-140 ml
  • Yeast 3g
  • Sugar 30g
  • Salt  1g
  • If using water, 125 ml.
  • If desired for use in the decorative flower ball, green onion, sesame oil, salt and ground pepper
  • If desired for use in flavoring the mantou, black sesame powder or raisins to taste


  1. Warm milk until it reaches 40 degrees C (104 degrees F). Typically you can accomplish this by microwaving it for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add yeast to the milk, stir a little and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix flour with sugar and salt. Pour in milk mixture, then mix and knead into a dough. At this stage, if desired, you can add black sesame powder to taste to make a batch of sesame-flavored mantou.
  4. Let dough rise until it double sizes. This takes about an hour.
  5. Knead the dough and gently roll it out to expel the air in the dough.
  6. Shape the dough into a rectangle and spread water onto its surface. At this point, if you’d like to make a mantou with a sweet flavor, you can add raisins.
  7. Roll the dough up into a long cylindrical snake, then cut off the head and tail of the dough snake to make the ends even. You can combine these and shape into a ball. Alternatively, if desired, the head and tail pieces can be set aside to form a decorative ball or flower shape as described (instructions below).
  8. Cut the remaining dough cylinder into 6 equally-sized pieces.
  9. Place all 7 pieces of dough onto the steamer rack of a rice cooker and let the dough rise again for 40-50 minutes.
  10. Steam the buns in a steamer for 12 minutes or, if you don’t have a steamer, on a raised rack in a covered pot with a small amount of water at the bottom brought to boil.
  11. Let the mantou rest for five minutes after the steaming process has finished.
  12. Enjoy your soft and fluffy mantou now!

Decorative Mantou Centerpiece Instructions

  1. Combine the head and tail of the dough snake and shape into another long cylindrical snake.
  2. Roll out the snake horizontally to flatten it out.
  3. Brush dough lightly with sesame oil, sprinkle ground black pepper, salt and chopped green onion down the center of the snake, then fold the snake in half.
  4. Use a table knife to score, or cut slits, down the body of the snake as pictured.
  5. Roll the snake from tail to head. This forms a decorative flower ball 花 捲

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