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How to Microwave Bao Buns: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re a fan of Chinese cuisine, chances are you’ve tasted bao buns – those soft, fluffy steamed buns filled with savory meat or vegetable filling.

Traditionally, these delicious treats are prepared by steaming them.

But did you know that you can also microwave bao buns?

Microwaving is a quick and easy way to prepare your favorite Asian food in just a few minutes.

How to Microwave Bao Buns

Why You Should Consider Microwaving Bao Buns

Microwaving bao buns is a convenient option when you want to enjoy freshly cooked Chinese dumplings quickly. Here are three reasons why you should consider microwaving instead of steaming:

It’s Quick

When using a traditional steamer, it can take up to 15 minutes for your bao bun to cook thoroughly. However, when microwaved correctly, they only take about one to two minutes.

It’s Easy

Microwaving is relatively easy and requires no unique equipment or techniques compared with traditional steamers.

It’s Portable

If you’re looking for something portable and practical for packing in your lunchbox or bringing on the go, microwaved bao buns are an excellent option.

Now that we’ve explained the benefits let’s move on and learn how to microwave these tasty treats!

Step-by-Step Guide on How To Microwave Bao Buns

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to microwave bao bun:

Step 1: Prepare Your Filling

Start by preparing your filling before heating up the bun in the microwave—the most common stuffing used in China include pork belly, chives & egg omelet or stir-fried leek.

You can get creative with different types of meats and vegetables according to your taste preferences. Cook your filling on medium heat without oil in a pan until it’s cooked thoroughly.

Step 2: Moisturize the Buns

Bao buns tend to dry out in a microwave. Here’s what you can do. Before microwaving, sprinkle the inside of each bao bun with a few drops of water using a spray bottle or fingers lightly dipped in water to keep them soft and moist.

Step 3: Heat

Stack the prepared bao buns carefully and place them on a microwave-safe plate. Cover the plate with damp paper towels, leaving about an inch of space between both covers.

Microwave your stack for one minute until they are hot and fluffy.

Precautions for Microwaving Bao Buns

While microwaving is convenient, there are specific precautions that should be taken when preparing your dumplings:

  • Do not pile too many bao buns on top of each other as this can affect their proper heating.
  • Make sure to moisten each bun with water before microwaving when reheating stored frozen pre-cooked baos.
  • Check if any metal in the filling before heating up. Metal conducts electricity and can cause electric arcs which result in injuries by sparking off intense burst flames.

Factors Affecting Cooking Time

Different factors influence cooking time when microwaving bao bun:

  • Microwave wattage – The higher your microwave wattage, the quicker your bun will cook.
  • Temperature – Frozen or refrigerated bao takes more time than freshly made; hence starting temperature makes some difference.
  • Size – Larger-sized baos need to cook for longer periods before they are fully cooked on all parts; hence they’ll require longer microwaving time compared to small ones.

Expert Tips for Perfectly Microwaving Bao Buns

Here are some tips from experts that could help you get perfect results every time:

Don’t Overcrowd

Make sure room them out in the microwave to promote sufficient airflow among each bun. Overcrowding decreases airflow, which extends the cooking time.

Don’t Skip Moisten Process

Remember to moisten gently with water before reheating refrigerated or frozen bao buns. This prevents them from hardening and gives them that desired fluffy texture when cooked.


Shrinkage may occur due to moisture evaporation during microwave heating or storage in contact with dry air. To prevent this, take them out quickly and cover with cling film, a damp cloth or put it into an oven-proof container and reheat using an oven or microwave.

Advantages of Microwaving Bao Buns

Here are some benefits of microwaving bao buns:

  • High-speed preparation- Microwave cooking ensures fast preparation.
  • Energy cost – Microwaves consume less energy than traditional steamers, reducing energy costs.
  • Convenient – With their compact sizes, you can quickly prepare and enjoy your meal almost anytime and anywhere easily.

Disadvantages of Microwaving Bao Buns

Despite having its advantages, microwaving comes with its downsides too:

  • Inconsistent Cook Quality – The level of heat at different spots on these devices varies sometimes causing unevenly heated food.
  • Texture Change – Cooking efficiency is affected by extreme microwaving since they tend to heat quite aggressively that often causes the dish’s texture to become unfavorable.
  • Loss of Flavor – Excess high heat could cause loss of taste & aroma that gives bao bun it’s mouthwatering flavor; hence inadequately warmed baos are considered less flavorful than the steamed ones.

Frequently Asked Questions about Microwaving Bao Bun

How do I store my leftover bao?

Store your leftover in an airtight container when cooled and stored in a freezer. When ready to eat again, microwave them as usual.

Can I freeze cooked bao?

Yes, you can. It’s best for storage longevity.

What type of microwave works best for microwaving bao?

All types of microwaves can work well. However, those with high wattage (preferably 1000 and above) are the best options for quickly preparing your bao bun.


Microwaving bao buns is a quick, easy, and convenient method of preparing your favorite Chinese dumplings. Following the tips provided in our step-by-step guide and the right precautionary steps will ensure that your baos come out perfect every time you microwave them. Experiment with different stuffed ingredients that work well with this recipe to explore how delicious and satisfying these buns can be.

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.