Butternut Nikuman

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 12 buns


  • Butternut skin dough
  • 75 ml (5 tablespoon) warm (37 Celsius/100 Fahrenheit) water
  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 250 gram all purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 75 gram butternut squash, cooked and pureed
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter/shortening/lard/oil
  • Ground pork filling
  • 250 gram ground pork
  • 50 gram shredded cabbage
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine/Japanese sake
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


  • Butternut skin dough
    1. Stir together warm water, active dry yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Let it rest for 20 minutes until foamy.
    2. Whisk together all purpose flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well, then add the foamy yeast solution, butternut squash puree, and butter/shortening/lard/oil in the well. Knead the dough until non-sticky (you may need additional 1-2 tablespoon of all purpose flour if too sticky), soft, elastic, and smooth. Hand kneading will take about 20 minutes.
    3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a saran wrap/wet kitchen towel. Proof until the volume doubles, about 1 hour.
  • Ground pork filling
    1. Stir together all filling ingredients in a mixing bowl.
    2. If there is any standing liquid, add in more cornstarch and stir again.
    3. Chill the filling in the fridge.
  • Nikuman (steamed buns)
    1. Prepare a large steamer on medium-high heat.
    2. Punch the dough to release air bubbles. Knead for 2 minutes, and divide the dough into 12 portions.
    3. Take the filling out from the fridge, divide into 12 portions, shape each into a round meatball.
    4. Take a piece of dough, use a rolling pin to flatten into a flat circle about 4 inch diameter. Place one meat ball at the center of the dough. Gather the edges and wrap the meatball inside the dough. Gently roll the dough into a nice round ball. Line bun with cupcake liner or a 3" square parchment paper. Repeat for the other 11 portions.
    5. Steam the buns on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, and let the buns rest inside the steamer for another 5 minutes. You may need to steam the buns in batches if you have a small steamer. Don't crowd the steamer since the buns will expand about 50% more in size after steaming.
    6. Gently remove the lid, making sure no water drops on the buns from the lid since this will cause the skin to blemish.
    7. Serve the steamed buns hot straight out from the steamer. This is really delicious with a cup of hot tea.

Another great recipe by https://dailycookingquest.com.