Japanese Nikuman

Brief History (Click here to original reference)

Nikuman is the Japanese name for the Chinese baozi made from flour dough, and filled with cooked ground pork, beef or other ingredients. It is a kind of chūka man (Chinese-style steamed bun) also known in English as pork buns.

Nikuman are steamed and often sold as street food. During festivals, they are frequently sold and eaten. From about August or September, through the winter months until roughly the beginning of April, Nikuman are available at convenience stores, where they are kept hot.

So How did it get to Japan?

Today nikuman’s are sold at convenient stores such as am pm, 7eleven already hot steamed and with all sorts of stuffing. My personal favorite is pizzaman! Which you may have deduced that is stuffed with pizza ingredients. Yes, melted cheese and a delicious tomato sauce inside a bun, sounds funny but for me it was the best fast snack!

If you are interested in nikuman in general, here is a nice website that I found about it:  Click here!

Recipes (Click here to original reference)

Preparation and Cook Time
  • Prep time: 180 min
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook time: 30 min
  • Ready in: 2 hour 10 min

For the bread dough:
  • 200g flour (all-purpose)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 100ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
Ingredients for Filling
  • 200g ground pork
  • 2 dried Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped finely
  • 50g water chestnuts, chopped finely
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ginger root. grated
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Follow basic steamed bun (Mantou) recipe to make the basic dough. You’ll need about 2 – 3 hours to prepare the dough.
  2. While waiting for the dough to rise, start making the stuffing by chopping the scallions and ginger
  3. Chop the cabbage to the size of ½ of your pinky nail. Move the chopped cabbage to a mixing bowl
  4. Mix 1 tbsp of salt into the cabbage. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until cabbage has released some moisture
  5. Remove the cabbage liquid. Combine with the ground pork (or your meat of choice) in the same bowl. Add the chopped scallions and ginger to the pork and cabbage
  6. Mix in all the stuffing marinade ingredients to the pork except the cooking oil. Whisk the stuffing using a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add additional salt to taste if needed
  7. Drip the cooking oil in the meat mixture and whisk to mix. Seal the stuffing with plastic wrapper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This can be done in advance
  8. Once the dough is ready, transfer the dough to a flour-dusted workstation. Divide into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a log that’s about 1.5 inch in diameter
  9. Cut the log into 6 parts and shape each port into a ball. Make sure you coat the dough balls with a layer of flour. Press down the ball with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round thin wrapper with 4 inch diameter. When rolling, make sure the center of the wrapper is thicker than the edge of the wrapper. Repeat this step to make a batch of 6 wrappers at a time
  10. To fold the bun. Place 1 to 2 tbsp of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Try to stack up the filling so it’s at least 1 inch from the edge of the wrapper. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed. Repeat these two steps to assemble the rest of the buns
  11. Place the buns on a bamboo steamer with parchment in between to prevent sticking. Don’t steam your buns right away but instead let them sit for another 30 – 45 minutes. This is an important step in making the buns soft and fluffy. The buns will increase in size
  12. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat but do not open the steamer cover. Let them sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes before you take them out. Let them cool a little and serve hot as breakfast, snack, or appetizers

Families & friends make a home video instructions!