Red Bean Buns 2 ways

52 weeks of cooking – Olympics

This week’s reddit cooking challenge is to cook something for the Olympics, my first idea was for something Korean. My husband recently fell in love with Korean food so this was another great opportunity to make some and I just happened to have some red bean paste on hand.

These two red bean buns are very different in taste and texture even though they both contain the exact same filling. The steamed buns are soft and have a vanilla cake like taste, I feel I can’t put it in my mouth fast enough because of how fluffy they are. The sticky rice cakes on the other hand are chewy with small bits of crunch from the seeds and those seeds also leaned to their very toasty flavor. Sprinkling salt on the sticky cakes as soon as they come out of the pan is a must, it brings out the butter flavor and compliments their sweetness.

I also made some cinnamon and ginger tea to accompany the buns, 4 cups of water boiled for 20 minutes with 1 inch of ginger sliced thin and 2 medium cinnamon sticks. Add sugar to taste.


Red Bean Buns 2 ways

  • Yield:
    6 steamed buns, 6 sticky rice cakes
  • Category:


Steamed bun dough

  • 1 3/4 – 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 c milk

Red bean filling

  • 400 g prepared red bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. brown rice syrup

Sticky rice cake dough

  • 3/4 c glutinous rice flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c toasted sesame seeds
  • butter for frying
  • salt for garnish


Steamed bun dough

  1. Mix all of the steamed bun dough ingredients together until it forms a shaggy ball. On a clean surface knead for 3-5 minutes until you have a uniform smooth ball, cover and rest for 1 hour. Make the red bean filling while you wait.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Flatten and put about 1 ½ tablespoons of red bean paste into the center. Gather the edges of the dough together to seal the filling in to make a tight ball.
  3. Line your steaming basket with a sheet of parchment paper cut into a circle with a few holes in it to allow steam through, place buns into steaming basket about 1 inch apart and let the buns rise for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat up the steaming water and place the basket in the pan, place a cloth over the lid to collect the steam so it doesn’t drip onto the buns. Turn to medium low and steam for 15 minutes. Serve warm. These freeze great, to reheat wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.

Red bean filling

  1. Taste your red bean paste, add sugar to taste. Mix everything together in a small pan, cook for about 5 minutes stirring often to prevent sticking. The paste will caramelize and thicken, let cool.

Sticky rice cake dough

  1. Slowly drizzle the water into the rice flour, only add as much water is needed so there is no dry flour left. Knead the dough a few times until the texture is consistent, the dough should be soft and tacky, not runny, add more flour if needed.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Flatten and put about 1 ½ tablespoons of red bean paste into the center, pat down the paste. Gather the edges of the dough together to seal the filling in, softly pat between your hands to help seal it.
  3. Wet your fingers and tap the buns so they become slightly moist, dry your hands and press each ball into the sesame seeds flattening it into a round patty, both sides should be pressed into the seeds, shake off the excess.
  4. Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat, when hot turn down to medium low, add butter and the cakes. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.

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