Cat-Shaped Pork Buns

Cat-Shaped Pork Buns


Up your bao game with these cat-shaped pork buns. They’re savory, filling, and fun to make!

Cook Time
10 minutes
Total Time
2 hr 20 min
12 servings

How to Make It

1. Step
Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the milk, yeast, sugar, and flour with a rubber spatula until the dough starts to come together.
2. Step
Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and mix the dough on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until smooth.
3. Step
Cover the dough with a wet towel and let rest for 1 hour.
4. Step
Meanwhile, make the pork filling: In a medium bowl, mix together the ground pork, cabbage, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, salt, and pepper until well combined.
5. Step
Pull off about 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll out into a log. Fold the outer ends of the log inward to overlap the center, then roll out into a log again. Repeat 2–3 more times, until the dough is very smooth. Press into a flat disc.
6. Step
Scoop 3 tablespoons of the pork filling into the center of the dough, then wrap the dough around the filling to seal and roll into a ball. Set on a small square of parchment paper and repeat to make 12 total buns, leaving some excess dough for decorating.
7. Step
Add a bit of black food coloring to another portion of dough and roll out the dough as before, until the color is uniform.
8. Step
Use a finger to slightly dampen the outside of a bun with water. Stick on 3 small dots of black dough for the eyes and nose and 6 thin logs of black dough for the whiskers. Stick 2 cone-shaped pieces of white dough on top for the ears. Repeat with the remaining buns.
9. Step
Let the buns rest for 30 minutes.
10. Step
Meanwhile, fill the bottom of a steamer with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (If you don’t have a steamer, fill a large pot with a bowl at the bottom with water, then place a plate on top of the bowl, making sure the water does not come over the edges of the plate.)
11. Step
Add the buns to the steamer, leaving enough space for the buns to expand. Cover the pot and steam the buns for about 10 minutes, or until the dough and pork are cooked through. Turn off the heat and let the buns rest in the steamer for 5 minutes before serving.
12. Step


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