How to Make Mantou

These Chinese steamed buns may be served plain, sweet (filled with bean paste) or savory (filled with pork and mushrooms). You can make these in bulk and sell them to community snack bars and small canteens. Or you may tie up with catering services.

Start-up capital is P5-P15 per piece, and time to finish is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Materials Needed:

  • Rolling pin
  • Bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Steamer

For the dough:

  • 1 tbsp Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 Cups water
  • 4 cups All purpose flour

For the sweet filling:

  • Sweet bean paste (red or black)

For savory filling:

  • 6 pcs dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 14 oz Pork or beef
  • 3/4 cup Bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp Finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame oil

Getting Started

  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over 4 tablespoon of the warm water and leave it for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the yeast mixture and the remaining water.
  3. Mix everything to a dough. Turn it onto a floured board and knead until smooth.
  4. Return dough to the bowl, cover and let is stand in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size. Punch down, cover again and let it stand for 20 minutes longer.
  5. Use this time to make the seasoned filling. Soak the mushroom in warm water for about 40-45 minutes, then squeeze dry and discard any hard stalks.
  6. Coarsely chopped the mushrooms, meat and bamboo shoots. Mix with the scallions, ginger, salt, sugar, soy sauce, wine, and sesame oil. Blend thoroughly.
  7. Knead the dough again and cut it into about 24 pieces, flattening each piece with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a circle about 4″ in diameter.
  8. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling (sweet or seasoned) in the center of each flattened circle of dough, then gather together the edges to meet at the top around the filling. Twist to enclose the filling. Stand for at least 20 minutes before cooking.
  9. Bring the water in the bottom of the steamer to a boil.
  10. Place the rolls in the steamer, leaving a 1-inch gap between them.
  11. Cook for 10 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. Serve them hot.

Tip: Make sure you produce only the mantou that you can sell in a day to maintain freshness.

How Much Will You Make

  • You can add a 10% to 20% margin per piece. Remember that you will be selling by bulk, so even a P2 markup can mean much if you are supplying 50 buns a day to canteen.

source:, photos from

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