To steam buns in a microwave, you must know the proper technique to get the best results. Steaming buns is a traditional Chinese method of cooking that is popular all over the world. Steamed buns are soft, fluffy, and delicious, and they can be filled with various ingredients, making them a versatile and satisfying meal.

To steam buns in a microwave, you need a microwave-safe dish and a lid that fits tightly. You also need to add some water to the dish to create steam. You can have perfectly steamed buns with the proper technique in just a few minutes.

How to steam buns in a microwave?

How to steam buns in a microwave?

Steaming buns in a microwave is a quick and convenient way to prepare them. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

1. Prepare the buns

If you’re using store-bought frozen buns, follow the instructions on the packaging to defrost them properly. If you have fresh buns, you can skip this step.

2. Place the buns in a microwave steamer

Arrange the buns in a single layer, leaving a little space between each to allow for even cooking. Make sure to use a microwave-safe dish with a lid or cover.

3. Add water

Pour a small amount of water into the dish, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on the number of buns. The water will create steam, which will help heat and soften the buns.

4. Cover the dish

Place the lid or cover on the dish to trap the steam inside. If your dish has no lid, you can use a microwave-safe plate or plastic wrap to cover it.

5. Microwave on high power

Set your microwave to high power and cook the buns for about 1 to 2 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave and the size of the buns, so it’s best to check them periodically.

6. Check for doneness

Carefully remove the cover and check if the buns are thoroughly heated and soft. If they’re not cooked through, cover them again and continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until they are done.

7. Serve and enjoy

Once the buns are steamed to your liking, take them out of the microwave and serve them hot. They are now ready to be enjoyed with your favorite fillings or accompaniments.

Please note that steaming buns in a microwave may yield slightly different results than traditional steaming methods, but it’s a convenient option when you’re short on time or don’t have access to a steamer.

Microwave with a damp paper towel

Follow these steps to steam buns using a dampened paper towel in the microwave.

First, lightly moisten a paper towel with water until it’s damp but not dripping.

Next, place the buns on a microwave-safe plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced apart. Cover the plate with a damp paper towel, ensuring the buns are completely covered.

This helps to create a moist environment for steaming. Place the plate in the microwave and set the cooking time. Start with 30 seconds to 1 minute per bun, depending on their size and desired level of softness.

The microwave power levels may vary, so adjust the time accordingly. Once the time is set, start the microwave and allow the buns to steam.

After cooking, carefully remove the plate from the microwave using oven mitts or a towel, as it will be hot. Uncover the buns and check if they are heated through and soft. If needed, return them to the microwave for a few more seconds. Once done, let the buns rest for a minute before serving.

how to steam buns in microwave

Tips and Tricks

Regarding steaming buns in a microwave, a few tips and tricks can help you achieve the best results. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use a microwave-safe plate or container with a lid to steam the buns. Ensure the lid is not airtight, as the steam must escape to prevent the buns from becoming soggy.
  • To prevent the buns from sticking to the plate or container, place a piece of parchment paper or a damp cloth underneath them.
  • If you’re steaming frozen buns, thaw them first before steaming. You can do this by leaving them at room temperature for a few hours or microwaving them on low power for a minute or two.
  • When steaming the buns, arrange them in a single layer and leave space between them to allow the steam to circulate evenly.
  • The cooking time may vary depending on the size of your microwave and the number of buns you’re steaming. Start with a shorter cooking time and check the buns periodically until they’re heated through and fluffy.
  • If you want to add extra flavor to your steamed buns, brush them with soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar before steaming. This will give them a delicious savory-sweet taste.

Following these tips and tricks, you can quickly steam buns in a microwave and enjoy them as a tasty snack or side dish.

How do you know when the buns are steamed?

When the buns are steamed can be determined by checking their texture and appearance. Here are a few indicators to look for:


Steamed buns should be soft and springy to the touch. Gently press the center of a bun with your finger. If it feels soft and yields slightly, it is likely steamed correctly.


Steamed buns will appear slightly puffed up and plump. They should have a smooth, slightly shiny surface. The buns may need additional steaming time if they look dry or wrinkled.


If the buns are filled with ingredients, such as meat or vegetables, you can check if they are cooked through by looking for a translucent appearance in the filling. This indicates that the filling is adequately steamed.

How to steam buns in a microwave

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I steam buns in the microwave?

To steam buns in the microwave, you need to place the buns in a microwave-safe dish with a lid. Add a few drops of water to the dish and cover it with the lid. Then microwave the dish on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the size of the buns.

What is the best way to steam buns in the microwave?

The best way to steam buns in the microwave is to use a microwave-safe dish with a lid. This will allow the steam to circulate and cook the buns evenly. Adding a few drops of water to the dish is also essential to create steam.

Are there any tips for steaming buns in the microwave?

Yes, here are a few tips for steaming buns in the microwave:

  • Make sure to use a microwave-safe dish with a lid.
  • Add a few drops of water to the dish to create the steam.
  • Don’t overcrowd the dish; this can prevent the buns from steaming properly.
  • Check the buns frequently to make sure they don’t overcook.

Can I use a microwave to steam frozen bao buns?

Yes, you can use a microwave to steam frozen bao buns. Follow the same steps as you would for fresh buns, but increase the cooking time by 1-2 minutes.

How long do I need to steam buns in the microwave?

The cooking time for steaming buns in the microwave varies depending on the size of the buns and the wattage of your microwave. Generally, you’ll need to microwave the buns for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Is it possible to steam different types of buns in the microwave?

You can steam different buns in the microwave using the same method. Just adjust the cooking time based on the size and thickness of the buns.

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