Fried mantou

Cut thinner so they are crispier

fried mantou

Great with any savoury or sweet accompaniment

fried mantou

light and fluffy on the inside

Mantou is much easier and faster to make than bread. I liken this to Asian bread. Although there are many versions of this, I think mine’s probably the easiest. I simplified it over the years and made it fool and idiot proof. There’s no need to add fat to this dough, especially if the mantous are going to be deep fried. Also, if they are going to be fried, there’s no need to use Hong Kong flour. Once fried, there is very little difference between using Hong Kong flour and plain flour.
If, however, these mantous are to be eaten just steamed, then I’d strongly encourage the use of Hong Kong flour. The dough will be super white and fluffy.  I use this same dough for flour buns, all kinds of paus and all kinds of mantous.

Whoever invented this is a genius, steamed, it is the Chinese signature steamed buns, sweet or savoury. Baked, it is like bread. Fried, it is a doughnut. Then, there is the fried at the bottom and steamed the rest of the way. How versatile is that? My favourite dough.

mantou with condensed milk
mantou with condensed milk

Mantou (馒头)

Pamela Liu
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Chinese


  • 500 g Hong Kong flour Use plain flour if you cannot get HK flour
  • 270 g Water at 70C
  • 1 tbsp Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp Yeast


  • Combine all the ingredients into a dough.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let the dough rest till it is doubled.
  • Roll the dough out into a rectangle of about 1 cm thick
  • Roll up like a swiss roll. Cut according to desired shape and size
  • Place the mantou into a steamer lined with parchment paper.
  • Let it raise till double and then steam them for 10 minutes
  • Prepare oil to medium heat, and fry the mantou till golden brown.

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