Black Sesame Mantou 黑芝麻饅頭

I have finally conquered the Chinese books! See, the only time I actually studied chinese was when I was in primary school. It wasn’t a chinese school where every subject is in Chinese and it’s a do or die situation. I was bumming around in a private primary school that taught the Chinese language as a subject; POL. So comparatively, my level of writing and reading Chinese language is probably only up to Standard 2 of those from the chinese schools. Yeap, you can say it’s not much actually.

I speak Chinese tho, so conversing is not much of a problem; but it is when I try to read them. During the old times, I would only learn Chinese if I want to go to karaoke; thats just cause Chinese songs are nicer 🙂 So I had no choice but to pick up some and recognise some words. Then when internet and technology has come into the picture, learning Chinese (or any other language I would say) is now much easy and more convenient. I am using the iPad now to handwrite the chinese word onto it and translate it via google translator or another translator app. (that also mean that I can take on Japanese books now!! YAY!) 

And well you know, I don’t really use the Malaysian published bilingual baking / cooking books because it’s just not what I’m looking for anyway. So first one up is by 孟老師 ‘s 中式麵食 book. I had wanted to know how to make  (Chinese steamed pork dumplings) for the longest time ever but just no English book would illustrate that well enough. Hence I gotta go get a trusted Chinese recipe book and for all you know,  孟老師  is pretty popular in the blogosphere. I then saw her book and browsed through the recipes of buns, mantou, steamed dumplings, bao and lots more. It looked good so I decided to get it since I’ve already bought a few Chinese cookbooks before this and translating is not a prob. If all else fail, I will ask my mum cause, of course, she is Chinese literate. heh. Why did I go through so much trouble when I have a live translator at home right ? 😛 I guess then I will never learn any of the Chinese words if I had asked my mum to translate them for me. 🙂 You could also ask me why I need to go through all the trouble when there are tons of recipes on the internet, well, I’m a cookbook junkie, and they are much more of a collectibles for me. People collect toys and coins, I collect cookbook! Easy as that.

Flipping through the pages, I was eager to make something already because I’ve not made mantous or bao (buns) before, ever! I had wanted to make the Dai Bao (Big Bun) with minced pork and boiled egg inside, but nope, something quicker, something of which I would have those ingredients at home already. Then I saw the black sesame mantou, bingo!! That’s it, I’m making you 🙂 After some translation of the recipes, I immediately went back home after work to make it. Lol, I am usually NOT THAT EFFICIENT. really.

And, no I still don’t like sweet buns or Asian style breads. I would prefer bao, dumpling and mantou.

So here it is, translated for all you bananas.

Black Sesame Mantou 黑芝麻饅頭

(makes 8 )

Adapted from 中式麵食 by 孟老師

260ml tepid water / lukewarm water
5g instant yeast
500g medium-protein flour (I used a 50/50 of high & low protein cause thats all I have)
60g caster sugar
5g vegetable oil
25g toasted black sesame seeds
pinch of salt

25g toasted black sesame seeds
15g caster sugar


1. Dissolve yeast in tepid water in a bowl (you can use the mixing bowl if you’re using a mixer, like me) and let it sit for 5 minutes. Into the same bowl, pour in flour, caster sugar, vegetable oil, toasted black sesame seeds and salt. Using a dough hook, mix the dough for about 10 minutes. It should be like a smooth surfaced dough. Remove the dough, lightly knead it and shape into a log. Cover with a cloth and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. (Pic 1)

2. In the meantime, make the filling, lightly blend toasted black sesame seeds and caster sugar in a food processor. Keep aside. Then roll the dough out to 45 cm x 20cm. (Pic 2)

4. Visually divide your dough into 3 parts. Fold the left flap in, then the right. (Pic 3 and 4)

5. Roll the dough out again into approximate 60cm x 20cm. Brush some water on the top surface, then sprinkle the black sesame filling on the surface. (Pic 1&2)

6. Then roll in like a swiss roll or into a log. At the end, the log should measure 60cm in length and probably have 3-4 circular swirls in it. (Pic 3-5)

7. Cut the dough into 8 portions, place them on a greaseproof paper. (Pic 6 and 7) Put them into a steamer and let it sit in there for 20 minutes until it has proofed.(Pic 8)

8. Turn on the steamer for about 15-20 minutes. It should be slightly bigger as well after steaming.

9. Eat with condensed milk!! So yum.





4 thoughts on “Black Sesame Mantou 黑芝麻饅頭

  1. Wow! Your mantous definitely look fluffy and delicious! Thanks for translating the recipe, I must confess I am a banana too:P I am worse cos I can’t string enough words together to form a sentence!

  2. Ooooh I love love LOVE mantou buns, but cannot read much Mandarin. Sadly enough I could read and write Mandarin well when I was 10, but all these years of not using it and it’s all gone!! How I wish I remember it, just for the sake of cookbooks!

    Thanks for the recipe, definitely will be trying this! 🙂

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