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Cat-Shaped Pork Buns
Total Time

2 hr 20 min

2 hr 20 min

Prep Time

30 minutes

30 min

Cook Time

10 minutes

10 min


for 12 servings


  • ⅓ cup milk (80 mL)
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour (155 g)
  • black food coloring
  • water, for brushing

Pork Filling

  • ½ cup ground pork (100 g)
  • ⅓ cup green cabbage (35 g), finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup green onion (10 g), finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 78
  • Fat 2g
  • Carbs 11g
  • Fiber 1g
  • Sugar 2g
  • Protein 3g

Estimated values based on one serving size.


  1. 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. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and mix the dough on medium-high speed for 10 minutes, until smooth.
  3. Cover the dough with a wet towel and let rest for 1 hour.
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Let the buns rest for 30 minutes.
  10. 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. 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. Enjoy!
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Cat-Shaped Pork Buns