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How To Store & Reheat Bao

Bao are surprisingly easy to keep fresh. You just have to follow a few simple steps to ensure that they don’t stick together or become too soggy.
In this recipe, I cover everything you need to know about freezing, refrigerating, reheating, and keeping your bao buns fresh.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 1 person
Calories 229 kcal


  • 1 portion bao or steamed buns


How to freeze bao buns

  • It’s best to freeze bao after cooking because freezing them before cooking complicates the cooking process and means it’s easy to overcook them.
  • Leave the steamed buns to cool down to room temperature.
  • Place the buns on a parchment-paper-lined baking tray. Spread them out to make sure they’re not touching.
  • Place the baking tray in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, place the buns in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag.
  • Label the container and return to the freezer.
  • Bao can last up to 4-6 weeks in the freezer before the quality will start to deteriorate. However, they’ll remain safe to eat long after this time (as long as the freezer is kept below 0 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  • It’s very important that you let the bao cool before you freeze them. Otherwise the excess water will ruin their texture in the freezer.

Refrigerating cooked bao

  • If you only need to keep your bao for a day or two then you can refrigerate them instead of freezing them.
  • Cooked buns will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • It’s really important to let the bao cool. If you don’t, condensation can build up and make the bao soggy. If you’re worried about moisture, put a sheet of kitchen towel in with the bao to absorb any excess moisture.

How to reheat bao

  • There are several ways to reheat bao, with the most popular methods being steaming or microwaving. 
    Steaming is very reliable and always results in a fluffy texture. Microwaving is more unpredictable but can give good results quickly. The following instructions are for steaming. See main post for microwaving tips.
  • Set up your steamer (bamboo or metal) and boil some water.
  • If the buns are refrigerated, take them out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature. Frozen buns can be put in the steamer straight from the freezer.
  • Once the water is boiling, lower the heat to medium-high and place the buns in the steamer.
  • Cover the steamer with a dishcloth before putting the lid on.
  • Steam the buns for 7-8 minutes for frozen buns, or 2-3 minutes for refrigerated buns. These times are for filled buns, you can reduce them by a minute or so for unfilled buns.


Serving: 100gCalories: 229kcal
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