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Can You Freeze Bao Buns?

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By Ross Young

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Bao buns are one of the most delicious treats from Asia. They’re those delightful, fluffy buns often filled with sticky duck and seasonal vegetables. If you make your own bao buns at home, how can you store them?

An open bamboo steamer with a closer up of bao buns

Can You Freeze Bao Buns?

Yes, you can freeze bao buns for up to 3 months. Bao buns bought from the shop can still be frozen. This is handy to know if you buy one of those ‘bao bun kits’ but don’t get around to eating all of the contents!

How to Freeze Bao Buns

Regardless of whether your bao buns are shop-bought or homemade, you should freeze them in the same way. The only difference is the cooling element.

Naturally, if you’re removing the bao buns straight from the packet and putting them in the freezer, you don’t need to leave them to cool. Below are the simple steps you need to follow to freeze your bao buns to preserve their flavour and texture. 

  1. Leave to Cool
    If you have steamed your buns and have some leftover, leave them on the countertop to cool. This should take no more than one hour. 
  2. Line a Tupperware Box with Greaseproof Paper
    Because bao buns are sticky, you will need to place them on greaseproof paper before freezing them. While they’re cooling down, line a Tupperware box with enough greaseproof paper to line the bottom.  
  3. Place the Buns in the Box
    When they’re at room temperature, you can place the bao buns on the greaseproof paper within the Tupperware box. Make sure you leave a gap between each of the buns, so they’re not touching. If they’re touching before you place them in the freezer, they will stick together. 
  4. Seal the box, Label and Freeze
    With your buns laid out evenly in the Tupperware box, you can place the lid on and label them. Make sure you put the date they were prepared, as well as the date they need to be used. Then transfer them to the freezer.
Can You Freeze Bao Buns Before Steaming Them?

Although you can freeze bao buns before cooking them, it’s not the best idea. You’ll find them far too delicate to freeze and you’ll find that the texture is off when you come to cook them. Instead, steam them beforehand.

Can You Freeze Bao Dough?

Although it’s possible to freeze bao dough, it doesn’t freeze as well when uncooked. This is why it’s a good idea to form the dough into buns and steam them before freezing.

How Long Can You Freeze Bao Buns?

You can freeze bao buns for around 3 months. 

This is the same for buns that have been already cooked, as well as those that have come straight out of the packet if they’re shop bought. If you leave them any longer, you will risk ruining their texture.

How Long Do Bao Buns Last in the Fridge?

Cooked bao buns can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. However, they may become more stale with each passing day, even if they remain safe to eat.

How Do You Defrost Bao Buns?

You can steam your bao buns straight from frozen; you might just have to increase the cooking time slightly. This is ideal if you’re in a rush or want to just enjoy them straight from the freezer. 

However, if you prefer, you can take them out of the freezer the night before you intend to use them and transfer them to the refrigerator.

It usually takes a couple of hours for them to thaw, and you can then prepare them however you choose.

Can You Eat Bao Buns Cold?

Yes, you can eat bao buns cold. Bao buns are versatile and can be enjoyed either hot or cold. However, they are traditionally served warm, steamed, or pan-fried for the best texture and flavor.

Can You Refreeze Bao Buns?

Refreezing bao buns after they have been defrosted is not advisable, as you will risk ruining the texture.

There’s nothing worse than an extremely soggy bao bun, particularly after you’ve gone to so much effort to prepare the delicious fillings! 

Do Bao Buns Freeze Well?

Bao buns freeze really well, providing you follow the steps outlined above.

If you don’t leave enough space between the buns in the container, they will stick together and rip, which is not ideal when it comes to thawing and enjoying them.

For the same reason, it’s better not to freeze them in bags. 

One of the best things about the buns is that they can be prepared straight from frozen, so you don’t have to worry about thawing them in advance.

Just add them straight to your pot, prepare your fillings, and you will have a delicious meal waiting for you. 


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

Pantry and Larder

BBC Good Food

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