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Steamed Cheeseburger Buns + A Giveaway!

This recipe has a Pig-Out Scale rating of 6.3.

Oh, what’s that? You’re not used to seeing a Pig-Out Scale on recipes?

That’s because you haven’t seen the first cookbook written by my blogging friend Dan (Food in my Beard). Dan and I have a long blogging history together that goes back damn near five years and wouldn’t you believe it, he beats me at almost every blogging milestone. This includes, of course, the first fully published cookbook.

Jealous? A bit. But, I’ll give credit where credit is due.

His book, Stuffed!, is a hilarious ride through the mind of a food genius. All of the recipes in the book are stuffed with things. When I first read it, my mouth just kept dropping more which each recipe. It’s a wild cookbook.

The recipes span the range from easy to I-will-never-try-that (turducken), and have a wide range of items on the pig-out scale. I was inclined to make something a bit higher on the pig-out scale so I chose these little beauties. Surprise! They were amazing.

Read on to see how to make them and also Enter to Win a Copy of STUFFED!

16-20 buns
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...



  • Bun Dough:
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Burger Filling
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 slices Cheddar or American cheese, quartered
  • Ketchup, for serving
  • Salt, for seasoning

Helpful Equipment

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Make the Dough:
Mix the yeast, warm water and 1 cup (120 g) of the flour in a medium bowl and let sit for 1 hour until bubbles form.

Mix the sugar with the hot water and oil in a small bowl. Add this to the yeast mixture along with the remaining 3½ cups (420 g) flour and knead until smooth, about 12 minutes. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Make the Filling: Form the beef into 16-20 small patties. In a skillet, sauté the onions in the butter over medium heat until they are deeply browned, about 15 minutes.

Stuff It!: Divide the dough into 20 uniform pieces. Roll out each piece to 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, place a patty on it, top with the onions and a slice of cheese and wrap fully with the dough. Repeat to complete all 20 buns.

Cook It: Steam in batches of 5 or 10 depending on how big your steamer is. Steam over high heat for about 12 to 15 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with ketchup.

Recipe from Stuffed!

The Dough

Good steamed buns are all about the dough in my opinion and this recipe is really great. It’s no fuss and is just sweet enough to counter the savory flavors of the filling.

It starts by combining a small amount of flour with the yeast and water and letting that sit for about an hour to get the yeast working. To be honest, I only let mine sit for 30 minutes and it seemed to be fine.

Really wet stuff.

Really wet stuff.

It’ll bubble like crazy when it’s done which is good. Then combine the hot water with the sugar and oil in a small bowl and add that to the dough base.

Then add the rest of the flour to the dough and stir it together. Knead the dough by hand for about 12 minutes until it’s a really smooth, soft dough.

Get it?

Get it?

Let the dough rise a second time for a solid hour. it should at least double in size.

Meanwhile, you can prep the fillings!

Onions, Beef, and Cheese. Oh My.

You really do want to cook down two whole onions for the filling in these. I roughly chopped mine and let them cook down slowly in a large skillet with some butter and a pinch of salt.

Low and slow.

Low and slow.

After about 20 minutes they should be caramelized and golden brown.



When you’re ready to make the buns, lay out all your ingredients.

I’m sort of anal so while Dan said you could get 20 buns out of the batch, I wanted to do an ounce of beef per bun so I did 16 slightly larger ones. I also divided my dough by weight to make sure they were even, but you could probably eyeball it.

The assembly line.

The assembly line.

Roll a small dough ball out and then place a round of beef in the center. Season the beef with a sprinkle of salt and top with cheese and onions!

I used cheddar cheese, but the original calls for American. Personal preference I think.

Packed full.

Packed full.

Then just crimp the edges of the bun up around the beef.

Something like that...

Something like that…

I’m far from an expert bun maker but these turned out pretty solid and were easy to shape.



I recommend shaping them all and then steaming them. The dough will dry out if you let it sit for awhile.

In a normal sized bamboo steamer you should be able to fit 4-5 buns per level so you’ll probably have to steam in two batches.

Pretty things.

Pretty things.

One tip: I recommend lightly oiling your steamer before steaming or the buns will stick to the steamer and be a bit tough to remove.

These will need to steam for about 13-15 minutes and then definitely let them cool for a few minutes before chomping into them.

I recommend serving these guys with a sprinkle of coarse salt and mustard, but ketchup is the recommended serving in the book. I’m just not a ketchup guy!



To be honest, I didn’t find these to be overly filling. Betsy and I ate a few for dinner with some chips and I thought they were less filling than a plain, normal cheeseburger.

They were very delicious though and would be a show-stopping appetizer for a football game or something!

The Giveaway!

Screen shot 2014-01-24 at 5.09.09 PMIf you are into entertaining or just into experimenting with cooking, I think you would like this book. Like I said, it has some ideas in it that you just won’t see anywhere else.

People… he stuffs a full chocolate cake with an entire cherry pie.

How could I not giveaway a copy of this sucker?

Leave a comment with your favorite stuffed food and I’ll pick a winner at random on Monday, February 3rd!

Congrats to my buddy Dan on the book!


Congrats to Karen for winning the giveaway!












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115 comments on “Steamed Cheeseburger Buns + A Giveaway!

  1. I think I need the book to get some ideas…. Let me say twice-baked potatoes – does that count? thanks!

  2. Empanadas are probably my favorite — I love playing with both savory and sweet flavor combinations!

  3. Mandu! I haven’t played with crazy combinations like cheeseburger, but clearly I’ve been missing out!

  4. Burgers are my favorite stuffed food. There is a fantastic restaurant near me that makes several different options, all awesome!

  5. I know I would love this book! Stuffed foods are fun :-) My favourite chef has a delicious recipe for Armenian Stuffed Chicken Wings. I invented a kind of picnic food or traveling lunch where I made a bread dough & filled it with various meats, cheeses & vegetables. Once baked they look just like a bread roll or bun, but the sandwich is already made! I also love stuffed lamb, chicken or beef. Stuffed vegetables make delicious side dishes or complete meals: tomatoes, potatoes, zucchinis, squash or pumpkin, mushrooms, onions, & my personal favourite… eggplant!!!!!

  6. I love stuffed conch shells! This restaurant my family always goes to stuffs them with a creamy curry potato and meat mixture. It comes out piping hot and so comforting!

  7. I love Dan’s blog! for stuffed foods… I’m not sure I know what I like to “stuff”… maybe filled cupcakes if that counts. No wait- once I made stuffed chocolate chip cookies. They had chocolate melting out of the middle. Those were amazing.

  8. I actually happened across Dan’s blog one day by chance and found it so interesting I spent some time checking out everything it had to offer before bookmarking it. Within just a few minutes of exploration I came across some kind of post where he linked to your blog and I became and avid reader of both that day!
    Steamed buns are actually one of my favorite stuffed foods so I’ll be making these before I get my hands on Dan’s book either way! That said, I feel like everytime I eat anything with something stuffed inside it becomes my new favorite of the genre. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff.

  9. Green Chile Rellenos have to be one of my favorite stuffed foods. And they have to be Hatch or Annaheim chiles, not Poblanos or other green peppers. Stuffed with Jack or Queso Fresco, lightly battered, and fried to golden perfection. YUM!

  10. For a church event we made a turducken and then wrapped it in bacon and roasted in it in a hog. Nothing tops that

  11. oh my, those stuffed cheeseburgers look very good, and the cake stuffed in pie sounds incredible….. the ‘stuffed’ thing i’ve tried only thing comes to mind is stuffed jalapenos, well actually, stuffed pork chops, too! would love a book that has many many more ways to stuff food! yum

  12. My favorite ‘stuffed’ thing…..I am going to go with egg rolls. I love all types of egg rolls!

  13. I didn’t realize how many stuffed foods I enjoy until you asked!

    Arepas are my favorite.

  14. I noticed one of Dan’s recipes for hamburgers stuffed with hot dogs a while ago and have been obsessed with the idea but haven’t been able to find the recipe again. On the one hand, it sounds just a bit too hideous to actually make, but on the other, I bet they’d be pretty tasty…

  15. I make a delicious cupcake stuffed with cookie dough! I also love snickedoodles stuffed with Rolos.

  16. Samosas. I can’t get over the soft potatoes and peas with all those spices in a crispy shell. I mean HOLY CUMIN! Of course if we are being completely realistic, the stuffed food I eat most often is a Chipotle burrito. :)

  17. Because it’s that time of year, even if they’re not technically stuffed: Homemade pigs-in-a-blanket!

    It’s been a ton of fun following you and Dan over the years. Looking forward to your book, too!

  18. My favorite stuffed food memory is the (somewhat trashy interpretation of) chicken cordon bleu that my dad would bring home for me from the hospital cafeteria when I was a kid. Yum! I wonder if that would still taste good…maybe a homemade version needs to happen!

  19. Stuffed food is so fun! My favorites are spaghetti-stuffed bell peppers, and cheesecake stuffed chocolate covered strawberries! :)

  20. Pupusas, empanadas, pork loin stuffed with boozy dried fall fruits, stuffed bell peppers, stuffed meatbas…the list goes on. :-) thanks for the giveaway!

  21. When I get steamed buns at dim sum places, they usually have a little piece of parchment paper on the bottom to keep them from sticking. That being said.. I want these in my belly!

  22. I love to make burgers mix with cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, and red onion and then stuff them with blue cheese!

  23. I’m pretty happy with a stuffed burger, which, compared to this awesome new cookbook, is completely kindergarden. Biting into a burger stuffed with sauce, mozzarella and cheese is pretty great.

  24. I love stuffed tomatoes. And stuffed zucchini. And stuffed eggplants. These days, I like stuffing an acorn squash with hot italian sausage and leftover rice.

  25. Oh where to start: doughnut stuffed with bacon cheesecake, chicken pesto or bbq chicken stromboli, or any of what I call porkaliscious…pork loin stuffed with either ham & swiss, dried apples and cherries & brie, or even turkey breast stuffed with spinach, pears & brie.

  26. Thanks for the post! I love a good rice-stuffed pepper. Also, stuffed (2 layer) pizza. mmmm……

  27. Any fresh pasta stuffed with seafood, meats or cheeses and wrapped in sauces; ravioli, cannelloni, manicotti, shells, lasagna..

  28. I’m from t Minnesota, birthplace of the Juicy Lucy (burger with molten cheese in the center) so that is definitely my favorite stuffed item. There are 3-4 places in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis that serve these, and every local has their favorite. Unfortunately, none of them have perfected the veggie-lucy. The best one of those is not CALLED a veggie lucy, but it is a portabella mushroom coated and deep fried with molten cheese in the center from the Shake Shake in NYC. If someone could bring that to MN, I would be a happy girl! Maybe, if I win this book, it will be me!

  29. I have a great stuffed spinach and feta breakfast side that is hot and rich! You can really just eat one with this French pastry ,spinach, shallots, egg, and feta, mixed and put in a center of a half sheet of buttery French pastry, baked 15 minutes. Served with a side salad or an egg dish. B.Elliott.

  30. I love Chile Rellenos stuffed with chicken and a habaerno sauce.. mmmmm… warms you right up.

  31. Stuffed mushroom or peach dumplings depending on which tooth is stronger at the time, sweet or salty.

  32. I stuff peach halves with vanilla wafer crumbs, cinnamon, a little peach juice and some melted butter. Stick them under the broiler until the stuffing begins to brown. They are a great side for Thanksgiving or ala mode for dessert.

  33. I make Chinese pork steamed buns and my family scarfs them up! I use squares of parchment paper to avoid the buns from sticking in the steamer.

  34. Hmm favorite stuffed food that’s hard to say…I love calzones, Stromboli, perogies, and Snickers stuffed cookies.

  35. My favorite stuffed food is a family favorite that my mother made and taught us to make too- Bierocks. Individual rounds of bread baked with with a mixture of cabbage, ground beef and onions stuffed inside.

  36. I would Love to try the Chile Rellenos. YUM. Anything stuffed with Cheese is a huge Winner, here!!!!! :-)

  37. Stuffed cupcakes with mini candy of your choice. Stuffed meatloaf with sauteed veggies and Mt. Tam cheese. Stuffed mushrooms with Gorgonzola, peppers, and panko. Stuffed pork loin with apples, caramelized onions and Red Dragon Cheddar.
    Wow! You can tell how much I love cheese!
    I’ll be making these very soon! But I might used an Irish Cheddar with Porter.
    Personal Preference like you said.

  38. I love the “soup dumplings” I used to have in Bostons Chinese district !
    I now have the recipe(s) I loved there, but nothing beats having a ” cold tea” after hours…lol

  39. I loved stuffed avocados with eggs and bacon and cheese! The best breakfast!! Sometimes I’ll use a potato instead of an avocado, depending on the ingredients I have at home.

  40. Love this, so different from the usual steamed bun. FYI, the buns will look prettier (whiter) if you use the special steam bun flour from the asian shop.

  41. Pork buns, (chia siu bao) are my ultimate favorites. I am trying to make them but so far none come close to store bought. The soft dough of the bun with the sweet glaze and perfectly roasted and falling apart shredded pork with caramelized onion filling. Fantastic!

  42. I love stuffed mushrooms (italian sausage, cream cheese, sour cream, asiago),

    I’d enjoy this book!

  43. For dim sum foodies, the standard stuffed food would be barbecued pork (char siu), chopped in with similar browned onions or green onions, in char siu sauce, steamed up just this way for Char Siu Bao. You could substitute other Asian savory meats: Korean: chopped up pulgogi meat with its sauce; Japanese: Teriyaki beef or chicken, chopped up with its sauce. Etc. etc. If you don’t have time to make your own steamed buns with yeast, you could substitute pop n fresh Pillsbury dough, but the bun taste and texture isn’t quite the same…

  44. A favorite stuffed food of mine is the Nepali dumpling called mo:mo; most often found stuffed with buffalo meat, they can also be made with chicken, mutton, or vegetables. Aside from the classic buff version, I love the one made with with potato, mushroom and cheese. Delicious.

  45. Hi – thanks for this really informative recipe!! I have been experimenting with steamed bread recently ; inspired by Chinese steamed bread and have had some xlent results.
    May I ask tho : is the beef here uncooked before it is steamed in the bun?
    Intuition tells me that 15 minutes steaming would not be enough to cook beef mince!!
    Please enlighten me ?

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