These Braided Pork Floss Green Onion Buns are savoury and slightly sweet. Dried pork floss and green onions are woven through the soft and spongy yeasted bun.
This post first appeared on Sift & Simmer in May 2018. Updated April 2021.
I wanted to re-create a Chinese bakery classic, pork floss buns -- but with a twist, literally.
Pork floss and green onions are strewn throughout these braided soft yeasted buns.
I've elevated them with a fancy braid, but you can just place the toppings on the surface of the bun if you're more comfortable doing that instead.
What is pork floss?
Pork floss is also known as pork wool, "yuk song," "rousong," or meat floss.
It is a dried meat product with a soft, light, crisp and fluffy texture. It has a texture similar to cotton candy (except that it is savoury!)
The meat is seasoned with soy and sugar, and dried over a period of time in a hot oven.
Pork floss is used commonly as a savoury topping in Asian cuisine, in pork floss roll cake, or on rice..
How is pork floss made?
Typically, pork floss is made by stewing the meat with spices and flavourings.
Next, the meat is teased apart with forks, and left to dry in an oven or dehydrator.
Afterward, the meat floss is transferred to a wok where seasoning is added and continues to be teased and mashed, until completely dry.
Where to find pork floss?
You can find dried pork floss in Asian supermarkets.
They may come in various flavours and may be packaged in large containers.
If you can't find pork floss, you can omit it or use a substitution.
Ingredients in these buns
For the dough, you'll need:
- all-purpose flour: regular all-purpose flour will work fine, but you can use bread flour if you have that on hand
- active dry yeast: acts as the leavener for the buns
- warm milk: any type of milk will do, you can also use warm water too, but note that the buns might not be as soft
- granulated sugar: adds a little sweetness to the buns and helps activate the yeast
- sea salt: adds some flavour to the buns
- egg: large egg, beaten; you'll need some egg for the egg wash as well
- avocado oil: or you can use a neutral vegetable oil
For the topping:
- pork floss: dried, savoury and fluffy meat floss; you can find it in Asian supermarkets
- green onions: also known as scallions; chopped
- sesame seeds: you can use black or white sesame seeds, or omit if you don't like
Ingredient variations & substitutions
Feel free to try different ingredient variations on these buns.
For a savoury spin, try using:
- diced ham
- shredded cheese
- flaked tuna
- pizza toppings
How to make the buns
Make the dough:
Combine all the ingredients in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Knead until the dough becomes smooth, soft and elastic. (This is quite a soft, wet dough).
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a lid.
Leave the dough to rest in a warm area until it doubles in size.
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions.
Flatten each portion and roll into a long rectangle/oval shape about 7" by 3" in diameter.
Brush the surface with a little egg wash.
Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of pork floss and 1 tablespoon of green onions over the dough.
Fold the seams together and pinch to seal.
Seal the top and bottom as well.
With the dough facing you like the letter "I," use a sharp knife or pizza cutter and cut the dough lengthwise in half, leaving about 1 inch uncut at the top. As a result, you will have two pieces, but it will still be joined at the top.
With the exposed ends showing, carefully lay each half of the dough over each other, similar to braiding. (Beware, this can get a little bit messy).
Grab each end of the dough and gently twist the dough, pinching and tucking the ends into the centre of the bun from underneath.
Place the bun onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. If any filling has fallen out, gather it up and place onto the bun.
Repeat with the remainder.
Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and leave until slightly puffy.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly brush beaten egg over the surface of the buns with a pastry brush. (You can choose whether to egg wash on just the dough, or on the pork floss -- it can be a little trickier on the latter).
Bake the buns for 20-22 minutes at 350F, until golden in colour.
How to serve the buns
You can serve the buns warm or at room temperature.
Pair the buns with a tall glass of soy milk, and you've got an easy breakfast at the ready.
How to store the buns
Store the buns in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.
Alternatively, place the buns in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
You can reheat the buns by microwaving them for 20-30 seconds, until warm and soft.
Other Chinese bakery recipes you may like
You may enjoy these other recipes:
If you make these Braided Pork Floss Green Onion Buns, let me know -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below! What would you put on these soft and delicious buns?
Braided Pork Floss Green Onion Buns
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 500 g all-purpose flour
- 8 g active dry yeast
- 240 ml warm milk or water
- 30 g granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 large egg beaten + extra for egg wash
- 60 ml avocado oil or neutral vegetable oil
- ¾ C dried pork floss
- 1 C chopped green onion about 5 green onions
- black and white sesame seeds optional
- In a large stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, salt, egg, and oil. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the warmed water/milk, sugar, and dry yeast. Stir and let the yeast become foamy.
- Once yeast has been activated, add the mixture to the flour mixture, turn on the mixer to low-medium speed. Knead for about 7-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and shiny. The dough will feel quite soft.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it double in size in a warm location.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal portions.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle/oval about 7" by 3".
- Brush the surface with a little beaten egg.
- Add about 1 tablespoon pork floss and 1 tablespoon chopped green onion over top of the dough.
- Roll the dough lengthwise into a long cigar, pinching the seams.
- With the dough facing you like the letter "I," use a sharp knife and make a slit in the middle of the dough, leaving about 1 inch uncut at the top. You will have two pieces, but it will still be joined at the top.
- With the exposed ends showing, carefully lay each half of the dough over each other, similar to braiding. (Beware, this can get a little bit messy).
- Grab each end of the dough and gently twist the dough, pinching and tucking the ends into the centre of the bun from underneath.
- Place the bun onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. If any filling has fallen out, gather it up and place onto the bun. Repeat with the remainder.
- Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and leave until slightly puffy.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Let the buns rise for another 20 minutes, until dough is slightly puffy.
- Brush the tops with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds if you wish.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 20-22 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.