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Auntie Vila's Keke Pua'a (Samoan Steamed Pork Buns)


Kek pua'a is a Samoan version of bao, which you can sometimes find in Chinese restaurants. It is traditionally served with a pork filling.

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  • 2 small pork chops, minced
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • DOUGH:
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour


Adapted from


Step 1

Proof the yeast with the water and first measure of sugar until it is frothy. Then add it and the rest of the ingredients to your bread machine (or mix and knead by hand).

Meanwhile, mince the pork and sauté in a little olive oil with the onions. Add the garlic and soy sauce towards the end of cooking. Set aside and let cool.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch down. Divide into 8 parts and flatten each one with the palm of your hand.

Spoon a little bit of the filling into the center of each circle, then pull up the edges of the dough and twist to seal. Make sure the filling is completely contained by the dough. Repeat until you have eight little packets.

Let the dough rise for another 45 minutes.

Place the packets into a vegetable steamer and steam for 15 minutes (note: they puff up a lot, so you may need to do this in small batches).

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