How to make it

  • To prepare bun dough:
  • Sprinkle yeast over 3 tablespoons water and allow to stand until yeast softens.
  • To remaining water, add oil or shortening, sugar and salt, stirring until melted or dissolved.
  • Cool. Add yeast mixture.
  • Place flour in a large mixing bowl or a heavy-duty mixer and add most of the liquid.
  • Begin kneading.
  • Add remaining liquid to make a very heavy dough.
  • Continue kneading or mixing until you have a smooth ball that is beginning to show signs of long strands on the outside, indicating that the gluten has fully developed.
  • Remove dough from bowl and rinse out bowl.
  • Pour sesame oil into bowl, return dough and turn it around until covered with a thin layer of the oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double in bulk -- about an hour in a warm room.
  • Placing the dough in the refrigerator and allowing it to rise there, 3-6 hours, develops the flavor.
  • Proceed with the filling or gently deflate the dough and allow it to rise for a second time, which will further enhance the flavor.
  • To prepare filling: In a pot, stir cornstarch, sugar and salt in water until dissolved.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add char siu and, if desired, red food coloring.
  • To stuff and steam buns:
  • Heat a steamer with plenty of water.
  • Cut 12 (3-inch) squares of waxed paper and coat 1 side with 1/2 second coat of nonstick cooking spray.
  • Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each into a ball.
  • Flatten into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.
  • Make the dough as thin as you can and try to keep the edges thinner than the center.
  • Place the circle of dough in the palm of your hand.
  • Spoon in a couple of tablespoons of filling, cupping the dough around it.
  • Then, with the thumb and finger of the other hand, pinch the edges of the dough as if you were making a fluted edging on a pie crust. Pinch the folds together, twisting them as you do so.
  • Place the completed manapua on a square of greased waxed paper.
  • Allow to plump up into a globe with a taut exterior.
  • Place in steamer on their squares of paper about 1 to 2 inches apart.
  • Cover and steam vigorously for 15 minutes.
  • If using a metal steamer, place a folded tea towel across top of steamer, holding it in position with the lid.
  • This will prevent steam from dropping onto manapua.
  • If using a bamboo steamer, this is not necessary.
  • Remove steamer from heat, let stand 5 minutes, then open.
  • Serve hot.
  • Note: To bake manapua, brush top of buns with a little canola oil and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • ***For the Char Sui Recipe, go up to the Search button and type in the following under Group Recipes..."Char Siu Chinese Red Roast Pork Recipe" ****
  • AuntyKahal posted the recipe for the Char Sui and its very good! I've been using it since I first found it on Group Recipes! Or try the NOH dried Char Sui/BBQ Pork mix that is available on the internet or in the Asian area of your larger super market. There are also many other recipes on Group Recipes for Char Sui. (I also buy it at a Chinese deli already made and just cube it for the fillings of my manapua. If you have a good chinese restaurant nearby and don't have time to make it, I'll bet they have it on their menu.)

Reviews & Comments 9

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    " It was excellent "
    Patricia_72 ate it and said...
    This is a keeper!!! We love manapua, my kids order it all the time when we go to L&L! I decided to try and make it for Father's Day. For my first time ever making manapua I followed this recipe but i used pulled pork though and it came out GREAT!! My family LOVED it. Thank you for sharing the recipe.
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  • akdennis 6 years ago
    Great recipe. After moving to Alaska from Hawaii I found that I had to make many local Hawaiian favorites unavailable up here, manapua being one of these foods (I LOVE manapua and kept several manapua trucks in business single handed!). I came up with a shortcut for the scratch recipe because I'm really lazy. I also use Noh brand Char Siu mix instead of from scratch for the filling. I marinate a pork loin at least for one day but two days is better. You can also use a pork butt and slow cook it. More fatty but pretty ono if you have the time. Also, you can use bake n' serve dinner rolls instead of scratch dough (not the brown n' serve but the raw dough). It's waaaay easier and I really can't tell any difference. I use Rhodes brand white dinner rolls. You need to stick two together and roll them thin like the above method. Anyway, this is a excellent short-cut method if pressed for time. Aloha no kakou!

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  • Granna49 6 years ago
    Why is there a maybe list bar through the middle of the recipe? I can't see the whole recipe.
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  • annieamie 8 years ago
    It seems that I forgot to add a recipe for the Char Sui/BBQ'd Pork. Sorry about that!!! I love the packaged dry mix by NOH that you can usually find in an Asian area of the market. It works well! I just sprinkle the dry mix directly over the pork (wearing gloves or baggies) and press the mixture into the meat. I then bake the meat or fry it in a small amount of oil. The dry mix is mostly sugar so be careful if you're using a teflon pan as the sugar will stick to it. You can also follow the instructions on the package of course by adding water and letting the meat marinate for a few hours before cooking. Once the meat is cooked, chop it up for the filling as directed above in the recipe.
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  • gloriahusk 8 years ago
    I have been craving Manapua since I left Hawaii in 1989! Found some locally in a small Chinese shop in the freezer section but not as good as the fresh steamed buns I so fondly remembered. I am looking forward to making this recipe!
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  • ladytian 8 years ago
    OMG, I miss manapua so much. I'm definitely going to try this.
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    " It was excellent "
    lanijoy ate it and said...
    Can't wait to try....I love this stuff. Thanks
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  • arstielady 9 years ago
    Mmmmm. Looks good. Use to buy the best manapua not far from an old Gems store not far from town. Just can't get good manapua on the mainland. :(
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    " It was excellent "
    minitindel ate it and said...
    thank you ...Saved it!! very interesting also
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    " It was excellent "
    kidaria ate it and said...
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