Pork buns otherwise known as Bao buns are a popular snack originating from parts of Asia. They are mainly found in China in restaurants, stores, or even sold as a street delicacy. You can also make this steamed treat at home using ingredients like flour, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs, and others.
They’re usually made in batches for gatherings or even dinner with the family. This means that it’s likely that there are leftovers that have to be stored and enjoyed another time. If you’re wondering how to keep pork buns fresh, you can relax as they aren’t hard to keep fresh.
You can reheat your pork buns whenever you feel like having them. As the name implies, the buns are stuffed with pork so it’s important to keep them away from moisture. To avoid bacterial growth, you have to store them properly until you’re ready to use them.
How to store pork buns
To keep the buns fresh and safe to eat, it is important to know how to store them. You can do this with your fridge or freezer. A fridge is a great option if you want to keep them for a couple of days. You can store both cooked and uncooked pork buns.
How to store pork buns in the fridge (cooked)
- Leave the buns to cool at room temperature.
- This is to prevent the build of condensation so that the pork buns do not end up soggy.
- Wrap the leftover pork buns tightly in a plastic wrap or airtight container.
- This is an important step as you do not want any air to get inside and encourage the growth of mold. You can also use resealable bags and then place them in the fridge.
- Place them in the bottom drawer of the fridge where it stays very cool.
- If the climate is very hot, avoid opening the fridge too often to prevent all the cold air from getting out.
How to store pork buns in the fridge (uncooked)
It’s always better to store cooked pork buns as the texture stays more intact that way. If you have uncooked buns, you can still refrigerate them as long as you use a leavening agent like yeast.
- Place the pork buns and spread them well on a nonstick baking tray.
- Proceed to cover them in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
- Place them in the fridge where it stays very cool.
Note that refrigerating uncooked pork buns can affect the rising of the bun and fluffiness eventually. Cooked or not, the buns will be fine for about three days in the fridge and it’s best to use them within that time.
How to store pork buns in the freezer
This is the best way to keep the buns for a much longer period if you won’t need them right away. Freezing will prevent the growth of bacteria and keep them fresh for a longer time as compared to the fridge. As highlighted before, it’s better to freeze cooked pork buns than uncooked ones.
- Ensure the pork buns are cooled properly before freezing to prevent moisture from affecting the texture.
- Put the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Spread them out, at least one inch apart so they do not touch.
- Place the tray in the freezer for about two hours.
- After two hours, transfer the buns to a freezer bag or airtight container.
- Make sure they are wrapped/covered tightly.
- Label the container/wrap with the freezing date and put it back in the freezer.
- Allow the dough to rise at least once before freezing.
- Place the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Spread them out as well.
- Flash freeze them before storing them in an airtight container.
- This prevents them from sticking together.
- Label with freezing date and put back in the freezer.
How long can you store pork buns?
This depends on how they are prepared. Buns bought from a supermarket/store will typically stay fresh for five days. However if bought from a bakery, they will go bad in just over six hours if not stored properly.
If you make your pork buns at home, they will stay fresh for one to three days without any preservatives. You would need to freeze them if you want them to last longer.
Pork buns will stay for a few days in the fridge and about 6 weeks in the freezer for best quality.
How to reheat pork buns
Notwithstanding the delicate nature of the buns, it’s not difficult to reheat them whenever. There are several ways to reheat pork buns with “steaming” being the most popular. You can also use a microwave, an oven and also a stove.
This is the best way to reheat pork buns and it keeps the buns intact. Retains the fluffiness of the buns, to steam them:
- Set up the steamer and boil some water.
- If the buns are in the fridge and let them sit at room temperature. If they’re frozen, you can put them straight in the steamer.
- Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium-high and put the buns in the steamer.
- Cover the steamer with a dishcloth and then cover with the lid.
- Let the buns steam for about eight minutes if they’re frozen and three minutes if refrigerated.
- Serve when ready
Note that if you’re steaming big frozen pork buns, it is best to defrost them a little in the fridge. This will allow them to heat up or cook more evenly. It is also important to use the dishcloth to prevent condensation and make the buns soggy.
With a microwave
This is the quickest and most convenient way to reheat your pork buns. It also helps if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen.
- Put the buns inside a plastic bag or a container.
- Make sure they are not stacked together.
- If they are frozen, heat them in thirty-second intervals on each side.
- If they aren’t frozen, 10 seconds on each side should do it.
- Keep checking on the buns to avoid overheating them.
- Once they’re properly cooked, remove them from the microwave and serve immediately.
You can improve this method by reheating the buns on top of a cup of water in the microwave. This will mimic the effect of a steamer and retain some of the fluffiness of the pork buns. Make sure to not cook them for too long so they don’t come out rubbery and tough.
With an oven
This method is best for baked buns to retain the texture.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the buns on a non-stick baking tray and cover with aluminum foil.
- Proceed to bake for about fifteen minutes. If frozen, you can add on a couple of extra minutes.
- Remove the foil when it’s done and allow to cool before serving.
- Ensure you don’t overcook the buns, time the process.
- It is important to use the foil as it keeps the buns from over-browning.
Pan-frying on a stove
If you want your pork buns crispy then pan-frying is the way to go.
- Defrost the buns properly before frying.
- Grease the pan with some oil and place the buns on.
- Flip after two minutes and fry on the other side.
- Keep doing this for about five minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Remove and serve.
If your buns are big then you might want to fry for a little longer. Thawing the buns will help them cook evenly and quickly enough so that they do not burn. Avoid using too much oil to prevent oily buns, you only need a little to grease the pan.
How to keep pork buns warm
If you’re not going to eat the buns right away, then you should keep them warm. When the buns become cold, they can get very hard and chewy. You can use your steamer to keep them from going cold.
Place or leave the buns in the steamer with the lid closed. They should only stay warm for about fifteen minutes. You can just reheat the buns whenever you need them if they get cold.
It isn’t advisable to eat cold pork buns as the texture would be heavily affected. The dough would be quite tough so it is best to reheat the buns instead of eating them cold.
Now you know the pork buns reheat well and can retain both texture and taste. So next time when you have those leftovers, you can store them in the fridge/freezer until whenever. Just follow the steps covered to reheat the buns properly and avoid any sogginess.