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Chinese flower rolls ready to be steamed
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4.97 from 31 votes

Chinese flower rolls (Hua Juan, 花卷)

A variety of Chinese steamed buns, flower rolls (Hua Juan) are layered with a tasty scallion filling. Follow my quick & easy method to make some!
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Rest30 mins
Total Time54 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Bread
Servings: 6 rolls
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Wei Guo


For the dough

  • 250 g all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon dried active yeast
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 130 ml lukewarm water see note 1

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoon scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder or ground Sichuan pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

If pan-frying, you also need

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


Prepare the dough

  • IF KNEADING WITH A STAND MIXER: Mix flour, yeast, baking powder, sugar and water in the bowl. Knead on low speed until a very smooth dough forms (about 8 minutes).
  • IF KNEADING BY HAND: Mix flour, yeast, baking powder and sugar. Add water gradually. Mix with chopsticks/spatula until no more loose flour can be seen. Combine and knead briefly into a dough. Leave to rest for 10 minutes (covered). Knead again until very smooth.

Mix the filling

  • Put scallions, Chinese five-spice powder (or ground Sichuan pepper) & salt in a bowl.
  • Heat up the oil then pour over the scallions. Mix well.

Shape the rolls

  • Dust some flour over the worktop. Roll the dough into a thin, rectangle shape (about 20cm×30cm). Evenly coat the dough with the filling.
  • From the long side of the rectangle, fold the dough twice making it a three-layer strip. Then cut it into 12 pieces.
  • Stack up two pieces. Use a chopstick to press the middle line lengthways. Hold both ends and stretch.
  • Hang it on the chopstick. With one hand pinch and hold two ends. With the other hand twist the chopstick.
  • Put the roll on the worktop, press the chopstick then slice it out of the roll.

Rest the rolls

  • Leave the rolls to rest for around 30 minutes. Well-rested buns should be slightly bigger, but not double the size (see note 2). 

Cooking method 1: steaming

  • Place the rolls in a steamer basket (line with steamer parchment paper or brush a thin layer of oil to avoid sticking). Make sure to leave ample space in between each roll.
  • Fill the steamer pot with cold water. Start cooking over high heat. Turn down to medium-low once the water is at a full boil.
  • Cook 10 mins from this moment. Serve warm.

Cooking method 2: pan-frying

  • Add oil to a frying pan over high heat. Place the rolls into the pan leaving ample space in between.
  • When the bottom of the rolls turn brown, pour in 200ml water (at room temperature). Cover with a lid.
  • Uncover when the water has completely evaporated. Turn off the heat after 20 seconds or so.

Store the rolls

  • Once completely cooled, place the rolls in an airtight container/plastic bag. Keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Reheat the rolls

  • Steam fridge-kept rolls for 5 mins. If frozen, steam for 7 mins (without defrosting).



1. The flour-water ratio may vary depending on the brand of your flour. Adjust accordingly. The finished dough should be medium-firm and smooth.
2. The resting time required varies depending on the room temperature. It takes me 30 minutes in a room at about 25°C/77°F. So if it’s cooler in yours, extend the time a little and vice versa.
3. If using a metal steamer, I suggest you wrap its metal/glass lid with a clean tea towel. This way the condensation created during the steaming process will be absorbed by the cloth instead of dripping onto the rolls affecting their smooth appearance.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 176kcal