Chinese Flower Roll (Hua Juan)

Flower bun served with stir fry
Fotosearch / Getty Images
Prep: 4 hrs
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
83 Calories
6g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 83
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 201mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 1g
Calcium 67mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Hua Juan, or Flower Rolls, are a very popular variation on steamed buns in the more northern regions of China. Shaped like a delicate Chinese flower, these buns can be steamed and then served alongside any of your favorite Chinese dishes.


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water (lukewarm)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil (or as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • I ​bunch ​scallions (finely chopped, as desired)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place the yeast in a bowl and pour the warm water over. Stir in the sugar to dissolve. Let stand for 15 minutes.

  3. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the yeast and water mixture and begin stirring immediately. Keep stirring until you have a dough that holds together and doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl. Adjust the amount of water, adding more or less as is needed.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Add more flour or water if needed. Cover and let rest for 1 1/2 hours.

  5. Punch the dough down again, and let it rest for 1 to 1 1/2 more hours until its size has doubled.

  6. Dissolve the baking powder in 2 teaspoons water. Knead into the dough vigorously for a few minutes, until it is elastic again. Begin preparing the flower rolls.

  7. To make the rolls, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, Rub the sesame oil over. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and chopped green onions.

  8. Roll up the dough as if you were rolling up a sleeping bag.

  9. Cut into 2-inch pieces and take each piece and, with the cut sides facing outward, use chopsticks or something similar to press down lengthwise in the middle. Press down firmly enough so that the layers on each side spread outward, but not enough to cut right through the dough. The layers will push out to the sides so that you have 2 ovals that are joined in the middle.

  10. Pick up the dough by its rounded ends, and pull until they meet underneath the roll. Pinch the ends together underneath the roll. This causes the flower to become rounder in shape. Let the rolls sit for 10 minutes, and then steam for 20 minutes.

  11. Serve and enjoy!