How To Store And Reheat A Bao Bun

Did you buy bao buns and now have leftovers? Or are you planning to cook bao buns in advance to eat later?

Thankfully, it is easy to keep it fresh and delicious in a few simple ways.

As a bun enthusiast, I enjoy making a variety of buns, including sugar bun, beef bao buns, pork floss bun, steamed egg custard buns, taro buns and purple sweet potato buns.

I’ve discovered a method for storing and reheating bao that ensures I have a tasty breakfast option when I’m short on time.

I share my tried and tested tips on how to store bao buns in the fridge and freezer to maintain their freshness and flavor. My tips are for both uncooked and cooked bao buns. Plus, I also provide some suggestions on how to properly reheat bao buns after storage using a microwave, steamer, oven, and skillet.

Taro Bun after resting

The last thing you want is a soggy or hard bao bun that ruins your appetite. So, make sure to read and follow the guidelines in this article.

Here’s how to store and reheat a bao bun:

How To Store Bao Bun (Cooked And Uncooked)


  • The first thing you need is an airtight container to store your bao buns. It should be completely sealed to prevent air from entering and absorbing odors from other foods in the fridge.
  • You can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • For uncooked bao buns:
  1. It is best to place them in a non-stick tray or a container lined with parchment paper.
  2. Moreover, it should be separated with at least 1 inch of space between each bun. This prevents the buns from sticking and deforming when handled.
  3. Make sure to cover it with plastic wrap to completely seal it.
  • If you want to prevent overfermentation, store uncooked bao buns in the freezer instead of the refrigerator.


  • You can store it in the freezer to make it last for more than 3 days. It should normally last for 1 to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Store uncooked bao buns in the freezer after the fermentation process is complete.
  • To store in the freezer:
  1. You’ll need to use a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  2. Place the bao buns on top and leave at least 1 inch of space to prevent them from sticking to one another. In this way, the buns won’t freeze together and can be easily removed individually.
  3. Freeze the buns until it is half frozen.
  4. Then, transfer them to a sealed ziplock bag or freezer bag and keep them in the freezer until ready to eat. Since it is already semi-frozen, you don’t have to worry about the buns breaking or losing their shape.
  • Although you can make it last for months in the freezer, I don’t really recommend this option if you care about quality. Remember, the longer it stays in the freezer, the more the quality deteriorates.

place bao in a container lined with parchment paper

cover them with plastic wrap to completely seal it

How To Reheat Bao Bun

If you already have cooked bao buns, you can reheat them and restore their freshness using a microwave, steamer, oven, or skillet. Among the 4 reheating methods, I recommend the steamer method best. If you don’t have a steamer, please refer to my article 5 Easy Ways To Steam Buns Without A Steamer.

  • For frozen cooked bao buns, you can reheat them straight from frozen. No need to thaw the bao before steaming.
  • Uncooked bao buns should be steamed for about 20 minutes. After steaming, turn off the heat and let it rest for an additional 3 minutes. During this time, do not open the lid or else the buns may shrink.
  • If the bao buns are stored in the fridge, the steaming time is shorter at about 2-3 minutes.
  • Cooked bao buns are typically steamed for about 10 minutes.

However, you may need to adjust the heating time and temperature, depending on the number of buns. Follow the steps below on how to reheat cooked bao buns.


  1. Place the bao bun on a microwave-safe plate. You can line the plate with parchment paper to prevent the bao bun from sticking to the plate.
  2. If heating more than one bao bun, do not stack them and simply arrange them on a single layer.
  3. Heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute on high heat. Heat for 30 seconds more if needed.


  1. Add water to the steamer and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water boils, lower the heat and place the buns in the steamer basket.
  3. You can line the steamer basket with parchment paper to prevent the buns from sticking to the metal.
  4. Then, cover it with a lid.
  5. Adjust the steaming time according to the number of buns to reheat.

Taro Bun after steaming


  1. Wrap the buns individually with aluminum foil.
  2. Set the oven to 350°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust the baking time depending on the size and number of bao buns.
  4. Once finished, remove the foil and let the buns cool.


  1. For frozen bao buns, thaw them first before pan-frying.
  2. Add a bit of oil to the skillet to heat up the bun and prevent it from sticking.(The oil should be enough to coat the skillet. It should not submerge the buns in oil since it is reheated by pan-frying.)
  3. Once the skillet is hot, heat one side of the bun for 1 minute.
  4. Then, turn the bun to the other side and heat it for another minute.
  5. Keep reheating each side until the center is well-heated.
  6. You can use a fork to know if the center is hot. Poke the bun with a fork. Then, remove the fork and touch it if it is hot.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to refreeze bao buns?

I highly suggest thawing only the bao buns you desire to eat. Although it is generally okay to refreeze bao buns after thawing and cooking, the texture will most likely become soggy and unpleasant. Each time you thaw and refreeze, it loses its puffy and chewy texture.

How long to steam frozen bao buns?

Uncooked bao should be steamed for 20 minutes. Cooked bao, however, should be steamed for about 10 minutes.

What is the best way to thaw bao buns?

This will require advance planning. If you decide to eat the frozen bao buns the next day, you can transfer the bao buns from the freezer to the fridge to thaw. It will defrost overnight and will be ready to cook or reheat the next day. You can also do it in the morning and let it thaw for a few hours in the fridge.

Should the buns be thawed before steaming?

No, you do not necessarily need to thaw the buns since you can reheat them straight from frozen. Follow the same process of steaming and adjust the steaming time until the buns are cooked internally.

What is another way to reuse leftover bao buns without the filling?

If you only have the leftover buns, you can use them to make a regular sandwich and choose any stuffing you like. You can make a meat or vegetable sandwich using leftover buns. For dessert, use chocolate, jam, or any sweet filling for the buns. Alternatively, you can make breadcrumbs from it by grinding and toasting them. Breadcrumbs are used for toppings, salads, casseroles, stews, and many more. In this way, you won’t let any leftover buns go to waste.

Final Thoughts

Did you find these storage and reheating tips helpful? Which method was the most effective? Let us know in the comments section below!

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