Quick Red Bean Buns (Jjinppang)
These fluffy, quick red bean buns are ready in just 20 minutes. Thankfully, the dough does not have to proof an hour as required by most other recipes, and you can go straight from bun assembly to steaming. It’s a simple and delightful treat, with just a dollop of delicately sweet red bean paste in the fluffiest, buttery bun.
These fluffy buns filled with sweet red bean are called dahn paht jjinppang (단팥찐빵) in Korean and are typically enjoyed as a snack or dessert. There’s also a pretty similar Chinese version called dòusha bāo.
When Korean steamed buns (찐빵, jjinppang or jjinbbang) are filled with a savory vegetable and/or meat filling they are more specifically called jjinppang-mandu (찐빵만두). The breading, however, is a bit sweeter and buttery for this particular sweet red bean bun.
These steamed buns are popular snacks that you can find ready to eat at most convenience stores in Korea. Served steaming hot, they are extra tasty to enjoy during the cold winter months.
If you’re looking for another sweet and toasty Korean snack, check out my Asian Pear Butter Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes).
Ingredients for Quick Steamed Red Bean Buns
You only need two ingredients for this sweet and tasty snack: sweet red bean filling and biscuit dough.
Sweet red bean filling
Some people make the sweet red bean filling (dahn paht, 단팥) from scratch. For the sake of time and convenience in this specifically “quick” recipe, I use ready-made, canned red bean. I get mine from my local Asian grocery store, H-mart or Mitsuwa, but they also sell it online. There are usually both Korean and Japanese brands that work well in this recipe. The specific brand that I use is Ogura-An.
The sweet red bean filling has sweet and slightly nutty taste, and largely looks like a maroon brownish paste with some remaining, soft bits of whole red bean. This is also commonly served with the popular Korean shaved ice dessert paht bingsoo (팥빙수).
Most recipes online require that you make the yeasty dough from scratch, which usually takes about an hour to proof before use. I am sure nothing can quite beat homemade dough, however, if you want to make these buns in a pinch, this recipe is the perfect baking hack.
Pillsbury Biscuit Dough
I tested different brands, and decided that Pillsbury biscuit dough works and tastes the best for this jjinppang recipe. Grands or Buttermilk both work fine. HOWEVER, please use their Southern Homestyle Recipe, and NOT their Flaky Layers.
Their Flaky Layers biscuits are a bit inconsistent when steamed. More often than not, the flaky layers seem to deflate and collapse into a dense layer after they are finished steaming. It’s important for jjinppang to have a fluffy bun.
Why biscuit dough?
The salty, buttery biscuit flavor helps to round out the sweetness of the red bean filling. I don’t know if this would quite work with a savory Korean filling, but it could be interesting maybe with cheese and ham, or jam. What other tasty fillings could we try? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
If you make these Quick Red Bean Buns, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag @chrisseenplace on Instagram!
Quick Red Bean Buns (Jjinppang)
- 1 can sweet red bean filling (16 oz)
- 1 can Pillsbury Biscuit Grands or Buttermilk dough, Southern Homestyle Recipe (16.3 oz)
- Gently and evenly flatten out the biscuit dough with your fingers.
- Add ½ tbsp of sweet red bean filling to the center of the biscuit dough, and then bring up the sides of the dough over the filling and pinch it closed. If you add too much filling, the dough can tear while steaming.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the rest of the biscuit dough pieces.
- Boil 2 cups of water in a large pot (you may have to add more water again to steam another round of buns). Be careful not to add too much water or else it could make the bottom of the buns wet as they steam. You want to make sure that the boiling water does not boil up into the steaming rack.
- Carefully lower the steamer rack into the pot, and place a layer of paper towel at the bottom of the steamer rack. Add 3 buns evenly spaced on the rack. They will expand as they steam.
- Allow them to steam for about 15 minutes on medium heat.
- Turn off heat and let them set for about 2 minutes in the pot. If you remove them too soon they may deflate.
- Carefully remove the pot lid without dripping any of the condensation on the buns. Serve immediately.