Scallion flower rolls (Hua Juan) are a variety Chinese steamed buns layered with a scallions, sesame oil and Chinese five spice. Pan fried with everything bagel seasoning for a delicious fusion of East Asian and Western flavours! (Vegan)

What are flower rolls / Huā Juǎn?

Flower rolls (Huā Juǎn in Chinese) are just one of many types of Chinese steamed buns. Instead of being stuffed, they’re layered with a flavourful sweet or savory filling! Black sesame seeds, sweet peanuts, scallions, sesame oil are just some of the different types flavours you might come across. These are often served for breakfast or a side dish to accompany main meals. They’re soft, fluffy and can either be steamed or pan fried for a delicious crispy bottom.

Today, I’ll be sharing a savory scallion version… with a everything bagel crusted bottom! Inspired by my Chinese background and where I was raised (Canada!), these delicious buns are a fusion of East Asian and Western flavours. One of my favourite breakfast treats growing up were everything bagels from Tim Hortons with chive cream cheese– and because chives are quite similar in flavour this combination came out so incredibly delicious! I’m super excited to share these buns!! Let’s get to it shall we?

How to make pan fried scallions buns

The Ingredients

  • Low gluten flour: I like to use a combination of all purpose flour and wheat starch. Sometimes I’ll also use bao flour for convenience. Either option works perfect for this recipe.
  • Instant yeast + baking powder: the combination of the two makes these extra soft and fluffy.
  • Sugar: adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Soy Milk: helps with the softness of the buns.
  • Chinese five spice powder: this bend of spices give so much flavour to the buns, don’t skip on it!
  • Scallions
  • Sesame Oil: for brushing the buns inside and on the bottom.
  • Everything Bagel Seasoning: store bought or homemade.
  • Salt: for extra flavour.

The directions

The dough: can be prepared with a stand mix or with with your hands and a bowl.

If using a stand mix: Add all dry ingredients to stand mix, keeping the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other. When salt comes into contact with yeast, it may destroy the yeast. Lock your stand mix and turn it onto speed #2. Steadily and slowly pour in 120ml of soy milk. Increase the speed to setting #4 and let it run for 8-10 minutes or until a smooth dough comes together that is elastic-y. Depending on the flour you use and the kitchen humidity, add 1-2 tsp of extra soy milk as needed.

If using a hand mix: Add all dry ingredients to bowl, with the salt on one side of the bowl and the yeast on the other. Whisk the dry ingredients and then pour in lesser amount of soy milk (120 ml). Use chopsticks to mix and then once the dough gets shaggy, knead with your hands for 10-12 minutes or until a smooth elastic-y dough comes together. Depending on the flour you use and the kitchen humidity, add 1-2 tsp of extra soy milk as needed. Place it into a bowl and cover with a damp kitchen cloth for 10 minutes (this relaxes the dough).

Place it into a bowl and cover with a damp kitchen cloth for 10 minutes (this relaxes the dough). In the meantime, chop your scallions.

Assembling

  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 1/4 inch in thickness and 8.5×10.5 in size) Brush with sesame oil, sprinkle with Chinese five spice, salt and scallions. 
  2. Fold one side 1/3 towards the middle. Then fold the other side 1/3 towards the middle, pressing tightly. Cut the long rectangle into 6 pieces (about 58g each). Cover the dough with a damp kitchen cloth and work one piece at a time. Cut 4-6 slits per piece of dough, pinch the end and then twist. Then bring the cut end toward the middle to form a round shape (like a bagel), tucking the cut side down.
  3. Brush sesame oil on the bottom and generously dip it into everything bagel seasoning. Place in a steamer basket lined with parchment paper and proof for 45 minutes – 1 hour (or until 1.5 times larger in size / poke test). 

Cooking

  1. Method #1: Add 2 tbsp of oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the buns in, leaving about 1 inch between each bun. Cook for until the bottom gets lightly browned (about 2-3 minutes). Then add 4-5 tbsp of water (depending on the size of the pan), cover and cook until the water is almost gone. Remove the lid and let it cook for another minute or until water is completely gone and bottom is golden brown to your liking and crispy again. 
  2. Method #2: Line your pan with parchment paper and place buns on top. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until light golden brown. Add 4-5 tbsp of water UNDER the parchment paper, over and cook until the water is almost gone. Remove the lid and let it cook for another minute.

How to Store & Reheat

These are best served fresh out of the pan but they also freeze very well! Since this recipe makes 6 buns (perfect for 2-3 people), there shouldn’t be any left overs but if there are, I highly recommend freezing them once they have cooled to store to maintain their soft texture. Double the recipe to make 12 if you’d like to have some on hand! They’ll stay good for up to 1 month.

To reheat, steam for 8 minutes or until warmed again. If in a rush, wrap with damp paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. No need to defrost beforehand!

Serving

These scallion buns are perfect for any time of the day, really. I like to have them for breakfast with fresh soy milk, a snack with some tea and a little bit of misozuke, or as a side dish with a meal with something like rice porridges and congee.

Recipe notes + takeaways

  • Using soy milk OR water: Because they both get absorbed differently, the amount will vary (also depending on the humidity of your room). You can also use a combination of soy milk and water of 80ml soy milk + 45ml water. 
  • Prevent over-proofing the dough: To test, poke one of the buns. It should spring back slowly. If it springs back quickly, proof for longer. If it does not spring back at all, dough is over proofed. 
  • Assembling: The method I shared is just one way to assemble the buns. You can also roll out each piece of cut dough into a oval shape, make slits, add the filling and then twist. Find which works better for you!
  • Homemade everything bagel seasoning recipe: 1 tbsp white sesame seeds, 1 tbsp black sesame seeds, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp minced onion, 1 tbsp poppy seeds, 1/2 tbsp flaky sea salt.

More delicious buns to try:

If you recreate this Everything Bagel Crusted Scallions Buns recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Everything Bagel Crusted Scallion Buns


Ingredients

Units Scale

Instructions

Dough

  1. Stand mix: Add ingredients to stand mix and start on low speed (#2). Pour in the milk and then increase speed to medium (#4), and let it run for about 8-10 minutes or until the dough comes together, is smooth and elastic-y. Take it out of the bowl, knead with your hands and form a smooth round ball. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes covered.
  2. Hand mix: Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk together. Use chopsticks to stir and slowly pour in the milk (or water). Once the dough gets shaggy, knead with your hands until dough comes together and is smooth (about 10-12 minutes). Form it into a ball and then allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes covered.

Assembly

  1. Take the dough out of the bowl and then using a rolling pin, roll it into a 8.5×10.5 inch rectangle (about 1/4 inch in thickness). Brush with sesame oil, sprinkle with Chinese five spice, salt and scallions. 
  2. Fold one side 1/3 towards the middle. Then fold the other side 1/3 towards the middle, pressing tightly. Cut the long rectangle into 6 pieces (about 58g each). Cover the dough with a damp kitchen cloth and work one piece at a time. Cut 4-6 slits per piece of dough, pinch the end and then twist. Then bring the cut end toward the middle to form a round shape (like a bagel), tucking the cut side down. Brush sesame oil on the bottom and generously dip it into everything bagel seasoning. Place in a steamer basket lined with parchment paper and proof for 45 minutes – 1 hour (or until 1.5 times larger in size / poke test). 

Cooking

  1. Add 2 tbsp of oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place the buns in, leaving about 1 inch between each bun. Cook for until the bottom gets lightly browned (about 2-3 minutes). Then add 4-5 tbsp of water (depending on the size of the pan), cover and cook until the water is almost gone. Remove the lid and let it cook for another minute or until water is completely gone and bottom is golden brown to your liking and crispy again. 

Notes

  • *Low gluten flour can be bao flour or cake flour. If you do not have either, you can also just use plain all purpose flour or a combination of 180g all purpose flour + 20g wheat starch. 
  • ** Soy milk or water can either be used. Because they both get absorbed differently, the amount will vary (also depending on the humidity of your room). You can also use a combination of soy milk and water of 80ml soy milk + 45ml water. 
  • Poke test: DO NOT over-proof your dough. To test, poke one of the buns. It should spring back slowly. If it springs back quickly, proof for longer. If it does not spring back at all, dough is over proofed. 
  • Helpful Equipment: electric stand mix, pastry brush, dough cutter/scrapper, steaming basket, non-stick skillet with lid
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 
  • Time: Prep time does not include proof time.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: chinese, vegan

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 serving

Keywords: scallion buns, bread, baos

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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26 Comments

  1. So delicious! I definitely need to work on my braiding technique but even if mine weren’t as pretty they were still tasty

  2. This recipe was so fun! I need to work on my braiding technique but even if mine weren’t as pretty they were so delicious and had a really nice crunch at the bottom as well. Also who doesn’t love everything bagel seasoning?

  3. I ate three of these in one sitting they were sooooooo good!!!!!! They were super easy and fun to make and I even learned I like soy milk lol!!! 10/10 will be making these again!!!

  4. These were delicious and fluffy and so easy to make! I used what I had on hand (no bagel seasoning, sub oat milk and plain flour) but it still worked great. Next time I’ll roll it thinner and add extra spring onions and 5 spice!!

  5. These are DELICIOUS! I literally just ate 2,5 and had to force myself to stop, even though I burnt the bottoms lol! I can’t wait to eat the rest or share, I guess, and then make them again!