Steamed Potato and Olive Buns

Steamed buns don't have to be sweet! These savory potato and green olive buns make perfect party snacks.

Steamed Potato and Olive Buns
Photographed by TAKAKO HIROSE

Recipe by
Akiko Matsumoto







Calorie count is per bun.

Ingredients (Makes 5 buns using 120 ml aluminum baking cups)

  • 150 g potato
  • 6 green olives (pitted)
  • A pinch of salt
  • [A]

    • 1/3 tsp salt
    • Pepper, as needed
  • [Dough]

    • 1/2 beaten egg
    • 1 tsp unrefined brown sugar

      *Or sugar.

    • A pinch of salt
    • 6 tbsp soy milk (non-homogenized)
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 100 g low-gluten flour
    • 1/2 tbsp baking powder



Combine the low-gluten flour and baking powder and sift twice.


Line the aluminum baking cups with cupcake liners.



Preheat your steamer. If you don't have one, you can make your own. Line a pot (at least 13 cm deep) with a cheesecloth or dishcloth and place a heat-resistant container (approx. 4 cm high) inside. Add water up to the brim of the container and place a heat-resistant plate on top. Wrap the pot lid in a dampened and tightly wrung out cheesecloth or dishcloth, and put it on the pot. Place the covered pot over high heat.


Thoroughly wash the potato and, without peeling, cut it into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Place the pieces in the preheated steamer and steam at high heat until tender enough to pierce easily with a bamboo skewer. Peel while hot and remove any eyes. Coarsely mash and then mix in [A]. Cut each olive into 6 equal pieces.


Make the [Dough]. Add the beaten egg to a bowl and use a whisk to mix in the sugar and salt. Add the soymilk and then the olive oil, stirring well each time. Mix in the sifted dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, and cut and fold the dough until it is no longer floury.


Save some of the chopped olives to top the buns. Add the rest of the olives and the mashed potatoes to the dough and lightly mix together.


Fill the aluminum cups about 80% full with dough, and sprinkle the remaining chopped olives on top.


Place your steamer over high heat until it starts to steam. Reduce the heat to low and place the cups inside. Steam over high heat for about 15 minutes. Test the buns by poking one with a bamboo skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, the buns are done. Turn off the heat, remove the buns from the baking cups, and place them on a rack to cool.


Use oven mitts to protect your hands when handling the hot baking cups.