This Air Fryer Mantou is soft and fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It's not at all oily and cooks in under 5 minutes.
Can't get enough of Chinese Air Fryer Recipes? Try my Air-Fried Shrimp Toast next!
🥡 About This Recipe
Using an air fryer is the easiest and least greasy way to make deep-fried mantou at home.
Deep-frying any bread or steamed bun is always excessively oily because, naturally, these foods have a porous structure that absorbs oil.
Air-frying helps to mitigate this while still being super crispy.
👨🍳 Air Frying Mantou: Fresh vs. Frozen
For fresh steamed buns, the cooking time is short. Just brush on some oil and air-fry at 400℉ for three minutes, flipping once in between.
For frozen bao buns, the cooking time is longer. You must cook at a slightly lower temperature to ensure the inside is cooked before the outside burns—Air-fry at 350℉ for 5 minutes, flipping once in between.
- Mantou: You can buy these in the refrigerated section of most Chinese grocery stores.
- Oil: Any neutral-flavored oil like canola or vegetable oil to brush on the outside of the buns.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: For serving on the side. This is the classic pairing at many Chinese hotpot restaurants.
Before you start, make sure your steamed buns are cooked. Fresh Chinese steamed buns at the grocery store are already cooked. But some frozen ones might still be raw, so steam them according to the package directions.
STEP 1: Brush a thin layer of oil on the mantous. Arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket without them touching.
STEP 2: For fresh mantou, air-fry at 400℉ for three minutes, flipping once in between. For frozen mantou, air-fry at 350℉ for 5 minutes, flipping once in between. Serve with a side of condensed milk for dipping.
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Storing: Store air-fried mantou in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheating: Reheat by air-frying at 400℉ for 2 minutes until warm and crispy.
🍽 More Recipes You'll Love
Best Air Fryer Mantou w/ Condensed Milk
- 8 steamed mantou
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (for dipping)
- Brush a thin layer of oil on the mantous.
- Arrange them in a single layer in the air fryer basket without them touching.
- For fresh mantous: Preheat the air fryer to 400℉. Air-fry for 2 minutes on one side, flip, and air-fry the other side for another 1 minute.
- For frozen mantous: Preheat the air fryer to 350℉. Air-fry for 3 minutes on one side, flip, and air-fry the other side for another 2 minutes.
- Serve with condensed milk for dipping.