Steamed Buns with Kabocha Pumpkin and Amanatto

Steamed buns with a Japanese twist makes a great snack.

Steamed Buns with Kabocha Pumpkin and Amanatto
Photographed by TAKAKO HIROSE

Recipe by
Akiko Matsumoto







Calorie count is for one piece.

Ingredients (Makes 6 (buns using 120 ml pudding molds))

  • 130 g kabocha pumpkin (remove seeds and pulp)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 tbsp fresh cream
  • [Batter]

    • 1/2 beaten egg
    • 50 g unrefined brown sugar (or sugar)
    • 100 g low-gluten flour
    • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 30 g amanatto (candied azuki beans; store-bought)



Combine the low-gluten flower and baking powder. Sift twice.


Line the molds with greaseproof parchment cupcake liners.


The cupcake liners will prevent the buns from sticking to the molds.



If you don't have a dedicated steamer, lay cheesecloth in a pot (at least 13 cm deep). Place a heat-resistant dish (about 4 cm tall) inside. Add enough water to cover the dish. Cover with a firmly wrung-out damp cheesecloth. Place the pot over high heat.


This step explains how to make a makeshift steamer pot. If you have a steamer, use it!


Wash the kabocha and cut into bite-size pieces without peeling. Sprinkle with salt. Place in your steamer and steam over high heat. When tender enough to pierce with a bamboo skewer, remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and mash with a rubber spatula or fork until smooth. Mix in the fresh cream.


Prepare the [Batter]. Lightly whisk the beaten egg in a bowl. Add the unrefined brown sugar and whisk until white.


Stir in the creamed kabocha.


Add the sifted flour and baking powder. Use a rubber spatula to cut and fold until there are no more visible streaks of flour. Mix in the creamed kabocha.


Fill each cupcake liner until 4/5 full. Sprinkle amanatto on top.


Prepare the steamer or steamer pot as in Step 1. Place over high heat. When steam starts to rise, reduce the heat to low. Place the filled molds inside and steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Try pushing a bamboo skewer into the bun. If nothing sticks, it's ready. Turn off the heat and remove from the steamer. Remove the buns and place on a cooling rack to cool.