Bun In A Turtle Shape? Steamed Turtle Buns–Miku (米龟)



This is a rather niche post, may be only a small percentage of the readers will try out this recipe as these steamed buns are usually prepared for Taoist’s deities birthday celebration. However, it is definitely a nice and healthy bun for breakfast. The name of the buns is Miku, literally translated as “rice turtle” or “rice tortoise” .


In my hometown, it was white and shaped like a turtle and have a “longevity” chop in its body signifying long life of the deities and followers. However, in other parts of Malaysia, some like to colour it pinkish red and have various shapes such as the letter “8” shape or just round shape but on the top of the buns, it was  purposely cut (like baguette) into flower petals.


What is it actually? It is no more than a steamed bun or bread. Depending on your preference, they can be with or without fillings. In this illustration, it is without filling and resembles mantou. Usually, after offerings in the next morning, the buns are re-steamed, skin taken away and eat with a cup of hot coffee and some even pan fry it until crispy and fragrant. However, this recipe is much sweeter than the mantou and you can eat the bun on its own. Actually, it is quite a nice bun to chew on. If you like to have another simple recipe of mantou, you can refer to this post: Chinese Steamed Bread–Mantou (刀切馒头)


Preparing the buns are not difficult but timing of proofing and steaming have to be given due attention. I have prepared 3 batches, the first 2 batches were over proofed and it was only for the third batch of the buns that I am successful.


If you have like to colour the bun, you will need to colour it either before or after the steaming. Colour before the steaming do pose some technical difficulties as it may spoilt the dough and possibly lead to over proofing.



Servings: About 5 medium sized steamed buns


  • 250 grams of plain flour
  • 4 grams of instant dry yeast
  • 50 grams of castor sugar
  • 120 grams of lukewarm water
  • 30 grams of vegetable shortening
  • Pinches of salt



  • Get ready a steamer with cold water.


  • Mix all ingredients and knead in a standing mixer until the dough leaves the sides of the whisking bowl. You can also manual do this until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and let it proof until double in size. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel to prevent moisture loss during the process.

PicMonkey Collage1

  • When the dough is proofed, divide the dough into 5 portions of 80 grams for the body, 5 portions of 8 grams for the head and for the remaining, cut into 25 small portions for the legs and tail.

  • Take a portion of the 80 grams dough, shape round as the body. Do the head, tail and legs. Attach it to the body. If preferred, put 2 black sesame seeds as eyes. Put in a cupcake cup.  Once the dough reach 1.5 times of the size, transfer the steamer tray to the steamer with COLD WATER. Bring the water boil under high heat and steam for 12-15 minutes (note that the 12-15 minutes starts from cold water until the end of the steaming).  If you would like to colour the turtle, you can colour before steaming or after steaming. When the buns are steamed, chop the red longevity word on top of the body while it is hot.



This is a nice steam bun to go with a cup of coffee. It is fast and easy to prepare.. Do not ask me where I get the chop as it is a hand gift from Hong Kong. Ha-ha


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe




11 thoughts on “Bun In A Turtle Shape? Steamed Turtle Buns–Miku (米龟)

  1. Hi Kenneth I like the white turtles, especially with the Chinese words stamped on it! It is very pretty. The red one looks a bit scary though.. You are right about this being a niche bake. I won’t bake this but I can admire yours!! 🙂

  2. Pingback: RECIPE INDEX ( Updated on 16 AUGUST 2014) | GUAI SHU SHU

      • Hi Kenneth, it turned out really well. I truly appreciate your tips in not overproofing the dough and covering with cling wrap instead of towel. I used to cover in dry towel and thought that the longer the proofing time is, the better :-). I just baked banana walnut cake with your recipe from facebook. It was fabulous… thanks so much for posting working recipes!!

  3. Hi Kenneth,

    I just finished steaming the MIKU. It turned out perfectly well! 😃 I used bread maker machine instead of kneading it manually . Thank you so much for this wonderful recepie 😄😃😀

  4. Pingback: Special Compilation Of 40 Chinese Steamed Cakes And Kuihs (40种华人蒸糕特备汇编) | GUAI SHU SHU

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