Taiwanese Pepper Bun with Beef (Hu Jiao Bing) | 牛肉胡椒餅

Pepper bun has become one of the most loved street food in Taiwan. Imagine a calzone filled with perfectly spiced juicy meat, but cooked in a charcoal-fired Tandoori oven until it’s crispy on the outside but dripping with juice inside. Now you can make this spicy, flavorful and ridiculously juicy pepper bun in your own kitchen.

I seriously can’t begin to tell you how good a pepper bun(胡椒餅,hu2jiao1bing3) is. Sean LOVES it and if it were up to him he would have me making these every day. Why are these so addicting? Probably the same as why people love a juicy burger, a bbq or a pizza, pepper bun is the best of these three combined.

The most popular pepper bun stand was definitely the one at Raohe night market. At any given time you’d probably have to wait in line for 30 minutes just to get a bun. The best part about its popularity is that it’s always piping hot and fresh off the oven.


However, our favorite pepper bun shop(Link Google Map) is one on the side of the road, seemingly random spot. They only have two items on their “menu”- pepper buns and green onion shao bing(燒餅). I still haven’t figured out when exactly they’re opened and we often arrive when everything is sold out. My gosh their buns are good. Flaky, crispy buns with super tender meat and tons of flavor, the best afternoon snack for sure. I now regret not taking a photo of that deliciousness to make you all jealous 😉


The story of the Bun

This bun was originated from a province of China called “福州”(fu2zhou1), it was a simpler baked bun with pork filling. When the Republic of China government moved to Taiwan with 2 million refugees they brought this bun with them and people started selling them in the streets. When asked what kind of buns these are the vendors would answer “福州餅” (fu2zhou1bing3), buns from FuZhou, which sounds a lot like “胡椒餅”(hu2jiao1bing3, pepper buns). Customers started asking why it didn’t have the taste of pepper if it were called “Pepper buns”, so the vendors started adding more and more pepper to the filling and it turned into what it is known now.

Another addition to the recipe that makes this unique to Taiwan is the green onions. Taiwan grows some of the most beautiful green onions in the world and they are used in almost every dish either as a decoration or the source of beautiful flavor. A BIG handful of freshly chopped green onions are stuffed into the bun right before baking, creating an extra layer of flavor for the bun.

The Filling

Traditionally, the recipe calls for pork. Beef from the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market is amazing, so I decided to use beef instead. I also wanted to see if I can create something as delicious with beef and make it for my dad someday since he doesn’t eat pork. I still have no idea why he doesn’t eat pork, my mom said that he got bit by one when I was little, which I’m sure it’s a joke.


You can still create these buns with pork. Butt roast is a good part to use for this recipe. Cut them into 1/4″ x  1/2″ strips for better texture and leave out the water/broth added to the mixture. Let the filling marinate for 30 mins while you create everything else so the flavor can be absorbed by the meat.

Crispy Bun

Making it at home in the regular oven cannot compare to the ones grilled stuck to the wall of a clay oven, but it’s the next best thing. The only part that isn’t quite the same as the street style is the crispness of the bun. The clay oven and charcoal not only adds flavor to the bun but also crisp up the outside and gives it a crunch. That’s hard to achieve in the oven at home, but the trick is to leave a small crack in the oven while you bake it. It lets the moisture out of the oven and will help crisp up the buns!


Bun Making in Action



Taiwanese Pepper Buns with Beef (Hu Jiao Bing)

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Pepper bun has become one of the most loved street food in Taiwan. Imagine a calzone filled with perfectly spiced juicy meat, but cooked in a charcoal-fired Tandoori oven until it's crispy on the outside but dripping with juice inside. Now you can make this spicy, flavorful and ridiculously juicy pepper bun in your own kitchen.
Course Appetizer, Beef, Pork, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Taiwanese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rest Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Choochoo-ca-Chew



  • 1 C Water plus 2 TBsp
  • 2-3/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 TBsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

油酥 (you2su1)- this is the part that makes the crust flaky

  • 5 TBsp Lard or sub with vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 C Pastry Flour


  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 TBsp Sugar
  • 3 tsp Finely grounded Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Finely grounded White Pepper
  • 1 TBsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 TBsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 C Water
  • 2 bunches of Spring Onion Chopped

Sesame Crust

  • 1/3 C White Sesame Seeds
  • 2 TBsp Water
  • 1 TBsp Sugar


  • In a mixing bowl, combine 2-3/4C All purpose flour, 2 tsp active dry yeast, 2TBSP sugar, 1/2 tsp Salt. Add 1C+2TBsp Water to the flour mixture and knead until combined and smooth.
  • Let the dough rest while you make the filling.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the filling together, leaving out the chopped spring onion. Add the water to the filling mixture 1 TBsp at the time until absorbed. Mix the filling until the meat becomes sticky. Keep the filling in the fridge until ready to make buns!
  • Combine 5 TBsp lard at room temperature and 3/4 pastry flour, mix well. 
  • Back to the dough. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that's roughly 1/4" thick. 
  • Spread the lard and pastry flour mixture over the rolled out dough.
  • Roll the dough up into a log, pinch and close both ends, cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  • Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Pull each dough pieces on the open ends and bring them together on top. Pinch it shut so the lard mixture won't ooze out.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Take the beef filling out of the fridge, add the chopped spring onions to the mixture. Make 8 even portions.
  • Roll or simply flatten the dough with your hands into 2.5" Rounds. The dough should be thinner on the outskirt. 
  • Take one portion of the filling and place in the center of the wrapper. Close the bun by pinching it shut or the same way you'd make a bun.
  • Mix 2 TBsp of Water with 1 TBsp sugar.
  • Dip the top of the bun (The smooth side) in the sugar water then into the sesame seeds. Place on a baking sheet closed end down.
  • Leave a crack in the oven door, bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.


Leave a crack in the oven door makes the buns crispier.
If you'd like to use strips of pork for this recipe, omit the 1/2C water added to the beef mixture.








Hii! I’m Tiffany, welcome to my corner of the world. Here’s what I do in a nutshell:

* Food Photography

* Introducing people to Taiwanese food on YOUTUBE

* Taiwanese Recipes with Locally Sourced Ingredients

* Discover unique food gems

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