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Steamed Sumac Buns

I make these buns in a 6-cup muffin tin, which I place within a sauté pan large enough to hold the tin. Any vessel (with a cover) that’s large enough to hold the muffin tin will work well. This recipe makes 6 steamed buns or 12 steamed minibuns (using a 12-cup mini-muffin tin). Pancake mixes with all-purpose flour produce the lightest muffins. Serve them for breakfast or with afternoon tea.


  • 3/4 cup pancake mix
  • 2 tablespoons dried ground sumac
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


  • Combine the egg, vegetable oil, milk, and sugar in a bowl. Add the pancake mix and sumac; stir to combine.
  • Grease the muffin tin, and distribute the batter evenly among the cups. Place the tin in a large pan, and add enough water to come within a half-inch of the top of the tin. Cover, and turn the burner on to medium-high heat.
  • Steam the buns for 12–15 minutes (from the time you turn on the burner), until they are round and puffy. The buns are ready when you can feel them bounce back from (but not stick to) the gentle push of your fingertip.
  • Steamed sumac buns are best served warm. Leftovers can be reheated in a steamer or microwave.