8 Types of Bread for The Chinese New Year

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, we have put together a list of 8 Chinese breads which look delicious! We have also included some recipes if you wanted to have a go at making them. Let us know below whether you have tried any of these before or have made them!

Are you interested to learn more about Chinese New Year? Then check out our other blog post - 7 Things you Probably Didn’t Know about Chinese New Year!

  1. Steamed buns (mantou)

These are pillowy buns made with a yeasted dough and steamed in large trays to stay soft and warm, it is traditionally plain, but some people are adding ingredients such as onion or sugar. Mantou which you find in restaurants are often smaller and sometimes made a little different by deep frying or dipping in condensed milk.

China Sichuan Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou Recipe)
Rasamalaysia Sweet Potato Mantou (Steam Buns)

2. Flaky sesame breads (shaobing)

These breads come with different regional varieties, in Hangzhou, you will find them flat and crispy and in Jinhua, they’re rolled into small balls. Traditionally, these are a type of baked, unleavened, layered flatbread. These can be made with or without stuffing and are often a breakfast item.

Food 52 Layered Sesame Shaobing
Gourmet Traveller Sesame Seed Pocket ‘Pita’ Bread with Chicken

3. Fried bread sticks or churros (youtiao)

These are long golden-brown pieces of dough which are deep-fried, traditionally this may be served as a breakfast besides a bowl of warm soy milk.

The Woks of Life Youtiao Recipe (Chinese Fried Dough)
Tasty Youtiao Recipe

4. Uyghur flatbreads (nang)

These are often sprinkled with sesame seeds and spices to serve. They are seen as a staple in the Western parts of China and are traditionally cooked in tandoors. It has quite a fluffy texture even though it is quite a thin bread.

Saveur Uyghur Flatbread (NÁNGBĬNG) Recipe
My Cooking Journey Uyghur Flatbread Recipe

5. Uyghur bagels (girde nan)

These are pocket-sized versions of the larger wheels of nang, these are crisp, ring shaped breads which are baked over hot coals in tandoor ovens, not boiled like European bagels. They are eaten fresh from the oven and traditionally served with tea, their appearance is similar to bagels, however, the hole in the middle doesn’t go all the way through.

Silk Road Chef Uyghur “Bagels” (Girde Nan) Recipe

6. Kompia or kompyang

A bread product which originated in China, but it has also become popular in other areas such as Southeast Asia. It is made with lard, onions, salt and flour. A ball of flour is filled with ingredients and flattened with a rolling pin. Meat is often used as a filling in the bread.

Foodchow Kompiang Recipe
Kompiang Recipe

7. Green onion/scallion pancakes (cong you bing)

These are made with dough rather than a batter and are a common street-food of China but also in restaurants. It is pan-fried which gives it crisp edges but also a chewy texture.

Serious Eats Extra-Flaky Scallion Pancakes Recipe
Kitchn Scallion Pancakes

8. Cocktail bun

A Hong-Kong style sweet bun with a filling of shredded coconut, it’s a soft, pliable, light bun which is quite typical of Hong Kong-style breads. It is egg-washed which gives the bun a shiny, golden-brown exterior.

All Recipes Chinese Cocktail Buns
The Woks of Life Coconut Buns (Chinese Cocktail Buns)

All information sources are listed below:
Shaobing (
Source 1), Mantou (Source 1, Source 2), Youtiao (Source 1, Source 2), Nang (Source 1, Source 2), Girde Nan (Source 1, Source 2), Kompyang (Source 1), Cong You Bing (Source 1, Source 2), Cocktail Bun (Source 1, Source 2)