Nikuman - 肉 ま ん

Nikuman [肉 ま ん] are boiled dumplings of Chinese origin, stuffed with pork and other ingredients. One of the snacks you can find at convenience stores in Japan. Basically, it's a loaf stuffed with ground pork and other ingredients and then steamed.

The Nikuman is light and soft, usually sits on top of a piece of wax paper. It can be found in the flavors of pork, beef, pizza, cheese and even the sweet taste of anko, azuki beans. In winter the shops that sell nikuman gets steamed, drawing a lot of attention.

The name nikuman means, NIKU (meat), MAN which refers to manju (typical Japanese sweet), made from anko which is also steamed and made from wheat flour.

There are several types of nikuman and manju with different fillings.
  • Anman (あ ん ま ん): with azuki bean filling.
  • Kare-man (カ レ ー ま ん): Filled with kare (curry).
  • Butaman (豚 ま ん): Stuffed with pork.
  • Cream cheese man: with cream cheese filling.
  • Pizza man - with pizza filling.
  • Choco-man - with chocolate filling.


  • 300 grams of wheat flour
  • 2 Pinches of Salt
  • 40 grams of sugar
  • 4 grams of yeast for granulated bread
  • 10 grams of baking powder
  • 40 ml of milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 15 grams of lard or oil
  • 150 grams of ground pork
  • 40 grams of Cooked Bamboo (optional)
  • 1 / 4 chopped onion
  • 1 small spoon of sesame oil
  • 1 Big Spoon Sugar
  • 1 large spoon of sake
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 Small Spoon of Chinese Oyster Sauce
  • 1 / 2 small spoon of salt
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 / 2 Tablespoon Potato Starch
  • 2 Mushrooms Shitakes Dried Fresh Chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger zest

NIKUMAN preparation method

  1. Mix all the ingredients of the dough with a spatula (without water and without milk), after mixing well put the water and milk and knead, without kneading, until it forms a homogeneous dough.
  2. Put in a bowl and cover with a plastic wrap
  3. Boil water and place in another larger bowl, put the bowl of pasta on top for 30 minutes
  4. After 30 minutes cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (use the scale to weigh if you need to)
  5. Make 8 balls and let it sit for another 15 minutes
  6. Open 16 balls into thin (not so thin) discs and tap the tips of the discs with your fingers
  7. Start stuffing and shaping, making small folds until you completely close the roll
  1. Chop all the vegetables and put in the pan to sauté
  2. Then add all remaining ingredients without ground beef, potato starch, salt and black pepper
  3. As soon as it gets cold mix the ground beef, potato starch, salt and black pepper
  4. Spread 8 equal parts and make a ball. Let stand for 15 minutes
Nikuman - N ま ん 1
  1. Put your steaming pan to a boil, line the part that will be placed the rolls with chard leaves.
  2. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat and place the loaves (with parchment paper), leaving space between them so they can grow. Cover and let them steam from 10 to 20 minutes

Video and images

  • Nikuman - N ま ん 2
  • Nikuman - N ま ん 3
  • Nikuman - N ま ん 4
  • Nikuman - N ま ん 5
  • Nikuman - N ま ん 6
  • Nikuman - N ま ん 7

※ Video and images courtesy of our partner and volunteer Norie.

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