Char Siu Bao Recipe: Sweet and Savory Steamed Buns

Indulge in the delicious flavors of Char Siu Bao with this easy-to-follow recipe. Perfect for entertaining or a quick snack.

Char Siu Bao is a classic Chinese dish that consists of steamed buns filled with a sweet and savory pork filling. These buns are soft, fluffy, and bursting with flavor. They are a popular street food in China and are often enjoyed as a snack or as a meal. In this recipe, we will show you how to make Char Siu Bao buns from scratch, including the dough and the filling.


  • For the dough:
    • All-purpose flour: 3 cups
    • Sugar: 3 tablespoons
    • Active dry yeast: 2 teaspoons
    • Warm water: 1 cup
    • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
    • Vegetable oil: 2 tablespoons
    • Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon
  • For the filling:
    • Char Siu pork: 1 pound
    • Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
    • Rice wine: 2 tablespoons
    • Honey: 2 tablespoons
    • Hoisin sauce: 2 tablespoons
    • Sesame oil: 1 teaspoon
    • Five spice powder: 1 teaspoon
    • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
    • Ginger: 1 inch, grated
    • Green onions: 2, chopped

Preparation Method:

  1. Start by making the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and baking powder. Gradually add the warm water and mix until a soft dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the Char Siu pork, soy sauce, rice wine, honey, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, five spice powder, garlic, ginger, and green onions. Mix well.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball and fill with 1-2 tablespoons of the pork filling.
  5. Place the buns in a steamer basket, leaving enough space between each bun for them to expand. Cover the basket with a damp cloth and let the buns rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Fill a wok or large saucepan with water and place the steamer basket on top. Bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Steam the buns for 10-12 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and puffed up.
  7. Serve the Char Siu Bao buns warm, either on their own or with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure the water in the steamer does not touch the bottom of the steamer basket, as this can cause the buns to stick.
  • For a sweeter filling, add more honey to the pork mixture.
  • For a spicier filling, add some chili flakes or diced chili peppers to the pork mixture.


  • Char Siu Bao can also be made with chicken or beef filling instead of pork.
  • For a vegetarian version, try using tofu or mushrooms as the filling.


Char Siu Bao is a delicious and versatile dish that is easy to make at home. With this recipe, you can enjoy the taste of authentic Chinese buns in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re a fan of sweet and savory flavors or prefer a spicier or vegetarian filling, Char Siu Bao is a recipe that is sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients and give it a try today!

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