Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao) Recipe -
Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao) Recipe

Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

Recipe by  

"You may find these buns in the local Chinese restaurants. They do take time to make but they are yummy!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 24 buns Change Servings


  1. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1 3/4 cups warm water, and then add the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until mixture is frothy. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons shortening and the yeast mixture; mix well.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover it with a sheet of cling wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has tripled in bulk.
  3. Cut the pork into 2 inch thick strips. Use fork to prick it all over. Marinate for 5 hours in a mixture made with 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, and 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce. Grill the pork until cooked and charred. Cut roasted port into 1/2 inch cubes.
  4. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Mix cornstarch with 2 1/2 tablespoons water; add to the saucepan, and stir until thickened. Mix in 2 tablespoons lard or shortening, sesame oil, and white pepper. Cool, and mix in the roasted pork.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a long roll, and divide it into 24 pieces. Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. The center of the circle should be thicker than the edge. Place one portion of the pork filling in the center of each dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch edges to form the bun. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Steam buns for 12 minutes. Serve.
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  • Note
  • Hoisin sauce, also called Peking sauce, is a thick, reddish-brown sauce that is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It's a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chile peppers and various spices. It can be found in Asian markets and many large supermarkets. Look in the Asian or ethnic section. If this item is not in stock at your local store, ask your grocer to special order it for you. Most grocers will be happy to do this for their customers.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 25, 2004

The filling was good but doesn't quite capture the same flavor as restaurant char siu buns. But still a hit among family and friends.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 25, 2004

The dough recipe was perfect, albeit very large. The stuffing however was pretty bad. I have made quite a few chinese dishes and this had the worst flavor. It needs to be sweeter and more vibrant. Next time I will use less oyster sauce and add honey and ginger.

Jan 25, 2004

I was really nervous making baos for the first time for my husband who comes from a chinese family, but they all loved them and my husband couldnt get enough of them. He said that they are better than at the chinese store.

Feb 19, 2004

I only made the bun portion of this recipe. I tried it twice and both times the dough came out crumbly and dry. The buns turned out so-so, not very moist and kind of dense. I had much better results with the Chinese Steamed Buns recipe which required more steps. I will not be using this recipe again.

Aug 30, 2010

The taste was wonderful. In the recipe it says finely chopped pork, but the directions say to cut into 1/2 cubes. I think it would be best if the pork is shredded and a little more than 1 pound for 24, maybe 1 1/2 lb.

Dec 22, 2010

These are wonderful. I make them all the time in big batches and freeze the ones that we don't eat for dinner since they freeze really well and can just be microwaved later.

Feb 12, 2008

I followed the recipe for the dough, but found it needed an extra 1/2 cup of milk to really get it to the right consistency. As for the filling, I've always added diced scallions, shallots, and garlic to my cha siu bau. This is one of the few recipies that accurately calls for baking soda in the dough, though, so I give it 4 stars.

Dec 06, 2008

This recipe was very time consuming, but ultimately worth it. It made large, plump buns that my family adored. I did add another 1/4 cup of water to the dough, and I could have used almost twice the meat and sauce filling. I think I'll make the dough sweeter next time. I will absolutely try this recipe again.


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  • Calories
  • 191 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 28.3 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 12 mg
  • 4%
  • Fat
  • 5.2 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 7.3 g
  • 15%
  • Sodium
  • 196 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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