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The char siu bao is a dimsum staple. Sweet, juicy bits of Chinese bbq pork oozing out of the soft, sweet bun.

The secret to creating that char siu bao taste is to use dried onions (McCormicks). Please look up the Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns that accompanies this recipe.

If you don't have steamer baskets, use a wok or a big pot with a vegetable steamer (or an inverted bowl), but place the buns on a heat proof plate to steam, so to avoid being splashed by the water beneath. If you live near a Chinatown, you can easily get a steamer rack for less than a dollar (you can find them in the "aisle" outside the shop, by the sidewalk -- what marketers would call term "the impulse buy placement". Go figure.)

For the Basic Yeast Dough Recipe, see Useful Link below.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 20 pieces


Cost per serving $0.37 view details
  • 1 portion of Basic Yeast Dough
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup Chinese rice wine / sherry
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 lb barbeque pork (char siu), diced small ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ cup dried onion flakes soaked in ¼ cup of water
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted
  • 20 pieces of 2 x 2 wax paper


  1. Prepare the dough: Make 1 recipe of Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns. Make sure you cover the finished dough with a damp tea cloth.
  2. Preparing the filling: Mix all the sauce ingredients (oyster sauce, hoisin, soy, sesame oil, wine, sugar, cornstarch and water) together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add all the sauce mixture into the pan. Stir. Add the diced pork to the saucepan. Cook on low until the sauce glazes the pork. Add the reconstituted dried onion and sesame seeds and toss together to mix. Let the filling cool before proceeding.
  3. Folding the bao: Take a dough portion, work into a round ball about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten it into a 4-inch round with a rolling pin about ¼ inch thick. Make sure the edges are half as thin as the center. Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of filling into dough. Pull the sides to meet at the center, making a ruffled fold as you work. Pinch the top together and give it a twist to seal. Pinch off any extra dough at the top. Place onto a piece of waxed paper.
  4. Place buns in steamer about 2 inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Allow buns to rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
  5. Place steamer over the simmering water for 15 minutes, or until bun is well risen. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 39g
Recipe makes 20 servings
Calories 86  
Calories from Fat 39 45%
Total Fat 4.42g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.77g 3%
Trans Fat 0.01g  
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 174mg 7%
Potassium 91mg 3%
Total Carbs 6.27g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 4.4g 3%
Protein 4.25g 7%



  • Mihir Shah
    August 4, 2008
    Made these - wonderful! I did make one mistake with the Chinese Rice Wine. Make sure you boil some of this off when cooking - I had the flame too low and it left the too strong a taste of the wine. Will definitely make again.
    I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
    • Andrea Faz
      August 5, 2008
      My favorite dim sum dish. The dough is not dry at all, and the pork stuffing is AMAZAING!
      I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
      • Maralyn D Hill
        February 19, 2010
        This is great. My own recipe was with crab and pork.
        I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
        • A.L. Wiebe
          May 4, 2011
          Linda, I have to tell you that I saved this recipe some months ago, trying to find the time to make the buns. Luckily, I finally got to make the filling tonight, and will finish them off in the morning. So...long story long, lol...the filling is to die for! I used to buy these at the grocery store, but more and more often, had found them to be too full of gristle and once even found a shard of bone. That turned me right off, even though I still craved them. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, and enabling my cravings!
          By the way, this filling is much better tasting the store bought.
          I've cooked/tasted this recipe!
          • Trinisoul
            November 21, 2012
            Enjoyed it and would be making it again
            I've cooked/tasted this recipe!


            • Kyra Martin
              April 30, 2013
              These look so delicious, but I don't have a steamer. Is there another way to steam them or do I need to go buy a steamer?
              • ShaleeDP
                February 19, 2013
                This is like our version of Siopao. It looks good too.
                • May 6, 2012
                  The best meat marinade in the world!..... will leave a fillet steak standing! Haven't tried this one yet but have made one in my colletion,,, The absolute BEST!!!!!!
                  • Smokinhotchef
                    February 19, 2012
                    I have always been fascinated with the appearance of these little guys. The recipe sounds amazing and I can't wait to try it!!
                    • Krystyna Cooks in Sydney
                      September 14, 2009
                      I watched Martha Stewart Show yesterday (Sunday13th September 2009) in SYDNEY, AUSTRALA I mention my country ONLY because we ARE WAY BEHIND in seeing US shows
                      Michael BAO of BAOGUETTES made a VIENAMESE Spicy Sloppy Joe The recipe is called SLOPPY BAO he created it for his wife who likes a spicier version of an American legendary dish
                      Regards Krystyna
                      • Biohazard
                        March 10, 2009
                        quite a yum recipe thanx
                        • Biohazard
                          March 10, 2009
                          quite a yum recipe thanx

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