Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns – Char Siu Bao

February 14th, 2010


Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the Tiger has just begun and I decided to celebrate by making my first ever steamed barbeque pork buns.


The thing I love about barbecued pork buns is how sweet they are. I tend to add a tablespoon of sugar or more to most savoury dishes I make, although these go one step further – and I’m not complaining. 🙂


They do go well with other yum cha dishes as well, like some dumplings I recently made and I’ll have to post on them when I’ve perfected the recipes a bit more…


Enjoy! And Happy Chinese New Year! (I hope those who are celebrating Valentines Day also have a great day and weekend!)


Recipes altered by me from a number of websites.

Barbeque Pork

Makes enough for 48 buns, or Serves: 4

1 kg boned pork shoulder roast, large pieces of fat removed
½ cup hoisin sauce
½ cup soy sauce
1/ cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon sugar

Slice the pork into 2-3 cm thick slices. Mix together all other ingredients and place in a bowl. Add the pork and marinate for a few hours, or preferably overnight.



Preheat the oven to 200C and pour some water into a large roasting pan (not enough to reach the metal roasting rack). Place the pork on the roasting rack over the water. Cook for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160C and cook for a further 30-40 minutes, turning and brushing on more marinade for a few times.



Once cooked, serve as is, or slice up. Alternatively, save it for pork buns, by allowing it to cool and using it once cooled or after storing in the fridge.


Barbeque Pork Filling

Makes enough for 24 buns

500g barbeque pork, (see recipe above) diced
1 spring onion/ shallot, finely sliced or chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1½ tablespoons cornflour mixed with ¼ cup water

Mix together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and honey.

Heat a small saucepan or wok on medium/high heat. Add the oil, then the sliced spring onion. Cook for ½ minute, add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the pork, stir for ½ minute, then add the sauce, mix, followed by the cornflour mixed with water.

Once the mixture comes together, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool, for use in the pork buns later.


Bun Dough

Makes: 24

1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon yeast (~7g)
4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup boiling water

Mix together the lukewarm water, caster sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Leave for 10-20 minutes for the yeast to activate, while you get the rest of your ingredients ready.


Mix together the boiling water with the white sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cool the water. Cool until lukewarm.

Add 3½ cups of the flour and the warm water to the yeast mixture. Mix to form a dough and then turn out onto a bench with the remaining ½ cup flour on it. Knead for a few minutes until the dough comes together nicely. Place in a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Leave for 1-2 hours in a warm place, until the dough has risen to double its size.



Tip the dough onto a lightly floured bench and lightly knead. Divide dough into 2 portions. Roll out one portion into a cylinder shape which is easy to divide. Divide into 12 portions. Roll out each portion into a small circle, large enough to fit a teaspoon of pork filling in the middle and to pull four sides of the circle, or pleat the edges to enclose the filling. Twist the top of the dough to seal the bun. Do the same with the remaining dough and mixture.




Place completed buns on pieces of baking paper in a bamboo steamer and cook straight away or leave for up to an hour before steaming over boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve.





  1. Trissa says:

    You are one talented lady! These buns would Give any yum cha place a run for its money!

  2. FFichiban says:

    Happy CNY ^^! Oh myyy that bbq pork lookss soo sticky and delicious mmm havent had char sao bao in agggessss

  3. Amazing job Anita! They look superb! 😀 Happy Chinese New Year to you!

  4. Rilsta says:

    These look so yummy! Good on you for making your own filling and dough!

  5. Great job bbqing your own pork – it looks lovely and shiny! It’s cool that your buns are yeasted too.

  6. Alloronan says:

    Oh man, steamed pork buns make me melt a little on the inside. Definitely going to try these, they look great!

  7. Gung Hei Fat Choi! This looks so amazing. I just wanted to reach out and grab one of them, too bad the monitor got in my way. 😀

  8. Barbara says:

    Wow! Is that ever impressive! I love the caramelized pork and the buns look delicious! Why can’t you be my neighbor???

  9. Jeanne says:

    I love pork buns! This is a great tutorial, and all the photos are excellent!

  10. Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fat Choi!

    These bbq pork buns are so fluffy and delicious! That makes me so home-sick already 🙂

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  11. Juliana says:

    Wow, you made these buns from the scratch? Nice! They buns look delicious…great job 🙂

  12. I am SO impressed that you managed to actually have any pork leftover to make the buns, it looks so delicious I wouldn’t be able to stop myself eating the whole lot as it is! Still, I’m glad you did – those buns look fantastic 🙂

  13. Gong Hei Fatt Choy! I love how you even made the barbeque pork yourself! I woiuld have probably bought it and eaten half of it before it even makes it into the buns… 🙂

  14. marcellina says:

    I too, made chinese steamed pork buns for Chinese New Year. Aren’t they so yum! Yours look delicious. Well done!

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