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Char Siu Bao: Chinese Barbecued Pork Buns

Char Siu Bao: Chinese Barbecued Pork Buns

Pillowy Tangzhong baked buns with Chinese Barbecue Flavored Pork as filling.
By Elaine Luo


Pillow soft baked buns with Chinese BBQ pork-Char Siu Bao.

If you ever tasted Char Siu, you will love the well-balanced savory taste. Char Siu pork is an important ingredient for many other recipes including Egg Foo Yong and steamed char siu bao.


The bun recipe adopts a water-roux method, which gives them a pillow soft texture even after reheating. Nowadays, the water roux proofing method has become quite popular with Chinese housewives, including me. For the char siu pork part, some Cantonese Chinese restaurants might offer sliced char siu pork or you can try to make some at home. For steamed bbq pork buns, please check Chinese BBQ pork buns. That’s another version you cannot miss.

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Char Siu Bao: Chinese Barbecued Pork Buns

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  • Author: Elaine Luo
  • Yield: Makes 12 larger buns or 16 middle size buns 1x


Pillowy Tangzhong baked buns with Chinese Barbecue Flavored Pork as filling.



For the filling

  • 60g (2 ounces) Char Siu pork, finely cut into small dices
  • 2 tablespoon homemade char siu sauce or use the following ingredients
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon char siu sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce


  • 20g (0.7 ounces) flour
  • 100g (2.5 ounces) water

For the main dough

  • 195g (7 ounces) bread flour
  • 90g (3 ounces) cake flour
  • 6g (0.2 ounces) instant yeast
  • 30g (1 ounce) sugar
  • 6g (0.2 ounces) salt
  • 1 middle size egg
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) milk
  • 45g (1.6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened under room temperature

Brushing and decorating

  • 1 tablespoon whisked egg
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter


  1. In a small pan, mix flour with water and then keep stirring over a low flame until the mixture becomes thicker and thicker. And the lines of your spatula will not disappear directly. Remove from heat and cool down.
  2. Transfer the water roux(TangZhong Starter)mixture into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge at least overnight (I usually use around 2 days).
  3. Before making the main dough, move the water roux to room temperature to set for around 30 minutes.
  4. Add all the ingredients including milk, egg and tangzhong into a bread maker or a large mixing bowl. Then add the sugar, flour and yeast.
  5. Select the “dough” mode to knead until the dough becomes elastic for around 10 minutes or you can do this by hand.
  6. And then add butter in and select the “dough” mode once again until the dough is enough elastic (you can make a flour glove from the dough). Set aside for the first proofing until doubled in size or 2.5 times of the original size. The time needed is depending on your room temperature. In winter days, we might need hours.
  7. Transfer the dough to a clean-floured board and then divide into 8 equal portions. If you plan to make smaller ones, you can choose 12 portions and bake by batch. Cover with plastic warp and reset for around 15 minutes.
  8. And during this period, let’s make the filling. Cut the Char Siu pork into dices and then mix with the homemade Char Siu sauce in this recipe or add chopped red onions, smashed garlic, char siu sauce and oyster sauce. Mix well and set aside.
  9. Take one portion out, press down to around wrapper. Scoop around 1 tablespoon Char Siu pork filling to the center. Seal the bun completely and then turn it over. Repeat the process to assemble all the other buns.
  10. Transfer to a baking sheet and then wait for the second proofing, around 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree C. Brushing some whisked egg and decorate with white sesame seeds on top.
  12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until well golden brown colored.
  13. (optional)brushing some melted butter and serve after cooling down for several minutes.
  • Category: Baking, Side
  • Cuisine: Chinese


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