Char Siew Bao

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A classic in dimsum restaurants worldwide, here’s how to create the perfect Chinese steamed pork bun at home!

Let's start cooking!

Pour yeast powder into cup of water

Step 1 - Activate yeast

  • To prepare the dough, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water.
  • Add 1 cup of flour.
  • Mix thoroughly and cover with a cloth.
  • Leave to rise for an hour until bubbles appear.
Stir-fry pork cubes with soy sauce in a hot pan

Step 2 - Stir-fry pork

  • Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a wok, stir fry spring onion and garlic for 30 seconds, then add pork and stir fry for another 1 minute.
  • Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp oyster sauce, and 1 Tbsp sugar , then pour in dissolved cornstarch.
  • Stir fry quickly until pork is glazed, then set aside to cool.
Knead dough on wooden board to make buns

Step 3 - Prepare dough and leave to proof

  • Dissolve sugar and vegetable oil in ½ cup boiling water, stirring well.
  • Set aside to cool, then pour into yeast mixture.
  • Add 3½ cups flour and mix well.
  • Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth.
  • Put into extra large, greased bowl in a warm place.
  • Cover with damp cloth.
  • Let rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
Wrap bun step by step guide

Step 4 - Wrap buns and leave to proof

  • On a floured board, knead dough 1 minute and roll into one long, sausage-like roll, 5 cm in diameter.
  • Slice the roll crosswise into 1 inch pieces.
  • Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand and roll with rolling pin into 3 inch rounds.
  • Place 2 Tbsp of filling in center of each round.
  • Gather dough up around the filling by pleating along the edges.
  • Bring the pleats up and twist securely and firmly.
  • Place each bun on 2 inch square of baking paper on steamer tray.
  • Cover with a towel. Let rise 1 hour, until dough springs back when touched with finger.

!Plate and Serve

Char siew buns served in wooden steam basket

Remove towel. Steam in a bamboo steamer over boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve hot, with other types of dimsum and Chinese tea.

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