Char Siu Bao (Part 2 of 2)

Even the best cooking pot will not produce food.
~ African Proverb

I am back with Part 2. This is where I use the filling made in my previous blog to make the buns. Sally commented in my first blog that she prefers the baked type. Oh yeah, that brings a point that there are two types of char sui bao (or char siu pau) — steamed and baked. The steamed ones like those shown below are the more common ones.



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm water



I used the bread machine to prepare the dough. For those who are interested to make this and do not have a bread machine, here is the manual instruction:

Put 3 cups of the flour into a bowl. Cut in shortening. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the yeast and add 1/3 cup of the warm water. Stir until yeast is dissolved.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, mix well. Combine flour mixture, yeast mixture and remaining 2/3 cup of water. Knead on lightly floured board for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a bowl.

IMG_3936_edited-1It is very easy to prepare the dough in the bread machine. You just have to put in all the ingredients according the manufacturer’s recommendation of the order you out in the ingredients. The dough will be ready for use in two hours.
IMG_3938_edited-1This recipe makes 18 buns. That’s a lot of dough to separate to 18 pieces, so I divided the dough into 2 portions. This makes it easier for me to roll each into logs.

I then sub-divided the log into 9 equal portions.

IMG_3941_edited-1I used a Chinese rolling pin to roll out the individual portion. The Chinese rolling pin is short and slim than the normal rolling pin and is great for rolling small portion of dough.The right way to roll out the dough is to start 1″ from the center and roll outward. This way, you will get a dough with a thicker center and thin edges.
IMG_3940_edited-1Place one tablespoon of the Char Siu filling in the center of the dough. Do not put too much filling and do not get any oil onto the edges of the dough. Trust me on this because you will have trouble pinching the edges together once there is oil on the edges.
IMG_3943_edited-1Form the bun by pulling the dough up and around the filling. Pinch and seal the seams. Pleat the seams to form a bundle.
IMG_3942_edited-1Seal the edges by giving it a slight twist and pinching with your thumb and forefinger.

Place the bun on a parchment paper.

Repeat the above steps until all the buns are formed.Let the buns rest for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the buns to rise.

IMG_3946_edited-1While waiting for the buns to rise, bring a pot of water to a boil. After the buns have risen, place the buns in a steamer and steam for 15 minutes.

Note: Leftover buns may be served after reheating by steaming.

The buns are best served hot — when it is soft and moist. What makes this great is a very moist filling. My kids like it so much that they can gobbled up 4 buns in a go. As a matter of fact, all 18 buns were gobbled up by all four of us in less than 1 hr! Yummy!

I will blog the baked version some other time.

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  1. Mandrina

    Hi Suanne,
    Thank you “Chow Times”. It is so interesting and refreshing. I really enjoyed browsing the different recipes and looking at the nice pictures. Looking at them, inspire me to try my hand at it, though still find the time yet.

  2. Suanne

    Hi Mandrina,

    Thank you for visiting Chow Times and appreciate your comments.


  3. Denise

    Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. I made these for my family this evening and they were absolutely delicious! Just like from the restaurant, I couldn’t get over how yummy they were!

  4. Karen

    This is the best site I have seen on Char Siu Bao. Especially on the use of the bread machine. I need to make these for a group in July–you have made it easy. Thanks

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