Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Seremban Siew Bao

The little town of Seremban south of KL is famous for its Siew Bao. The Seremban Siew Bao is a baked crispy bun with char-siew pork fillings. When it was introduced in the late 1980s this was the rave around the country.

Today there are many siew bao’s around but still many swears that the best siew baos can only be found in Seremban. I tend to agree.


Many of the great siew baos are made on the spot. There used to be large baking ovens installed so that they are served fresh and hot off the ovens.

However, the ones I bought was not made on the premises. They are a bit flat and dry on the insides.


The most important thing about a good siew bao is that the pastry must be flaky and at the same time, the meat fillings must be moist and juicy.

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  1. Rasa Malaysia

    Hey Ben,

    Even though you said they were dry, but I can see that the “juice” coming out of them…:)

  2. Rasa Malaysia

    I just clicked on translation on your site and had it translated to Chinese…man, so funny! I like the way they translate Rasa Malaysia and Chow Times. You should check it out.

  3. Ben

    Hi Rasa Malaysia:
    I have tried better and juicier siew paus. The ones I had is not really dry but they certainly is not as juicy as I would have liked them. BTW, Suanne and I can’t read chinese!

  4. Chubbypanda

    Oooh… A style of BBQ pork bun I haven’t tried yet. This goes one the Must Eat list!

    – CP

  5. LotusRapper

    Baked cripsy BBQ pork bun …. interesting. Kind of like the northern Chinese “jian bau” (pan-fried stuffed bun crispy on bottom).

    Locally I really like the steamed buns at New Town Bakery in Chinatown and on Cambie. Big juicy and fresh, the stuffing is always moist and tasty. Of the two locations, only Chinatown one qualifies as a true bakery/restaurant where you can eat-in. In fact I like going there on early Saturday mornings and get a hearty breaky of steamed or baked buns, fresh coffee and watch the old timers (“loh wah kiew”) argue politics and whatnots.

  6. Anita

    Those look like they’d taste much better with chocolate pudding … not sure about the meat fillings.

  7. sally

    Awhile back you had a recipe for steamed char sau baos and I suggested trying the baked ones. See the difference? So much better!!!

  8. Ben

    Hi LotusRapper:
    This bun is is oven baked and not panfried. The pastry is somewhat like what you find in croissant although much heavier. BTW, you sure know your chinese food!

    Hi Anita:
    Perhaps it’s a bit strange to you to have meat in these kind of bun, but trust me, if you bring yourself to try one of them, I bet you can’t have just one.

    Hi Sally:
    Do you, by any chance, have the recipe for making this?

  9. sally

    I found this recipe here. I unfortunately have never made it because living in Boston I get to buy them freshly made… But, the recipe sounds close to the ones you described.

  10. Suanne

    Hi Sally, thank you for the recipe link. But from the dough recipe, its more like a bun type and not the flaky type as in Seremban Siew Pau.

  11. Ju

    I grew up with these. The crust is dry and flaky, but the inside is flavorful and juicy. I remember getting them when they were fresh off the oven. They are simply yummy.

    1. Ben

      Hi Ju:

      I am sure if someone in Metro Vancouver makes Seremban Siew Pau, it will be an instant hit. Suanne makes them at home and it is not exactly like the way it is made in Seremban … but it is certainly as close as one can make in this part of the world. I was asking Suanne about this and she says that it’s all in the pastry which she doesn’t know (yet) what the secret is. Check out Suanne’s recipe for the Siew Pau here


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