Print Recipe

Char Siu Bao {Pork Steamed Buns}

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 12 buns


  • For the dough:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour sifted through fine mesh strainer (plus more for kneading)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil plus more as needed
  • For the filling:
  • 1 lb pork loin cut into thin strips, then diced
  • 1 T chili paste
  • 1/2 T onion powder
  • 1/2 T granulated garlic
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 T chicken stock or water
  • 1/2-1 T cornstarch
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1/2 C napa cabbage shredded
  • 2 T cilantro minced


  • Add the package of yeast to the 1/2 C warm water. Let sit until bubbling.
  • Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
  • Slowly whisk in the warm milk and canola oil until the dough begins to come together.
  • Transfer to a well floured counter top and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). OR Place in stand mixer with dough hook. Turn on medium for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and place the dough ball inside. Rub a small amount of oil over entire ball. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest and rise for 1 hour.
  • For the filling, toss the pork with the chili paste, onion powder, granulated garlic and soy sauce.
  • Heat 2 T canola oil over high heat in a large saucepan, then add the pork mixture.
  • Once meat is almost cooked through, add fish sauce, brown sugar, chicken stock and cornstarch.
  • Reduce until sauce has thickened slightly. Add the napa cabbage and cilantro and sauté until soft.
  • Once the dough is ready, roll it into a long rope. Cut the rope into 12 equal portions, rolling each into its own ball.
  • For the buns, roll one portion of dough out into a 4" circle. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling in the center, then pinch the edges together at the top.
  • Set on parchment paper and cover lightly with a clean towel while you finish filling the others.
  • To steam the buns, coat the bottom of a steaming rack with cabbage leaves and bring water to a boil.
  • Steam the buns a few at a time until dough is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Be sure not to crowd the steamer, as the buns will stick together.