Go Back

Homemade Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) Recipe

Enjoy delicious homemade BBQ pork buns (char siu bao). It takes about 15 minutes to prep the easy dough recipe, come back to it a few hours later to make the filling and assemble the baos. You will be eating char siu baos within 4 hours but the recipe is flexible enough for you to prepare it overnight or in the morning and then assemble when you're ready. 

Course Dim Sum
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword char siu bao, steamed bbq pork bun
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
dough rise 2 hours
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 220 kcal
Author Sharon Wong


  • 1 packet yeast 2.5 teaspoon
  • 1 cup lukewarm water approximately 1/3 hot, 2/3 room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour and ~¼ cup on the side for dusting
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon olive oil divided
  • 1 pound cooked char siu* bbq pork
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce


Make the dough:

  1. Combine the yeast, lukewarm water, and sugar in a 2 cup measuring glass or medium bowl, stir to dissolve the sugar and break up any lumps of yeast, and set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy (so you know it's alive).

  2. In the meantime, combine 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and create a well in the center.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the well and stir together with a wooden spoon or fork until a shaggy dough forms.

  4. Use your hands or a plastic curved bowl scraper to incorporate the flour at the bottom of the bowl into the dough.
  5. If there’s a lot of flour at the bottom of the bowl or if the dough is stiff, add a tablespoon of water and knead until the dough is soft and pliable.
  6. If the dough is very wet, add a tablespoon of flour and gently knead until the dough is slightly sticky and still soft and pliable.

  7. Cover with some plastic wrap, drape with a clean dish cloth, and allow the dough to rise in a warm draft proof place until the dough is doubled in size (approximately 2 hours) or refrigerate overnight.

Make the filling:

  1. Dice the char siu into small pieces (discard any charred edges and large pieces of fat if you don’t like eating those parts).
  2. Heat up a medium frying pan, drizzle 1 teaspoon olive oil, swirl to coat.
  3. Add diced char siu and stir fry for one minute, until heated thru and slightly sizzling.

  4. Add honey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce to the char siu and stir fry for 1 minute until the sauce thoroughly coats the char siu, starts to bubble slightly and thickens, remove the frying pan from heat and allow the char siu mixture to cool.

Assemble the baos:

  1. Set up your steamer with a rack and approximately 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil on low heat. Cut parchment paper into 2 inch squares or use parchment paper cupcake liners.

  2. Lightly dust your hands, a rolling pin, and a cutting board or other clean work surface with flour.
  3. Use a scraper or sturdy spatula to scrape the dough on to your work surface, sprinkle a little bit of flour on the top, and gently roll the dough and shape into a log. Cut into 12 pieces and use lightly floured hands to shape each piece so that it’s round and flat (like a hockey puck).

  4. Use a rolling pin to roll dough flat, approximately ¼ inch thick and 4 inches wide, sprinkle a pinch of flour on your rolling pin and work surface if the dough seems sticky.

  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling into each center, and pleat the dough, and pinch close. 

  6. Place each bao on a parchment paper square or cupcake liner and repeat until 6 baos are assembled.

  7. Check on the steamer, raise the temperature to medium-high heat, and carefully place the baos in your rack. Be careful to balance the baos (place them on opposite sides rather than clockwise) so that the rack doesn't tip over into the water. Steam the baos for 10 minutes as you work to assemble the rest of the baos.

  8. When the baos are ready, remove the lid without dripping any condensation onto the baos, use tongs to transfer the baos to a plate, replenish the steaming water as needed, and continue steaming and assembling.
  9. The baos are best served warm and freshly steamed.
  10. Allow any remaining baos to cool to room temperature, wrap or store in an airtight container. Reheat by steaming for a few minutes or by covering with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 30-60 seconds.

Recipe Notes

*You can make your own Chinese style char siu (bbq pork) if you like, enjoy some for dinner and reserve about 1 pound for making char siu baos. https://www.nutfreewok.com/bbq-pork-char-siu-recipe/