Cha Siu Bao – Steamed BBQ Pork Bun 叉燒包
Steamed bun or simply Bao in Chinese, has been one of the hottest (pun intended) snack/appetizer I’ve been serving up this holiday season. In celebrating the upcoming holidays and the New Year as well as to fulfill my promise on sharing your favorite dumpling/bao recipe from NYC dumpling festival ’15 (btw, it’s an awesome event that you should all check out next year), I am very excited to share the joy of this very delicious Cantonese style Cha Siu Bao recipe. BBQ Pork Bun recipe.
Depending on where you see it, Cha Siu Bao is aka Char Siu Bao or Steamed BBQ Pork Bun or Cha Siew Bao or 叉燒包) is one of the most popular items if not THE most popular Dim Sum dish around the world. The combination of rich and savory cha siu filling and fluffy and pillowy sweet dough makes a great snack/breakfast/dessert item! With holiday season going full force, these buns are also perfect as finger food.
As a side note, you might also have seen a baked version of Roast Pork Bun which has a similar taste but made with this milk bread dough. I’ll share a recipe later if there is a level of interest.
The Dough and Filling
Now, for you avid home cooks who already perfected the traditional steamed pork buns, you’ll notice that compared to traditional pork bun recipe, this recipe has:
- Higher sugar content in the dough
- Use of cake flour and start dough
These differences result in a much sweeter and significantly lighter, softer, puffier, and almost cake-like steamed bun.
As for the BBQ pork (char siu) filling, I encourage you to make your own char siu following this easy char siu recipe. It’s easy to make and a lot of the time tastes better than the store bought roast pork. If you want to make the filling really authentic, you’ll need use fatty cut of char siu. That’ll make your buns extra juicy.
One more thing to point out is the appearance. If you looked at the images carefully, you would notice certain buns with that signature “smiling-cracks” you always see from the store bought version. I have included some notes in the recipe explaining how to create these cracks but the ones without cracks taste just as good.
It’s not an easy dish to make but with some practice and patience, you can create some seriously delicious and fluffy buns like the ones you get from your favorite Dim Sum place.
Before you jump onto this step-by-step recipe, I’d encourage you to check out the basic steamed bun (mantou) recipe, traditional steamed pork bun (baozi) recipe, and the baozi video tutorial if you have not done so. Those tutorials will give you a general idea of steamed bun making process and make making these Char Siu Bao a lot less intimidating.
Steamed BBQ Bun
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
- 200g Cake flour
- 115g water/milk
- 1tbsp sugar
- 1tsp active dry yeast
- 315g Starter Dough (see above)
- 100g cake flour
- 80g sugar
- 20g water
- 10g butter
- 1/2tsp baking powder*
- 1/2tsp Ammonia Bicarbonate*
BBQ Pork Filling
- 100g roast pork (char siu)
- 125g water
- 25g sugar
- 10g corn starch
- 1tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1/2tbsp oyster sauce
- 1tsp cooking wine
- Salt to taste, about 3g