Skip to main content

Steamed Char Siu Bao Buns

Susan Reid | May 5, 2020

These savory pork-filled buns can be steamed or baked. The bun is slightly sweet, and is a perfect counterpoint to a dish of soy-based dipping sauce.

Prep Time
3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Cook it With Our
Steamed Char Siu Bao Buns


  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy or tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce or sriracha (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup onion, diced
  • ¼ cup scallions, minced, greens and whites
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ¼ cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • sesame oil for brushing, optional


  1. For the filling, combine the hoisin, ketchup, soy (or tamari), chili sauce (or sriracha), sugar, and pepper; stir until smooth and set aside.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When it shimmers, add the onions and minced ginger. When the onions are translucent, add the scallions and pork. Cook stirring frequently until the meat is browned. Add the chicken broth and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the sesame oil and sauce. Cool completely. 
  3. For the dough, in a large mixing bowl or the pan of your bread machine (set on the Dough cycle), combine all the ingredients in the order listed and mix until a cohesive dough forms. Knead by hand on an oiled surface for 8 to 10 minutes, in a stand mixer for 6 to 8 minutes on medium speed, or by letting the bread machine finish its cycle. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  4. After the first rise, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, weighing about 2 ½ ounces each. Cover the dough balls while you work with one at a time.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into a 4 ½” circle. Have a small dish of water nearby. Wet the outer edge of the circle, then place a tablespoon of the filling into the center.  Stretch the sides up and over to encase the filling; gather and pinch the edges together. Pinch and twist the seam to seal, then put the bun seam side down on parchment squares on a baking sheet, leaving 2” between them. Repeat with the remaining buns. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. They won’t expand much, but will get a bit puffy-looking.
  6. Toward the end of the rise time, set up a large skillet with a cover; place a rack or trivet and ½” of water in the bottom. Cover tightly and place over medium-low heat.
  7. Alternately, you can bake the buns; if that’s your plan preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  8. When the buns are ready, remove the steamer lid and gently transfer the buns, parchment and all, onto the steamer rack. Leave 2” of space between the buns to allow for expansion. Cover the pan and set a timer for 20 minutes. When it goes off, place a digital thermometer into the center of one of the buns; when it reads 180°F the buns are ready.
  9. To bake, brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 
  10. When the buns are cooked, brush lightly with sesame oil if desired. Serve warm, with dipping sauce.
Skillet and Egg Logo
Skillet and Egg Logo
Contributed By: Susan Reid

Chef Susan Reid is the food editor of Sift Magazine, a baking publication by King Arthur Baking Company. In her spare time, Susan shares some of her recipes on her blog, The Well Plated Life

Complete Your Kitchen

We recommend these must-have products to help with this recipe.

Ratings background image.

How would you rate this recipe?

Thanks for rating

Recommended recipes you might like