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Chinese BBQ pork buns cut open and stacked on top of each other on plate
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5 from 11 votes

BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) are hugely popular in China for dim sum. These fluffy glazed buns are stuffed with a sweet and savory BBQ pork.
Prep Time2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time3 hours
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 16
Author: Kevin



BBQ Pork Filling

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp water


  • 3 tbsp corn syrup
  • 2 tsp water



  • Make the Tangzhong: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup flour with 1/2 cup hot water and 1/3 cup milk until the flour is dissolved. Put the pan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture resembles a thick paste, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with dough hook attached, combine remaining 3 2/3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the flour paste (tangzhong), remaining 2/3 cup milk, egg, and the butter. Stir on Low until dough comes together. Turn speed up to Medium and knead dough for 15 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the dough into a ball and place into lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise for 1 hour (See Note 1).

BBQ Pork Filling

  • Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat in a skillet or wok. Add the shallot and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the sugar, light and dark soy sauces, oyster sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, Five Spice Powder and white pepper. Stir and cook until it starts to bubble up, about a minute. Add the chopped BBQ pork and sprinkle the flour over all. Toss to coat and mix in. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the chicken stock, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring for 3 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Assembly/Dough (continued)

  • After the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it over onto a floured surface, knead several times. Roll into a ball and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Cover the pieces you aren’t working on with damp tea towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
  • Shape each cut piece into a small ball. Using the palm of your hand, press down to flatten the dough ball. Shape each circle by hand or with rolling pin, keeping the center slightly thicker than the edges. I use my fingers to press and spread the dough, leaving a mound of dough taller in the center than the edges.
  • Place 2+ tablespoons of the filling on the center of the dough circle.
  • Bring the edges up and around filling to the center and pinch together. (If there is too much dough, pinch it off and discard and pinch dough to seal again).
  • Place filled dough ball pinched side down on floured surface.  Place your palm and fingers over the ball, cupping the dough and move the dough in a small circular motion to seal the pinched bottom. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Lay each seam side down on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicon mat. Cover with damp tea towel again and let rise for another hour (See Note 2). Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Brush each bun with egg wash and put them in the oven, bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and brush tops with glaze. Allow to cool slightly before eating.



  1. I keep it in the microwave, it's a tight small draft free space and it rises great.
  2. At this point I often times freeze half of them for another day. Seal in an airtight container or Ziploc bag after frozen. Thaw and allow to come to room temperature before baking as directed above.
  3. Recipe adapted from Woks of Life


Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 614mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg