Chinese BBQ Pork Buns(Char Siu Bao)

If you like Chinese BBQ pork, then this recipe is a great combination of BBQ pork and soft Chinese steamed buns. Chinese BBQ Pork bun is also known as Char Siu Bao (叉烧包)in Chinese and is a featured dish in Cantonese dim sum.

There are two ways of making Chinese BBQ Pork buns: one is steamed Chinese BBQ Pork buns introduced by Elaine today and the other type is baked Chinese BBQ pork buns.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

In order to make perfect Chinese BBQ Pork buns at home, Choose pork belly rather than tenderloin.

Usually Chinese BBQ Pork can be made with pork belly or tenderloin. I have introduced how to make Chinese Char Siu with pork tenderloin and roasted pork belly with oyster and honey. In order to make the filling juicy, I high recommend using pork belly rather than tenderloin.

There are two parts concerning about making those yummy buns: filling and wrapper.

Let’s begin with the filling.

Choose a pork belly with some fat, and then marinade with dark soy sauce, char siu sauce and light soy sauce for at least 4 hours. Then roast 30 minutes with 400 degree F.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

And then cut the char siu pork into small dices. Mix with ginger sauce and chopped shallots. Add the left marinating sauce.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Then we begin to make the wrapper. The wrapper of this Chinese BBQ pork bun is similar with regular bun wrappers. Firstly we need to make dough for Chinese steamed buns. I have list the detailed instructions in Chinese steamed buns.

Then cut the dough into small section and further roll out to a wrapper.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Do not make the wrapper too thin. It should have around 0.5 cm thickness.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

And then wrap the buns one by one. Instruction how to fold Baozi is listed previously.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns


Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Steam for around 15 minutes and I guess you love those soft , yummy and juicy buns the same as me.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

I am using Chinese Bamboo Steamer Set to steam all  my steamed buns and I highly recommend your get one if you love pillow soft buns the same as me. Those bamboo steamer can provide a better vapor  condition with some extra freshness of Bamboo.

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Making 10 to 12 buns

Serve: 4

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns

Homemade soft and yummy steamed Chinese BBQ Pork Buns.


  • 1 tablespoon peanuts oil for brushing
  • Marinating sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Char Siu sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • Filling
  • 500g Pork belly
  • 1 root ginger chopped and soaks with 1 tablespoon of warm water to make ginger water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Wrapper
  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 250g water


  1. Get a large bowl; pour all the ingredients for marinade sauce together. Put the pork into marinade sauce. Do a little message to the pork. Cover the bowl and put into refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Place the pork on the ovenware. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn over once during the process.
  2. Cut the roasted pork belly into small cubes and then mix other ingredients for the filling. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the dough according to the instruction here.
  4. Then firstly shape the dough into a long log around 5 cm in diameter and then cut the long log into 12 equal portions. Take one portion out, press it slightly and then roll out to a around wrapper using rolling pin.
  5. Place around 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper and seal the bun completely. Adjust the amount of filling accordingly if you are quite confident about your assembling skill.
  6. Pour some cold water in wok and set up the steamer.
  7. Brush some oil on the bottom and place the buns one by one in your steamer. Leave some spaces between each other as they will expand along with the steaming process. Cover the lid of your steamer and rest the buns for around 10 to 20 minutes until they becomes fluffy again.
  8. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes after the water beginning to boil;
  9. Turn off the fire and wait for 5 minutes. Transfer the buns out and serve hot!


Do wait for at least 5 minutes before lifting the cover of your steamer, otherwise the buns might collapse.

Chinese BBQ Pork


    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Irina,

      Thanks for the comment. Childhood food is a nice memory. Each time when I am making some familiar food from childhood,I will think about the back days and sometimes get touched.

      Hope you enjoy.

  1. Donovan says

    Hi Elaine! I would like to give your Baozi a try. I have a few question though. When I make the wrappers for the bao do I make them exactly the same as you describe making the chinese steam buns?. Do I roll the dough for the bao into a one inch thick roll and cut them like your pictures show?. Or do I need more dough to make a bao wrapper?. Also when using 500 grams of flour how many bao will it make?. Then one last question I have is how much filling do I put in each bao wrapper? Thank you for your wonderful blog. I am so looking forward to trying your recipes as I love chinese food. :)

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Donovan,
      I have updated the recipe for more details. Yes, we need to roll the dough into a long log and cut into portions just like making Chinese steamed buns. Then roll each portion into a round wrapper.
      There is no strict limit of the filling, but I would suggest starting with a smaller amount like around 1 tablespoon because too much filling might cause trouble in the later assembling process. Sure you can add more.
      Usually for 50 grams flour, I can make around 12 buns.
      Thanks for your trust and wish you good luck. Happy cooking ahead.

  2. Sue says

    Since I retired to North Carolina from Los Angeles over 10 years ago, I cannot find much good Chinese food that I am used to. Therefore, I must cook my own to get close to authentic. I am very impressed with your recipes. You may be my ‘go to’ chef from now on. 😉 I will try the Char Siu Bao as I haven’t had one in over 10years and am craving them. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  3. Theodre says

    Please help cus mine came out kinda squashedsticky and gooey on the surface rather than soft, fluffy and bouncy- looking like yours. Is it because of not following the dough:water, 2:1 ratio. If I use milk, what ration shld I keep?? Please help cusI cant find in my country and its such a strong chinese dish I could introduce to friends

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Theodre,
      If you are using milk, I have listed this problem in FAQ after the recipe. You need to add more milk based on how much flour you are using. Milk only contents around 87% water.
      Besides,you need to know some basic about your flour, high gluten flour needs more water. Make sure that the dough is not over-fermented (smell sour or like wine) and I would love to suggest you changing your flour for another try.
      If it is sticky, you need to check which part is sticky. I mean whether it is the bottom, surface or the middle. If the even the middle part is sticky, then they are not well steamed. You need to lengthen the steaming time. If the button is sticky, place a cloth or leaves or brushing some oil might help.

  4. Alex says

    Hi from Boston! I am very excited to make this this weekend, I just got home with the ingredients. I did buy rice flour which I think is used on the bao. I noticed your directions say All-Purpose. Should I really be using plain old All-Purpose flour, or should I use the rice flour I bought with your same recipe?

  5. Paul says

    Your steamer basket appears to have some kind of woven insert inside to keep the buns from sticking. I saw these on a trip through China as well. Any idea what they are called and where I could buy one? Haven’t had any luck finding one online. Thanks for the great recipes!

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Paul,
      Yes, this is a special carpet to prevent the buns sticky to the steamer. But I have no idea where this is provided outside China.

  6. Chris says

    Hi Elaine,

    I’ve noticed that you use different ingredients and ratios for wrappers in both pork buns and custard buns. Could you tell me why this is please.

    I want to also ask, what can I do to make my dough a little whiter, because it looks a little wheaty compared to what I’m used to seeing from the ready made versions and in the Hong Kong food stores.

    • Elaine Luo says

      Hi Chris,
      The ratio for Chinese buns are similar(based on 2:1 and adjusted accordingly to the flour). The water used might be different because we add milk for the wrapper of custard buns(and I am using low-gluten flour for that recipe).
      And for the second question, if you want the pork buns pure white as it Hong Kong food stores, you will need to find Hong Kong flour which usually gives a pure white color. I shoot those picture with natural light and the wheaty color is original.
      However the fact in my country is we do not like pure white buns because it is achieved by adding some brightening agent in the flour.

      • Chris says

        Thanks for the quick reply. i don’t think you understood my first question and it maybe because I could have worded it better. Why are you not using the same bun ingredients for both Char Sui Bao and Lai Wong Bao. Why does one have milk, different flour and the other not?

        • Elaine Luo says

          I use different bun wrappers because they have different flavors, BBQ pork is savory while custard buns is sweet and the wrapper needs to be milky. This is just a flavor issue.

  7. Christina says

    Can you also include instructions for baking these? Would love to try steamed and baked ones. Thank you.

  8. Stephanie says

    Oooh wee! I am so glad that I found this post at; my family loves Chinese pork buns, but they get a little pricey because we can only find them at the Vietnamese market downtown. They are just delicious – and filling! I just have one question: can I make these in bulk and freeze them? Would there be a process, or is it as easy as putting them in a ziploc bag? Either way, thank you! I cannot wait to try these out!

    • Elaine says

      Hi Stephaine,
      Yes, those buns can be made in bulk. I usually make at least 12 ones and then freeze half of them for later meal. Firstly, steam the buns as usual to stop the proof process and then wait until completely cooled down. Place them in plastic bag, sealed and freeze. Steam again directly for around 10 to 15 minutes until completely soft next time before serving.

      I hope this helps! Happy cooking ahead.

  9. Scott says

    Hi Elaine, great blog & smashing pics to accompany the recipes

    Before I start to make these can you clarify the amount of ginger to be used (ie weight/teaspoons/etc) and do you add the actual root to the recipe or just the ginger water?



    • Elaine says

      Hi Scott,
      I did not measure the ginger I am using for this recipe. I usually use around 1/2 tablespoon after minced for around 500g pork. And I add ginger along with water to the filling.

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