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Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

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ready in: over 5 hrs
serves/makes:   24

recipe id: 4001
cook method: stovetop

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6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound finely chopped pork
1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons shortening
1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper


Dissolve the first measure of sugar in the first measure of warm water, and then add the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until mixture is frothy.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in first measure of shortening and the yeast mixture; mix well. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover it with a sheet of cling wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has tripled in bulk.

Cut the pork into 2 inch thick strips. Use fork to prick it all over. Marinate for 5 hours in a mixture made with 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, and 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce.

Grill the pork until cooked and charred. Cut roasted pork into 1/2 inch cubes. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Mix cornstarch with 2 1/2 tablespoons water; add to the saucepan, and stir until thickened. Mix in 2 tablespoons lard or shortening, sesame oil, and white pepper. Cool, and mix in the roasted pork.

Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a long roll, and divide it into 24 pieces.

Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. The center of the circle should be thicker than the edge. Place one portion of the pork filling in the center of each dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch edges to form the bun. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes. Steam buns for 12 minutes. Serve.

cook's notes

Hoisin sauce, also called Peking sauce, is a thick, reddish-brown sauce that is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It's a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chile peppers and various spices. It can be found in Asian markets and many large supermarkets. Look in the Asian or ethnic section.

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197 calories, 6 grams fat, 28 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein per serving.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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Guest at


If frozen, should you defrost or cook from frozen?

Guest at


I woulk like to know if you can answer the recipe of chinese pork buns instead steam it , can I bake it in the oven. Please give me the answer

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
Usually you need a slightly different dough for baked versions of cha siu bao. I think this version probably should be steamed for best results.

Guest at


When do you add the milk to the recipe?

Registered Member at
Member since:
Nov 12, 2008


I'm ready to try this recipe but I'm confused by the pork. The ingredient list calls for "finely chopped pork". The instructions say to, "Cut the pork into 2 inch thick strips. Use fork to prick it all over." I'm not sure how to cut already chopped pork into 2 inch thick strips.

Any advice from folks who've tried this one would be appreciated. Thanks!

Guest at

lady lavender

Hi, I used this recipe and found it to be really helpful and the buns turned out very nice! It is a hassle free recipe as it doesn't require a measuring scale! Thanks so much!

Guest at

Guest Foodie

What is all-purpose flour ? Is it self raising or plain flour ?

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
All-purpose flour is just that - for all purposes. It is a plain, white flour.

Guest at


After searching for years for the perfect recipe for steamed buns, I can say this dough recipe has finally fulfilled my long time quest for a perfect fluffy and yummy bun. I looked at many recipes and post from other's on the same quest and I found that there are really two styles of buns. The dough where you add yeast and baking powder to the All purpose flour( all purpose does is not self rising flour)or add yeast and use "cake" or "self rising" flour that has the baking powder already in the flour. The big mistake people make is they make the yeast dough without realizing that the flour needs to have the baking powder added to the flour or use self rising. The combination of yeast and baking powder is the secret of a fluffy dough. I used All purpose and added the baking powder to the flour.
Then there is the NO yeast just baking powder dough. This will give fluffy drier but not so springy dough. Often milk is used with this style and cake flour to make it even whiter in color- Like a soda bread.
Note: I let my buns rise a little longer before steaming them. At last I can rest in peace.

Guest at


I've never heard of spicy Hoisin sauce before.

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