Cha Siu Bao Recipe
Cha Siu Bao, also spelled as Char Siew Bao is one of the signature dishes in dim sum restaurants around the world.
Called 叉烧包, or cha shao bao in Chinese, they are a Chinatown classic!
Originated from Guangzhou in mainland China, Cha Siu Bao is a delicacy.
These Cantonese steamed pork buns are found in many Cantonese-Chinese restaurants serving dim sum.
Imagine soft, fluffy white steamed buns filled with savory char siu (BBQ pork belly) filling in a sweet and savory char siu sauce; they are absolutely delicious!
How to Make Cha Siu Bao?
For soft and fluffy homemade steamed buns, you will need to use a mixture of low-gluten flour and wheat starch.
The flour is called Hong Kong Flour in Malaysia and you can get the flour from supermarket.
If you can’t find Hong Kong flour, you may use cake flour as the substitute.
The end result will be softer and fluffier steamed buns compared to all-purpose flour.
For the filling, use homemade char siu for the best results. You can also use char siu from restaurants.
To make dim sum restaurant quality char siu bao, please following the cooking tips below:
- If bigger bun is desired, divide dough into 12 equal portions.
- There is no need to rest the dough after adding in the baking powder. If time allows, rest it for 10 minutes to get fluffier buns.
- Add Chinese hite vinegar into the steaming water to produce whiter buns. This is an optional step.
- The steamer must be preheated before steaming the buns. They will not rise properly without the hot steam.
- Spray the surface of the buns with water mist will help to produce steamed buns with beautiful and smooth surface.
- DO NOT open the steamer’s lid during the steaming process.
- If there are yellowish spots on the steamed buns, it means the baking powder is not properly dissolved.
How Many Calories Per Serving?
Each bun is only 182 calories.
What to Serve with this Recipe?
Serve this dish with other Cantonese dim sum or Chinese appetizers. For a homemade dim sum meal, I recommend the following recipes.
Pairs well with:
Char Siew Bao/Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Bun) Recipe
Char Siew Bao (Chinese Roast Pork Bun/叉烧包) - you can make these from scratch!
- 8 g instant dry yeast
- 160 ml lukewarm water
- ½ teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice (optional 280g low-protein flour aka hong kong flour)
- 100 g wheat starch
- 90 g icing sugar
- 30 g shortening or vegetable oil 10g baking powder
- 10 ml cold water
Heat oil in pan, sauté onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in all other ingredients A, stir fry for 1 minutes.
Mix together water with corn flour, add mixture into the pan and stir well. Simmer until gravy is thickened.
Transfer to plate and allow to cool.
Divide filling into 16 portions if desired, set aside for later use.
Sift together flours and icing sugar. Place sifted flour mixture in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
Fill well with lukewarm water, vinegar and yeast. Use a spatula, gently stir the water to dissolve the yeast then slowly bring together flour mixture.
Add in shortening or oil and knead for 10-15 minutes until soft dough is formed. It should be smooth on the surface.
Cover dough with damp cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size. I used bread maker’s dough mode to prepare my dough up to this step.
Dissolve baking powder in cold water, sprinkle over dough and knead until well combined. Divide dough into 16 equal portions and flatten with a rolling pin to make a 3” circle. Then place a heap teaspoon of filling in the middle, wrap and pleat the dough to seal. Place it on a 1.5” square parchment paper, seal side up.
Arrange buns into a steamer, leave about 1” gab in between buns. Spray water mist over buns, and steam in a preheated steamer on high heat for 12 minutes. Remove buns from steamer and cool on rack to prevent soggy bottom.
1. If bigger bun is desired, divide dough into 12 equal portions in step 5. 2. There is no need to rest the dough after adding in baking powder, but if time allowed, rest it for 10 minutes or so to get fluffier buns. 3. Adding a few drops of vinegar into steaming water will produce whiter buns, but this is optional. 4. Steamer must be preheated otherwise bun would not rise to the volume as it should be. 5. Spray the surface of bun with water mist helps to produce buns with smooth surface after steamed. 6. DO NOT open the lid during the steaming process. 7. If there are yellowish spots on the steamed buns, it means the baking powder is not fully dissolved.