Homemade Baked Char Siew Bao

Homemade baked char siu bao

A while back I posted a recipe for Baked Red Bean buns. I’ve been wanting to follow that up with this post because I use the same dough recipe to make the buns but the filling can be changed up.

There is a lot you can with that basic sweet dough recipe. As you know, besides the red bean buns, I’ve also just rolled them up and wrapped them around hot dogs to make hot dog buns. And I’ve even gotten some pork soong (pork floss) and stuffed that in the dough.

This time around, I made some char siew filling for the buns. They’re not quite like the ones you find at the dimsum places. If you know how to make that filling, would you please share it with me?

Homemade Baked Char Siew Bao

Homemade Baked Char Siu Bao

The Little Bao That Packs a Big Punch

I do like the one I’m sharing today though. It is a little bit more sesame flavored but still packs quite a flavor punch. I don’t recall where I got the recipe from already (I just have it written down on a piece of paper) but I believe it probably came from Kuali.com (which is a great resource for Malaysian recipes, by the way).

This filling is more commonly used for another baked char siew bun called Seremban Siew Pau. In Malaysia, Seremban (a small town) is famous for its baked char siew baos. They are different from the version I make in that the Seremban Siew Pau pastry is flakier. I have been meaning to try that version and when I do have success with that, I will post it here.

In the meantime, do try out this baked char siew bao filling!

Char Siew Filling for Baked buns

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
500g char siew, diced small
110g yellow onion, diced small
3 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
4-5 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp tapioca flour
1 1/2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Heat vegetable oil and stir-fry the onions over medium heat until translucent, about 2 mins. Add in char siew and stir to mix.

Adding Char Siew to Onions for Char Siew Bao Filling

Adding Char Siu to Onions for Char Siu Bao Filling

2. Add in soy sauce, salt, sesame oil, white pepper, oyster sauce, sugar and stir to coat char siew and onions and continue to cook over low heat.

Adding Oyster Sauce to Char Siew Filling

Adding Oyster Sauce to Char Siu Filling

3. Mix tapioca flour and AP flour with water to make a slurry and add to char siew mixture. Stir to coat and cook till mixture thickens a little, over med-low heat.
4. Add sesame seeds and remove filling from heat.

Adding Sesame Seeds to Char Siew Filling

Adding Sesame Seeds to Char Siu Filling

5. Cool char siew seasoning and place in refrigerator to slightly harden the filling for better ease in wrapping the buns. Char siew filling can be made several days ahead. The filling also freezes well for use later.

I find that this recipe gives me just a little extra filling after I’ve made my dough recipe. If you find this to be the case, you can use the extras in stir-fries or in fried rice (it’s the best, mixed in fried rice).

Follow the instructions on our Baked Red Bean Buns post to make the dough and bake the char siew bao.

Homemade Baked Char Siew Bao

  Homemade Baked Char Siu Bao


Cheers, Annie

33 Comments Post a Comment
  1. K and S says:

    >yummy, I think you read my mind. I was thinking to make your recipe for char siu then putting them into baked bread…baked manapua, I hope to try this when the weather gets warmer!

  2. mimid3vils says:

    >drooling~~~ I’m very to do those :P

  3. Pearl says:

    >ohh my mom would love to try those!

  4. Mike says:

    >Those look great! We tried to make buns years ago with mixed success. I think it is time to try again!

  5. [eatingclub] vancouver || js says:

    >Wow, nothing like a char siew bun! I love that soft, white pillow of bread. These look amazing!

  6. (( K@Y )) says:

    looking at that picture making me crave for some, need to stop by the bakery…hehehe

  7. Michelle says:

    >Your blog is fabulous! Where do you find all the inspiration to try all these new recipes? Thanks for posting them! I’m so tempted to leave work and go buy some right now! If only I were in Asia….:(

  8. duodishes says:

    >Someone mentioned dim sum this week, and our stomachs started growling thinking about buns, buns, buns. It would be great to give this a try, so we can have buns anytime!

  9. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@all – thanks for your comments!

    @K and S – I do hope you can make these bao. Use the braised char siew pork recipe to make your own char siew while you’re at it. Let us know how it goes!

    @mimid3vils – I’m very to do those to…?

    @Mike – go for it! Let us know how it turns out for you.

    @Michelle – we miss the foods from home. That’s why we try to cook them. I bet you know what we mean.

    @duodishes – get hungry, make some buns. Sounds like a plan to me!

  10. Tiffany says:

    >This is one of my favorite things for dim sum. Yours look delicious! You have a great site! (Thank you for visiting mine, too!) Can’t wait to see more!

  11. Joy says:

    >I just made my own char siu pork and the filling using a jar of char siu sauce. Cheating, I know, but it works! http://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2009/01/char-siu-bao.html

  12. Kim, Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet says:

    >Oh My…..make me one please!!!

  13. Superchef says:

    >cant believe i have not dropped by earlier!! such a lovely blog..glad to share :)

  14. J says:

    >Hey, do you think you can replicate this bao?


    Scroll down to January 13.

  15. Em says:

    >mmm…. yummy! I LOVE Char Siew.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

  16. kathy says:

    >Oh Yum! You just made me hungry for char siu anything. I have no idea where to get it here, but I saw that you made reference to a recipe for making char siu. I would love to try that, but I cannot find your recipe. Can you send it to me? kathy(at)zumwaltohana(dot)com.


  17. dolphing says:

    >Wishing you and your family Happy Chinese New Year ^^

  18. Carolyn Jung says:

    >Homemade char siew baos are the best! You should try Niman Ranch hot dogs in your hot dog-bun version. They make THE best hot dogs. Yum!

  19. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Tiffany – thanks for the kind words, and for visiting!

    @Joy –

    @Kim – sure, but you’ll have to come to San Jose to pick it up! ;-)

    @Superchef – welcome, and thanks!

    @J – hahahaha…no. ;-)

    @Em – you’re welcome!

    @Kathy, check out our Braised Char Siew recipe: http://chezannies.blogspot.com/2008/11/braised-char-siew-or-non-bake-char-siew.html

    @dolphing – and the same to you!

    @Carolyn – thanks for the suggestion!

  20. Wendy says:

    >Hi Annie,

    My dough came out gooey and sticking to my hands. I added some vegetable oil and was able to make a ball. After proofing, I had a hard time making small balls because it is still gooey. I dust my hands with flour to form small balls. I lost 10-20% of the dough because I had to wash it off between making small balls. Pls help.

  21. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Wendy – Thanks for the feedback.

    Our first thought is, did you knead the dough in the mixerlong enough? The dough should not be sticking to the sides of the bowl before you get to step 4 of the Baked Red Bean Buns recipe. Did you try the “windowpane” test?

  22. Jo says:

    >Delicious looking char siew pau. In fact I just had some for breakfast this morning.

  23. white on rice couple says:

    >I’m all over these guys! Wow, they look fabulous!
    The only draw back for me is that they just melt in my mouth and I can’t stop eating them. I had a spicy chicken one last week and I had to FORCE myself to not go back and buy a 3rd one!

  24. Wendy says:

    >Thanks, Annie. I added extra time in step 3, about 5-10 minutes more, using a dough hook but it was still came out gooey. I did not get the windowpane effect. The window tore apart. I used the dough anyway to make the bread. We ate them all. My dough definetely needs some help. Wendy

  25. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Jo – so, did you use our recipe?

    @WoRC – now that we’ve got the red bean and the char siew ones down, I think it’s time to try branching out to other fillings. Spicy chicken sounds good!

    @Wendy – hmm. What kind of flour did you use? I would say to add more flour, a little at a time, until the dough becomes less sticky.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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