Char Siu Bao {Roast Pork Buns} #SundaySupper

IMG 7904

Happy Holidays! Are you ready to celebrate? What are your family traditions?

In my house we eat Chinese food and go to the movies on Christmas day.  I always found it ironic that was the food of our choice considering all the good Chinese food contains pork and shrimp.  Not exactly kosher 🙂 

IMG 7911

On the years that Chanukah actually fell out on Christmas, Mom would cook up a big feast for us.  Turkey, brisket, latkes.  Those were the times it wasn’t so lonely being a Jew on Christmas. 

Since last year, I started making my own Chinese food feasts!  Takeout is great when you are feeling lazy and want dinner in 15 minutes or less but nothing and I mean nothing beats homemade Chinese food.  Sure it takes a lot more time, but it is totally worth it. 

One thing that I can’t get with takeout, that I love more than anything is dim sum.  So in my “Jewish Christmas” tradition, I’ve made perhaps the best dim sum dish ever.  Char Siu Bao. 

IMG 7903

Unfamiliar with the dish?  Char Siu means the roast pork filling and Bao refers to it being a bun.  Since I’m still fairly new to Chinese cooking, I took to the web to find a recipe for the buns.  I was looking for something that bring me light, yeasty, airy buns – the perfect accompaniment to my sticky, sweet roast pork.  In the end my bao might not look like the ones you find on the street, but still delicious and light! It’s all I can ask for the first time making them!

IMG 7909

Below is the recipe for the char siu and sauce for the filling.  For the bao recipe, visit She Simmers.

Char Siu Bao {Roast Pork Buns} #SundaySupper

There are many components to making char siu bao - you must let your pork rest in the marinade, proof your bao dough and then steam the buns. The end result is completely worth it though. Traditionally the filling is tinted bright red, feel free to add some drops of red food coloring for a little holiday cheer.

Save Recipe


    For the char siu (roast pork):
  • 2 pounds pork loin, excess fat removed, cut into 3 pieces lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder
  • a few dashes of white pepper
  • For the char siu filling:
  • 2 cups prepared roast pork, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • a few dashes of white pepper
  • Equipment needed: parchment paper cut into 3x3 squares and bamboo steamer


    For the char siu:
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the hoisin, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, five spice powder and white pepper.
  2. Place the pork loin in a resealable ziplock bag an pour the marinade in. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pork loin from the marinade and place on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and increase the temperature to 450 degrees F.
  5. Using the reserve marinade or 1/4 cup honey brush over the top of the pork.
  6. Place back in the oven and cook for 15 additional minutes or until the center reaches 165 degrees and a nice crust is achieved.
  7. Let cool slightly, before dicing. You will not use all the pork. Reserve additional for another purpose.
  8. For the bao:
  9. Roll the bao dough into a log and cut into 12 pieces. Take each piece and flatten it a bit with your hand forming a circle.
  10. Spoon 1 to 1/2 tablespoons of filling (careful not to overfill) onto the dough and bring up the edges, pinching at the top to seal. Place on a square of parchment paper and repeat.
  11. Let the prepared buns rise for 30 more minutes.
  12. Pre-heat your steamer and place the buns in the steamer, careful not to overcrowd (depending on the size, 4 at a time is best).
  13. Steam for 15 minutes and enjoy!
Recipe Type: Appetizers, Chinese


IMG 7906

Don’t forget to check out what the recipe of the #SundaySupper team has cooked up for your holiday inspiration! 





Appetizers & Snacks






Main Dishes









The posts are more than recipes. They are also wonderful stories of holidays and traditions. Please take the time to visit and read each heartwarming one.


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check our our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.


Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop

35 thoughts on “Char Siu Bao {Roast Pork Buns} #SundaySupper

  1. Pingback: Crown Pork Roast Recipe

  2. Family Foodie

    Oh my goodness! These look FABulous! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you this past year! Thank you for being such a big part of #SundaySupper! Happy Holidays to you!

  3. Pingback: Spiced Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake | A twist on a favorite #SundaySupper | The Daily Dish Recipes

  4. Pingback: Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe | Magnolia Days

  5. Pingback: Italian Orange Salad for Christmas Eve

  6. Pingback: Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) #SundaySupper

  7. Pingback: Carrots Au Gratin ~ #SundaySupper Home For The Holidays! | Juanita's Cocina

  8. Pingback: Sunday Supper

  9. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom)

    yum, yum, YUM.
    your baos look pretty perfect. i’m not sure how i would do with the dough, but i’ll have to give it a try. these will be great for new year’s!

    (i left a comment on triberr, but thought i’d leave another one here!)

  10. Pingback: Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate w/ Southern Comfort Whipped Cream #SundaySupper | Mama.Mommy.Mom.

  11. Pingback: Orange Refrigerator Rolls | The Wimpy Vegetarian

  12. Pingback: Eggs Benedict #SundaySupper - Cindy's Recipes and WritingsCindy's Recipes and Writings

  13. Pingback: Fudge | Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

  14. Pingback: Dorie’s Chicken in a Pot for #SundaySupper Home for the Holidays | gotta get baked

  15. Pingback: Old Fashioned Lady Fingers (Creamhorns) for #SundaySupper | The Meltaways

  16. Pingback: Pfeffernussen | A Home for the Holidays #SundaySupper Event | The Foodie Army Wife

  17. Pingback: Pot Cheese & Potato Cheese Pierogies — Cupcakes & Kale Chips

  18. Laura

    I love, love, love dim sum. I have not been impressed with the Chinese food in the UK so I have been sticking to making it at home so I will defenitly put these on the menu.

  19. Pingback: Pork and Scallion Potstickers + a Soy Vay #Giveaway! - The Girl in the Little Red KitchenThe Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

  20. Pingback: Home for the Holidays - Webicurean | Webicurean

  21. Pingback: Merry Christmas From The Cocina! {Plus a Blog & #Giveaway Roundup!} | Juanita's Cocina

  22. Renee

    Oh how I love dim sum. It’s something I’ve only had when I visited San Francisco. There are not any places to get it near my home. I’ve always loved the meat-filled steamed buns and never knew how to make them. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  23. Nancy @ gottagetbaked

    Susan, I am really impressed! I’m Chinese and I’ve never attempted to make char sui bao (I’ll just go out and eat it or buy the frozen stuff to steam at home). These look incredible – labour intensive but definitely worth it. Happy holidays – I hope they were filled with delicious food such as this!

  24. Sarah

    I have been dieing to read this recipe since you posted it. I tried making my own bao once and it was a yeasty mess. Did you buy the bao dough? I don’t see a recipe for the bao. Just curious! The filling sounds amazing! Happy New Year Susan!

    1. Susan

      I linked to the bao dough recipe just before my recipe comes up since it wasn’t mine. 🙂 I’m not crafty enough to figure that out myself! Mine didn’t come out as pretty as the original recipe, but I think I overworked the dough. hmmm. . might have to check around Chinatown to see if I can buy the bao dough!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *