CHAR SIU BAO - Daring Cooks' Challenge - December / 2011


This is a scheduled post :o)

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

Char Siu is a Chinese BBQ made with pork. The meat is marinated for several hours before cooking. Char Siu Bao are these soft and sweet buns that are filled with Char Siu.

This challenge was good for two meals. First we enjoyed Char Siu, delicious pork, for lunch and then we had the soft and amazing buns filled with the leftover pork at dinner time. Actually, we had to be very careful not to eat all the pork before making the buns!

We could choose from three different cooking methods for the pork: oven, seared in a pan + oven, or BBQ. The buns could also be baked or steamed. I  chose pan sear + oven for the pork and baking for the buns.

We had the Char Siu with vegetable rice and Hoisin Sauce (that is not in the photo, oops!). It was delicious!

Then I used the leftover Char Siu to make the buns. I still want to try the steamed version someday, as they are so traditional here in Asia. This dough is very soft and delicious and can definitely be used with other fillings or for other purposes.

I followed Sara's recipes with minimal alterations. For the pork marinade I used honey instead of maltose and I omitted the red food coloring and the salt. For the BAO filling, I used Misso soup instead of chicken stock.

I pricked the pork with a fork.

Marinated overnight.

Seared in a pan.

Arranged it on a rack.

Used the marinade for basting.

Baked for 45 minutes at 180°C (350°F)


I prepared the filling for the buns:

Made the dough and divided into 12 balls, rolling each one into 3" diameter circles,

leaving the center slightly thicker

Filled with pork, forming a ball and pinching the dough to seal,

and baked

These were DELICIOUS!!!

Thank you so much, Sara! This challenge was a hit!

You can see what my fellow Daring Cooks came up with at  THE DARING KITCHEN where you can also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge. 


  1. Beautiful buns and delicious rice.I won't eat pork, this one looks awesome.

  2. I was a vegetarian for 10 years and when I started eating meat again, the first thing I had was char siew! Lovely buns! And looking forward to seeing the steamed version soon.
    Merry Christmas and hope the jetlag is not too bad!

  3. Oh Renata, both the dinner plate and buns looks amazing, great job on this DK challenge.

  4. Your buns are beautiful, I did the steamed ones because that is what I'm used to having. I'd like to try the baked ones and see how they compare. Nice job!

  5. Yours look beautiful, did they remind you of empanadas? I did the steamed ones and loved the recipe and making them.

  6. Renata, I am so glad you enjoyed and fun with the challenge! Your pork and buns look awesome.

  7. It looks gorgeous, Renata! I know what you mean about saving enough pork for the buns--that was the real challenge! Hope you are enjoying your visit to Brazil.

  8. Your photos are stunning! I'm always bowled over by your presentation. Beautiful char siu bau as well. Ahh, they look so fluffy and golden.

    Hope you're having a lovely time in Brazil! Merry Christmas. :)

  9. Yum! I love these buns. You know what's even better than steamed? Steamed first then deep-fried. Oh my.

    Great job on the challenge dear. Have a great trip to Brazil, and seasons greetings to you and your family.

  10. Lovely!

    Swathi, it wouldn't be identical, but I'd substitute lamb (not mature mutton).

    Vegetarians could make these buns with seitan or tofu, and onions.


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