Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Char Siu Pau (BBQ pork steam bun)

I wanted to make pau for a long time and finally get to do it.  Sometimes, when you imagine something is hard to do, you procrastinate. In my mind, I feel it is a lot of work and very tedious to make pau.  There is a lot of waiting time too. By nature, I am a very impatient person so I really did not like the waiting part. However, I am curious to find out how homemade pau taste as compared to those in the restaurant.  People said curiosity killed the cat but in this case it did not, in fact it made the cat takes action. So are you ready to look at the pau made by a first timer?

What do you think? "Boleh tahan tak?" (can do or not?) 

Ingredients for filling:
1 lb. cooked BBQ pork (diced small)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons (diced) red onion
1 tablespoon chinese cooking wine
2 tablespoon soya sauce
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbs cup potato starch (to thicken the gravy)
1tbs water

Method to make Filling:
In a wok, add oil, sauté the onions and add the pork cook for 3 minutes. Add in the wine, soya sauce and hoisin sauce. and Cook for few more minutes. Mix potato flour water and pour in to thicken gravy. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

*NOTE - you can buy cooked BBQ Pork at any Chinese market or restaurant.

Ingredients for pau dough:
500 gm flour (super white flour or Pau flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp (6g) instant dry yeast
2 tbsp shorterning or vegetable oil
250 ml luke warm water

Method to make dough:
Mix all the dry ingredients together (flour,baking powder,salt,sugar,yeast and shortening) in a bowl and then add in the water and mix well until it forms a dough. Keep kneading the dough until it doesn't stick to your hands. Divide the dough into two balls and knead again until the dough texture is smooth. Leave the dough to rise until double its size, covered with a wet cloth. (about 1 hour).  When the dough has risen , punch the dough down to let the air out. Knead the dough and divide into small balls (about 50gms each). Flatten each ball of dough in your hands and put a tbs filling in the center. Use your fingers to pleat  and shape the dough. (Click here to go to the link to learn how to pleat and shape the pau. It will be a bit difficult to do but after to get the hang of it, it is not so bad.)  Place a small piece of paper underneath each pau. Leave all the paus to rise again for about 30 – 45 minutes. Meanwhile you can prepare the steamer to bring the water to boil. Steam the pau for about 15 minutes , and serve.


  1. One of my favorites!! What a wonderful inside delight.

  2. I love Pau! My husbands grandma makes them and they never last long in our freezer. She taught me how to make them...but I haven't had a chance. I hope to do it soon!

    In the meantime, want to mail me some of yours? ;)

  3. OMG that looks out of this world...I must make this. ;)

  4. hey your char siu pao looks really juicy and yummy! especially love the oozing complain abt commercially made buns are their char siu is too dry, so urs looks even better :)

  5. Yum! We call these sio pao in the Philippines! Great post!

  6. i'm drooling all over my office table! juicy and yummy!

  7. Lovely effort, the buns look better than the ones at yum cha!

  8. You memang boleh! The filling looks simply divine & juicy. Yummm.... Quaylo must be very happy to enjoy this homemade steamed buns. ha... Have a great day.
    Regards, Kristy

  9. Please felete this if my first comment went through , thanks! Definitely CAN DO, Veronica! For a first timer, these look amazing! I most likely would've messed up making the dough. Kudos to you for your bravery! If I see even one ingredient. I donI don't eat pork, but my hubby and kiddies do and would love these. They look delicious, even for a non pork lover as me, I'm tempted to take a big bite :-P

  10. Sorry Veronica, I meant to say, "if I see even one ingredient I'm not familiar with on the recipe, I run the other way.

  11. sure boleh tahan, nampak so yummy. Well done dear.

  12. So much gravy in the pau, I would never be able to close it properly:P My sons always complained the ones I made were too dry lol!

  13. Me tukang makan aje. :P.

  14. sure can..way beyond that! for first timer, this looks fantastic! 100% perfect!

  15. Ohhh this is one of my favourite thing in the world. I have never get the dough right... thanx for the recipe :)

  16. They look so good, I may give it a try.

  17. Oo, these looks good. Char Siu Pau is becoming so popular lately too...

  18. These look amazing! Beautiful photos too :)

  19. I love Char Siu Pau. I haven't had Pau for a while and I really need to make them soon. I am craving for them now.

  20. My mouth is watering right now... those look SOOO good!

  21. Look so juicy, I never try to do char siew pao, must try next time.

  22. I have never tried this and I think that you did marvels job!!! Those buns look amazing, made with perfection my dear!!!!I love your photos too!!!

  23. Steamed Char siu bao has always been one of my favorites. It looks so tasty.

  24. Cool! Welcome to the steamed pau making club! I have learned to make these babies from Aunt Lily's blog. They are really good when homemade. I, too, love mine with extra sauce. Try using your filling to make siew pau instead (Baked BBQ puff). I bet they will come out marvelous with your filling.

  25. Belinda: My Quaylo will agree with you 100% hehe

    Christina: I will mail you, you want by air mail or by fedex? LOL!

    David: I am excited to see your post on pau.

    Jean:Thanks, a little more gravy taste better.

    yummychunklet: siu pao here is not steamed bu baked:D

    Jess: Sorry cause you the mess. Can I offer to clean your table for you? hehe

    Belle: thanks.

    Kristy: Quaylo is cos his favorite dim sum dish ma:D

    LeQuan: I will make stemed Char siu chicken pau for you instead.

    Sonia: thanks..when it comes from a good cook like you, it holds water!

    Jeannie: tell you a secret, using extra gravy for the filling can be a mess, I have spoiled many piece of dough to be able to pleat and seal the pau properly.

    Diane: Difficult for me too, that's why I procrastinate for so long before I did it.

    Small Kuching: good to be "Tukang Makan" only, somedays I feel like that too.

    lena, Sandra, Beth, Joy, Kimberley: thanks, your comments make me want to do it again.

    Tes: you are most welcome, hope this recipe works for you too.

    rosaria, Michael, Mimosa: Happy to know you want to try. Look forward to see your post on this.

    Indie.Tea: Char siu pau is a classic dim sum dish here and it is an evergreen.

  26. Victor: Thanks:D

    Reese: look forward to see your post on the Baked BBQ puff.

  27. are you sure this is your first time making pau? your pau look utterly delicious especially the sauce.... you're making me hungry

  28. Janice: It is, you just don't know how many pieces of dough I wasted to get a good one. LOL!

    Pranavam: Thanks for your visit and comment.

  29. OMG! I love Char Siu Pau! Grew up eating a truck load of it in Malaysia :D BTW, thanks for visiting my blog!

  30. I've always wanted to try my hand at this but, like you, have been daunted by just thinking about how tedious it could be. But, hey! you did it! it's lovely! love the sticky. gooey filling (and I, not yet) and I still think it's tedious ... :(

  31. Here is the link of my post on siew pao.

    I have made this with Aunt Lily's recipe eons ago. Still have some left in the freezer. Will use your char siu recipe when I make the next batch.


  32. These look and sound wonderful. Wish I could eat one right now! I'd say I'd try to make them, but when it comes to dough, of any kind, I'm all thumbs. My family runs away, lol. Have a great weekend!

  33. Kiran: I appreciate your visit. When you come back to Malaysia for a visit, have another truck load of paus before you go back. LOL!

    ping: I know, I still have half a box of pau flour and wanted make my favorite "lotus seeds paste" pau but still dragging my feet.

    Reese: thanks for sending me to the post of your pau. they look good.

    Lin Ann: You gave me a chuckle when you said your family run aways when it come to dough. So before you start anything with dough the next time, chain them down, hehe. It is so good to see you again. Have wonderful weekend.

  34. i know my mistakes jor...I didnt punch out the air and I should have leave the pau to rise for the 2nd round. I went and steam straightaway. No wonder it's not fluffy. Thanks

  35. Looks more than boleh tahan, my dear. Looks best sangat! :D

    I'm gonna run out tomorrow and find me some hot char siu pau for my brekkie!

  36. Yummmmmm....I love char siew pao. Dunno how to make. They say when making pao, you can't tell people. People ask you, also can;t tell. Otherwise, tak jadi... True or not? Or old wives' tale! LOL!!!


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