Vegan BBQ Pork Steam Buns: Cha Siu Bao 叉烧包


Cha Siu Bao and I go way back. For most of my life I have not been a fan - even though CSBs are easily one of the most popular Dim Sums in the world. A kid favourite and an adult favourite too tbh.

But me? I was a picky kid and the filling to bun ratio was always just off. Too much bread! Only once I was vegan and CSBs were strictly off the menu did I start to kindle my relationship with this well-loved steamed bun.

For this recipe I’ve made sure it’s extra awesome.

The filling features Sayur Roast Pork - by the Lamyong company so you know it’s going to be good! The pork has AMAZING flavour and texture so I worked really hard to add ingredients that would give the most authentic flavour. I also added some mushrooms because I think it delivers some ‘juicy’ and ‘fatty’ textures without actually bad for you.

I haven’t added any colouring, but the Sayur Roast pork already delivers that delicious colour so I didn’t feel the need. Fun fact:Originally, red bbq pork is actually coloured with red-yeast rice. A special yeast that is naturally bright red!


makes 10 buns

1 tsp yeast
3/4 cup water, warm but not hot
2 cups plain flour (or bao flour - highly processed, high gluten bleached flour which will give you the authentic and fluffy yum cha white bread - authentic but not very healthy :P)
1 cup tapioca starch
4 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 oil


350g Sayur Vegetarian Roast Pork; thawed and diced
1 tbsp oil
1/4 medium sized red onion(35g)
1 big slice of ginger (8g)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce (I use Lee Kum Kee)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp Chinese shaoxing red wine or rice wine
1 tsp mushroom dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp pure sesame oil
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp plain flour
100g king oyster mushrooms, diced


Combine all the dough ingredients and mix until a ball starts to form. Then use your hans to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough ball. Place in a bowl, cover and let rise for 2 hours.

Make the filling the whilst the dough rises (or the day before and store in an airtight container!). You’ll first need to make a slurry! Mix together the hoisin, sugar, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil, water and flour, and mix until there are no flour lumps remaining. Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook the onions until they are soft. Add the mushrooms and fry until you notice the mushrooms turning golden brown. Add the chopped Sayur Vegetarian Roast Pork and fry for 2 minutes or until the pork has heated through. Add the slurry, stirring quickly to avoid lumps forming in the sauce. The sauce should thicken and a delicious moist filling will form quickly! Remove from the heat and let the filling cool slightly in the fridge until your dough finishes rising!

Once the dough is risen, punch down and knead lightly to remove any large gas bubbles. Divide the dough into 10 equal parts. Working on a very lightly floured bench, roll each dough part into a ball, press down, and using a rolling pan, roll into a circle roughly 13cm in diameter - you want to leave the middle section a little thicker than the rest of your circle! Place a spoonful of filling into the middle and pinch the dough together at the top to lock the filling in! Repeat until you have 10 cha siu baos!

Cut 10 small squares of baking paper and place each bun on a square. Let rise for 20 minutes for a fluffier bun, then steam the buns for 12 minutes! Serve HOT! You can also freeze them after cooling the down on a wire-rack so the bottoms don’t get soggy. Simply steam until hot to enjoy the buns anytime!

YES! They can be frozen! These buns freeze really well! After steaming, cool down for about 10 minutes and freeze! Simply steam until the bun is hot throughout to reheat (about 15 mins)!

Elizabeth MiuComment