Char siu pork bao


To make 6



1/2 tsp yeast

120ml lukewarm water

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ heaped tbsp. sugar

½ tsp salt



Pork filling

4 strips of pork belly, chopped in half

100ml soy sauce

4 ½ tbsp ketchup

3 tbsp honey

60g sugar

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp Chinese five-spice

3 garlic cloves, minced

few drops of red food colouring (optional)



1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips

2 spring onions, chopped into thin strips

1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded

small bunch of fresh coriander

large handful salted peanuts







  1. Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the dissolved yeast to the bowl with the rest of the water, mix until you form a ball of dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
  4. Wipe the bowl with some oil to prevent sticking, put the dough back in, cover with cling film and leave to prove for 2hrs.
  5. Remove the dough, flatten, then knead for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Roll the dough into an elongated sausage shape about 5cm thick and then cut into 5 or 6 equal pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into a 5mm thick oval-shape.
  8. Brush the dough with oil and fold the ovals in half to resemble a bun shape.
  9. Place each bun on a square of parchment paper, cover with cling film and leave to prove for a final hour.
  10. Cook the bao on their parchment squares in a bamboo steamer for 8-10 minutes.



  1. Mix all ingredients together and use it to coat the pork. Marinade for a few hours, or preferably over-night in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°.
  3. Remove the pork from the marinade and cook on a lined baking tray for 1 hour, turning half way through. Reserve the excess marinade.
  4. Remove the pork belly chunks from the oven and add to a pan with sesame oil. Fry for 10-15 minutes to allow the pork to crisp up. Add the marinade after 10 minutes and cook until it thickens.


To serve the bao: open it up, spread 1 tbsp hoisin sauce on the bottom, add a chunk of pork belly + excess marinade and garnish with spring onions, carrots, red chilli’s and crushed salted peanuts.

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