Cha Shao Bao (BBQ pork buns) | Morsels of Life

Cha Shao Bao (BBQ pork buns)

Morsels of Life - Cha Shao Bao (BBQ Pork Buns) - Sweetly savory Chinese BBQ pork filled bun.

After making the BBQ pork, I thought it would be nice to also try making some 叉燒包 (cha shao bao), or BBQ pork buns. Like the BBQ pork, I had eaten these buns many times before, but have never made them myself. I steamed these BBQ pork buns, but you could also bake them. Either way is quite delicious! These buns were not at all difficult to make, and they were relatively fast to make as well since I used self rising flour. You can also make a yeast dough, which will result in a smoother texture and a slightly less salty tasting bun. The filling options for these buns is virtually unlimited - just about anything can be used! Some more typical variations, in addition to BBQ pork, include red bean paste, taro paste, ground pork with vegetables, or plain. One "Americanized" idea might be to use sloppy joe filling, although then it wouldn't really be sloppy anymore. :)

What are your favorite fillings?

Sweetly savory Chinese BBQ pork filled bun.


Mass Weight Volume Number Material Notes
3 cups self raising flour or 3 cups regular flour and 2 teaspoons yeast
1-2 cups water
2 tablespoons onion, diced
BBQ pork, diced


  1. Mix self raising flour (or flour and yeast) with 1 cup water, and then add oil. Add water as needed to create a soft dough that is not sticky. I find that usually 1.25 cups of water is about right, but it will vary from batch to batch.
  2. Cover dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, and mix the BBQ pork and onions. I used about a 2:1 ratio of BBQ pork:onions.
  3. Roll dough into a long log with a diameter of approximately 1.5 inches.
  4. Cut the dough into approximately 2 inch segments.
  5. Flatten and roll/stretch the dough into a circle.
  6. Add about 1.5 tablespoons of the BBQ pork/onion mix to the center of the dough. It will be easier to seal the dough if using a smaller amount, but using more filling is more flavorful.
  7. Gather the edges of the dough and pinch together. You can have the pinched together side on top or on bottom. If you're making different types of buns at the same time, this method can be an easy way to mark them with no extra work or ingredients.
  8. Place on a moist/wet coffee filter and steam for about 10-15 minutes. I usually use a quarter coffee filter for each bun. Make sure to separate the filters before wetting!


  1. i will FOR SURE try this!!

  2. Let me know how it goes - takes a while, but worth it!