Titus Chan's Char Siu Bao

Recipe by Chilicat
READY IN: 5hrs 15mins




  • To make dough: Dissolve sugar in warm water (water should be as hot as your finger can stand to touch). Add yeast. Let stand 10 minutes as yeast foams and rises.
  • Sift flours together twice. Place in a large bowl. Add shortening, then slowly add the yeast mixture, incorporating it into the flour gradually. Form into a ball.
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add more flour or water if necessary. Place in a clean bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place for 2 to 4 hours, until at least doubled in bulk.
  • To make filling: Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Add remaining ingredients, except the cornstarch slurry, and stir-fry until hot. Bring to a boil, then stir in slurry to thicken. Cool.
  • To assemble bao: Remove warm dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface 5 to 7 minutes, adding more water if too dry, or more flour if too wet. Form into a long roll and divide into 24 equal portions. Lightly oil a Chinese knife or cleaver. Place a section of dough cut-side down on a flat surface and pound with the flat side of the knife. Then press down on the dough with the knife and turn the knife clockwise to form the dough into a thin circle, about three inches in diameter. Use the knife to lift the dough and place it in your hand.
  • Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the circle, gather up the edges and pinch closed in the center. Place on a square of paper. (Dough is easier to work with when warm. Beginners may wish to work with half the dough at a time, keeping the remainder in a warm place.).
  • Let filled buns rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
  • Oil steamer baskets and arrange buns 1/2-inch apart. Fill a wok 75 percent with water and bring water to a boil. Steam buns 15 minutes over high heat. If buns are in two stacked trays, switch the trays midway. Serve hot.