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Recipe: Cha Siu Bao

by on January 14, 2010

From the LA Times article:,0,7536561.story

I wanted to get this recipe down just in case the article goes away.


1.5 tsp dry yeast
0.75 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups (12.5 oz) flour

  • Wake up the yeast in the water, add the oil to dissolve.
  • Combine dry ingredients, add wet ingredients
  • Mix until dough forms, knead until elastic
  • Put dough into oiled and covered bowl, let proof for 45 min – 1 hour
  • Divide dough into equal balls about 3 oz each
  • Flatten each ball into a disc about 1/4 inch thick
  • Place filling (recipe follows) into center of disc, leaving 1/2 – 3/4 inch border
  • Pull the borders together to cover the filling and twist the top together (see pictures below)
  • Proof for 20-30 minutes, or until doubled
  • Steam for 15 minutes
  • Cool on rack
  • EAT!
  • To reheat, either microwave for 30 seconds with a wet napkin on top of it, or steam as before.


1 tbsp sugar
1 pinch white pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp water
2 tsp oil
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 lb. cha siu, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
1.5 tsp cornstarch dissolved into 2 tbsp water

  • combine sugar, salt, pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce and water. Stir to dissolve sugar
  • heat oil, saute onions.  Add pork.  Add liquid.
  • combine rice wine and water.  Add to mixture in pan.
  • cook for ~30 seconds, or until you can mound it up in the pan (the cornstarch will thicken the mixture)


the dough, ready to be rolled out

the cha siu, being weighed out

This is the method by which we formed the baos:






First batch!  (The little one is Emmett’s.  It has one piece of cha siu inside.)

The baos after steaming, fully cooked. Notice how they have grown considerably through the steaming process.

The guts. Looks pretty authentic!

Our steaming rig.  A wok and a steamer plate:

The plate sits on top, and the wok is filled with about an inch of water.

If you don’t have parchment paper, an oiled plate will do the trick.  If you want to be authentic, get some parchment paper and cut it into squares.  Place the finished baos on top for proofing and steaming.  When you eat it, you can peel the paper off just as if you had bought it from Chinatown!



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One Comment
  1. need to bookmark this one!

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