Steamed Pork Buns

Happy New Year, Everybody! No I’m NOT reading that calendar wrong. I’m talking about Chinese New Year! Yeah, you read that right.

And I made me some dim sum. I shortcutted my way through the dough and the Chinese barbecued pork filling, leaving me plenty of time to roll these babies around my kitchen on a little cart before digging in. JUST LIKE AT THE RESTAURANTS.

Not really. It was more like a deranged bag lady using a stolen Target shopping cart as a serving dish for pork buns and wontons.

But whatever.

Dim Sumbody say “Dim Sum”?! (Don’t hate me.)

Steamed Pork Buns recipe


Char Sui Bao

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Chinese Steamed Pork Buns

  • Yield: 12 1x


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil + enough vegetable oil to make 1/2 cup total
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 pound ground or finely chopped pork
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup minced cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or vermouth
  • 12 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. Make the dough: Combine the dry ingredients, then add the oil, water, and vinegar. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes until it can be shaped into a ball. Set aside.
  2. Make the filling:
  3. Blanch the cabbage by dropping in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and squeeze the water out.
  4. Mince the reconstituted mushrooms.
  5. Brown the pork in a skillet until cooked.
  6. Add the vegetables and ginger.
  7. Add the liquids and cook down.
  8. Remove to a plate, leaving excess liquid behind, and let cool while you shape the dough.
  9. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
  10. Roll each out into a circle about 4″ diameter, leaving the center a bit thicker than the edges.
  11. Place a spoonful of the pork mixture in the center and pinch the edges up and over to seal.
  12. Place on a 3″ square of parchment paper and set on a steamer.
  13. Steam the buns 25 minutes until risen and cooked.
  14. Cool slightly.

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  1. Randy on January 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Only a couple of weeks ago, I was shopping at MT Supermarket and once again lamenting the fact that I have to rely so heavily on symbols (roosters, crabs, etc) to recognize my favorite brands at an Asian grocery store. Or more, accurately, how I lament that FINDING favorite brands is a real bitch if there aren’t symbols on the package. Case in point: pork buns in the frozen food section. Some brands are pretty good, others really suck. Without symbols on the bags, I only have a vague notion of which are which. On this trip, memories of the bad ones overrode the craving for steamed pork buns. Thanks for demonstrating how easy it is to make them. Can’t wait to try making some!

    • Hilah on January 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

      Haha! It’s true about the symbols. That’s the only way I remember which rice paper wraps to buy – the ones with the elephant.

  2. Diane on January 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Genius to steam over parchment paper!!!! I never thought of that. I want to try these with shrimp.

    • Great Stone Face on January 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Can steam over cabbage or lettuce leaves, too.

      • Hilah on January 23, 2012 at 10:19 am

        Ooh, yeah, I have heard of that but not tried it. It would be a much prettier presentation, for sure.

    • Hilah on January 23, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Shrimp buns! A lot of recipes combine a couple different meats, too. Like pork and shrimp. Seems like Chinese recipes are fond of that.

  3. Great Stone Face on January 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Kung Hei Fat Choi!

    (By Asian Lunar New Year coincidence, I just sent Happy Seollal greetings to a Korean-American friend who’s with the U.S. Foreign Service in Mongolia. Happy Tsagaan Sar, too!)

  4. Mary Helen (@MaryHelenOrama) on January 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Nice buns. Heh heh.

  5. Austin Burn-Jones on September 13, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Hi Hilah,
    Just came across your site while looking for dim sum recipes. Your video seemed (ironically) the only sensible one, and the simplest to make.
    Will be trying it out tonight! Wish me luck.

    Ps. Is your book available in the UK?



    • Hilah on September 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Hi Austin!
      That’s great. Hope they turn out well. It’s completely cheating to use baking powder instead of yeast, but you’re right it is easy and sensible. 🙂
      The book is available worldwide through Amazon! It’s even on sale right now. Yay!
      Thanks for writing.

  6. Emilee on October 15, 2013 at 3:27 am

    Do you think you could make a video making the steamed buns filled with the sweet black or red bean filling or sweet egg curd? I would love to be able to make those at home.

  7. James on November 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I have to try this since I love pork buns.
    Can you do another ‘how-to’ vid on making hot-n-sour soup?

    • Hilah on November 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I love hot and sour soup! Will do, James.

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