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Chinese Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

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Char siu bao (in Cantonese) or char shao bao (in Mandarin) is a typical Cantonese bun stuffed with diced barbecue pork. There are two versions of char siu bao, namely steamed and baked (also called chan bao in Cantonese). While the steamed buns version is white in colour the baked version is often toasted and glazed with egg wash and or honey and sometimes garnished with white sesame seeds before baking in the oven. Enclosed in the center of these savoury buns is tender and delicious roasted pork diced and mixed with the barbecue sauce from the slow roasting process. Both versions of barbecue pork buns are often served as dim sum in Cantonese yum cha restaurants. These char siu bao is a type of baozi, steamed or baked, filled bun or bread like bun in many different Chinese cuisines. There are many variations to the fillings of these baozi or buns and the fillings can be sweet or savoury. For my gluten free recipe, I am using barbecue pork fillets finely diced and wrapped in a dense and soft bread dough. My recipe is also dairy free, nut free and egg free. Soy flour is used in the Laucke easy bakers gluten free white bread flour I am using. This specific Laucke gluten free bread flour can also be purchased from Coles. You can use any gluten free white bread flour. For my gluten free recipe on how to make barbecue pork recipe (Char Siu) and barbecue sauce, refer recipe here.

Gluten Free Steamed Char Siu Bao

Steamed Char Siu Bao_Gluten Free

Lean and trimmed pork is a nutritional source of low fat protein and naturally low in sodium. It is also a rich source of B group of vitamins including vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B12. Lean pork is also a good source of minerals like zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium.  Health benefits of pork include: build strong bones and teeth; boost the immune system; support healthy eyes, hair, nails and skin; maintain muscle strength; encourage creation of normal red blood cells; promote metabolism and energy production; sustain normal blood pressure and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Steam BBQ Pork Buns gf

Steamed BBQ Pork Buns_Gluten Free

Disclosure Statement: I am NOT paid by Laucke Easy Bakers for this post!

gf Char Siu Bao

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22 Responses

  1. Jay
    | Reply

    Can you freeze these?
    If so would I have to steam them before I freeze them or can I freeze them without coming first?

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Yes, you can freeze these buns.

      You have to steam and cook them and let them cool on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Once cooled, transfer the tray to the freezer for around 1 hour so they will keep their shape and will not stick together. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to freezer bags or airtight container and then return to the freezer. Keep up to 1 month. Reheat by steaming until soft and hot.

  2. Michelle
    | Reply

    I used a gluten free bread flour blend but the buns still turned out hard – do you have any tips? Also, is there an alternative to rice milk (almond milk etc)?

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      You can try using a different brand of gluten free bread flour blend as they can vary. Alternative, you can use my Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) recipe using gluten free self-raising flour with yeast or Chinese Steamed Custard Buns recipe using gluten free self-raising flour with baking powder. You can also use any type of vegan milk like almond milk or soy milk instead of rice milk if you prefer.

  3. Kelsi
    | Reply

    Would this recipe work with bobs red mill gluten free baking flour?
    So excited to try these thanks for the recipe! :)

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      You can use Bob’s Red Mill gluten Free Self-Raising Flour using my plain Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) recipe. Don’t use gluten free All Purpose flour for this recipe as the buns will turn out hard. :)

      • Kelsi
        | Reply

        Thank you! :)

  4. James
    | Reply

    These looks delicious and tasty. Its very Asian for me because of Dim sums, like siomai and dumplings and I loved Asian food so I’ll definitely try and cook this for my friends who are working in one of the
    best restaurants docklands
    . I know they will love this, and maybe putting a twist like a sauce or ketchup inside the bun would be great.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Steamed BBQ porks buns are one of the many favourite dim sums. I love and miss a lot of the dim sums! You can add more than 3 tablespoons bbq sauce as stated in the recipe from my bbq pork recipe. Hope you and your friends enjoy this recipe! :)

      • [email protected]
        | Reply

        Yeah. and for the sauce I just want a little sweet because combining it with pork, for me really delicious.

  5. Miranda Cunningham
    | Reply

    I have always wanted to try these. Unfortunately I was diagnosed before I had a chance to. I did get to try redbean buns made into pretty peaches. they were amazing. Any suggestions on a flour mix on amazon? I never buy gluten free breadflour so I have no go to for this.

  6. Venice
    | Reply

    Hi
    Could I use normal white sugar? Or brown sugar? Is it the same measurement?
    Thanks

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      You can use either normal white sugar or light brown sugar. As agave sugar is sweeter than normal sugar, you may need more normal sugar, just adjust to taste.

  7. NOM NOM Boris
    | Reply

    I think its awesome they are gluten free!! This would make a perfect dish for some of my friends :) NOM NOM!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Thanks NOM NOM ! These buns will definitely be a crowd pleaser. :)

  8. Andrea @ Sunday Brunch
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for posting! I have been looking for a good bao recipe for a while :)

  9. MELANIE
    | Reply

    What a brilliant recipe and it’s gluten free, great idea. I must try making these.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      This gluten free Char Siu Bao recipe is a must try recipe that closely resembles the gluten version. Enjoy the recipe. ☺

  10. Jemma
    | Reply

    These looks so tasty! I really love Chinese pork buns and all kinds of dim sum too.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      I love all the dim sum especially the different types of sweet or savoury buns. ????

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