Chinese Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

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

Steamed Char Siu Bao BBQ Pork Buns Gluten Free Asian Recipes Healthy gf Asian

Chinese Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)

Steamed char siu bao is a typical and popular Cantonese bun stuffed with diced barbecue pork and most commonly served as a dim sum in yum cha restaurants.
4.50 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 13 Buns
Calories: 282.27kcal
Author: Daphne Goh


  • Gluten free flour for dusting work surface
  • Baking or parchment paper cut into 2½ inch square pieces

For the Filling:

  • 250 g 8.8oz gluten free barbecue pork, diced into 1cm cubes (refer relevant recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons gluten free barbecue sauce refer relevant recipe

For the dough:

    Dry Ingredients:

    • 700 g 1.5Ib gluten free white bread flour (Laucke Easy Bakers)
    • 2 teaspoon dry active yeast
    • 30 g 1oz agave sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt

    Wet Ingredients:


    For preparing the dough:

    • Warm the rice milk in a small pot for around 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add in the extra virgin olive oil and agave sugar and mix well until all the agave sugar has dissolved.
    • Place all the dry ingredients including the yeast into a large mixing bowl.
    • Attach the mixing bowl to an electric mixer and then attach the dough hook. Using low speed, mix for about 30 seconds or until ingredients are well combined.
    • Continue on low speed, gradually pour the warm rice milk mixture in step 1 into the well in the large bowl for about 2 minute.
    • Stop mixing and then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl.
    • Mix on low setting for another 5 minutes or until you get a smooth dough.
    • Divide the dough into 2 portions. Seal in ziplock bags and let the dough rest on the benchtop to rise for 30 minutes.

    For rolling out the dough:

    • Dust the work surface with some gluten free flour.
    • Remove 1 bag of dough from the ziplock bag at a time, divide the dough equally into 13 large balls around 83g (3oz) each. Repeat until all the dough are finished.
    • Flatten each ball into a disc or patty and shape each patty into 4 inch round dough with the middle thicker than the edges.

    For filling the dough:

    • In a small bowl, mix and combine well the barbecue pork pieces with the barbecue sauce.
    • Place some pork fillings onto each dough and wrap and pinch the dough together. Ensure that they are tightly sealed and shape into a smooth ball.

    For cooking the buns:

    • Arrange each dough onto a piece of baking/parchment paper with the sealed side facing down.
    • Heat up a wok with a steaming rack with some water and place the bamboo steamer on top of the steaming rack. Steam the buns for 20 minutes on high heat in batches. Ensure that there is sufficient water in the wok for the whole steaming process. Repeat until all the buns are cooked. You can use any type of steamer.
    • Remove and place the cooked buns on a cooling rack. Best serve warm.
    • You can also store the buns in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat by steaming on high heat for 5 minutes or in microwave for 1½ minutes or until buns are soft.


    Allergens: Soy (in Laucke Easy Bakers gluten free white bread flour and in barbecue pork) and oyster extract (in barbecue pork).
    Nutrition Facts
    Chinese Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
    Amount per Serving
    % Daily Value*
    Saturated Fat
    Vitamin A
    Vitamin C
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Did you make this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @healthygfasian or tag #healthygfasian!

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

    gf Char Siu Bao

    22 thoughts on “Chinese Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)”

      • 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.

    1. 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)?

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

    3. 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.

    4. 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.


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