Bao Buns with Char Sui Pork Recipe

These tasty family-friendly bao buns make an impressive centre piece for a Chinese New Year feast – or a fantastic alternative to a takeaway any time of year.

Get creative: once you’ve mastered the bao buns the possibilities for fillings are endless…


Makes 8 filled buns. Ideally you need to marinate the pork overnight or for at least four hours.



  • 260g plain flour
  • 100ml water
  • 25ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 10g sesame seeds
  • 10ml rapeseed oil
  • 7ml white wine vinegar
  • 3.5g dried yeast
  • 3g baking powder
  • 3g salt


  1. Mix the flour, caster sugar and the salt in a large bowl. Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar in a tablespoon of warm water, then add it to the flour with the milk, oil, vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.
  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15mins, or until smooth. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size.
  3. Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Flatten the dough with your hands, then sprinkle over the baking powder and knead for 5 mins.
  4. Roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are about 3cm wide – you should have 8. In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 5 mins.
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball, one by one, into an oval shape about 34mm thick. Rub the surface of the dough ovals with oil and brush a little oil over a chopstick. Place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each oval. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick.
  6.  Cut 8 squares of baking parchment and put a bun on each. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr 30 mins, or until doubled in size.
  7. Heat a large steamer over a medium high heat. Steam the buns for 8 mins until puffed up (you’ll need to do this in batches).

Char Sui Pork

  • 700g boneless pork leg or shoulder
  •  50g onions
  • 50g carrots
  • 50ml tomato ketchup
  • 40 ml honey 
  • 25ml dark soy sauce
  • 25ml red wine vinegar
  • 15g ginger
  • 15g garlic
  • 5g Chinese five spice
  • 5g paprika


  1. Cut the pork into two large pieces.
  2. Chop the onions and carrots roughly.
  3. Chop and mince the ginger and garlic.
  4. Thoroughly combine all other ingredients with your ginger and garlic then marinade your pork overnight or at least 4 hours.
  5. Heat the oven to 140°C, place the pork into the roasting tin on your bed of vegetables. Wrap tightly in paper and then foil to make an airtight fix.
  6. Cook for 2.5 hours, basting every half hour. Add a little water if the tin is drying out.
  7. Remove the lid and turn the heat to 160°C and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Let the meat rest for twenty minutes but keep warm.
  9. Deglaze the pan with a little amount of water and pour the juices and vegetables into a pan. Reduce until sauce consistency, pass, and skim.

You can allow the meat to chill and slice, or even better, pull into chunks to serve.


Spring onions, coriander, toasted sesame seeds, carrots.

Very finely slice your vegetables, pick the fresh coriander and plunge into iced water in the fridge for an hour, when ready to serve drain from the water and pat dry. They will have curled and be very crisp.

Warm your buns, pork and sauce and serve with a little of the garnish.

Like this recipe? Why not try our Chris’s Chinese vegan duck pancake recipe, Tony’s Chana masala curry or his Italian wedding soup?

Recipe from Tony Lones, Senior Craft and Development Chef at Radish


Tony Lones is a 2020 finalist at the prestigious B&I StrEAT Food Awards – he also reached the finals last year. He became passionate about food after working on a fruit and vegetable stall while waiting for his exam results. He says, “I became more interested in food than my career choice, which was electronic engineering!

Radish are one of our brilliant catering partners and manage bistros at some of our Retirement Living PLUS developments. 

Find more development chefs’ recipes here.

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