Vegetarian Char Siu Bao

Vegetarian char siu bao

Char Siu is a Cantonese sweet barbeque, typically pork meat. It's versatile and eaten with rice and noodles. This recipe is adapted to use vegetarian meat and served classic dim sum style as filling of a steamed bun. I've used Gardein's beefless tips, but you can substitute with any type you like, try using tofu!


Char Siu Filling

1 tsp (3g) Chinese Five Spice, ground
1 tsp (3g) white pepper, ground
2 tbsps (28g) sesame oil
6 cloves (21g) garlic, thinly sliced 2 minutes
6 tbsps (126g) honey
3 tbsps (54g) soy sauce
3 tbsps (63g) hoisin sauce
2 ½ cups (350g) vegetarian meat, large chunks

Bun Dough

2 cups (275g) cake flour, sifted 1 minute
¾ cup (88g) wheat starch, sifted 1 minute
¾ cup (88g) powdered sugar, sifted 1 minute
2 tbsps (28g) butter
¾ cup (165g) water, 130F degrees
1 tsp (4g) yeast


  1. Combine all the char siu ingredients in a bowl and marinate the meat overnight for 8-12 hours. about 12 hours
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. 1 minute
  3. Make the dough in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Knead for 5-10 minutes until all the ingredients becomes a smooth dough. 10 minutes
  4. Place bun dough in a bowl and allow to rest and rise until about double its size. Place in an area of the house that is approximately 75F degrees. about 1 hour
  5. Take the marinated meat and drain the sauce to set aside for later. 1 minute
  6. On a baking pan lined with foil, place the marinated meat on top and bake for 20 minutes. Vegetarian meat takes less time than real meat, so if you decide to use real meat, you'll need to adjust the time. 20 minutes
  7. Take the meat out and allow to cool so you can handle. 5 minutes
  8. Chop the meat into cubes, approximately 1/4" cubes. Toss with the leftover sauce. 7 minutes
  9. Take the dough and roll it into a thick log. Cut the log into 12 equal sized pieces. 5 minutes
  10. With a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough to a 5-6" circle. Fill each circle with filling. 15 minutes
  11. To form each bun, pinch the edges together in a circular fashion until the filling is fully enclosed inside the bun. It will take approximately 10-15 pinches to complete each bun. 10 minutes
  12. Allow the buns to rest for approximately an hour to rise. Be sure to cover the buns so it does not dry out. about 1 hour
  13. Steam for 20-30 minutes and enjoy immediately! 30 minutes
Vegetarian char siu bao ndata