Cha sui and cha sui bao

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

This has got to be the fastest challenge I have ever finished and it seems the latest I have posted lol. I finished the challenge the first week of the month but forgot to write the post.It seems I need a disastrous challenge to motivate me to post early

When the challenge was announced I was really excited to give it a try, the flavors seemed really interesting and being someone who never tried dim sum this was an opportunity I was looking forward to.

The char sui (the chicken part) didn’t disappoint, it was full of flavor and a new refreshing change from regular chicken. The cha sui bao (the buns stuffed with chopped chicken and other ingredients)on the other hand didn’t receive rave reviews from my husband, the kids enjoyed it though. As for me I think I liked the chicken alone as opposed to the char sui bao.

Thank you Sarah for the chance to explore a new recipe

Cha sui


1-1.5 pounds chicken without bone or skin
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon (3 gm) ginger, grated
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 ½ tablespoons maltose (you can substitute honey)
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

½ teaspoon (2 gm) ground white pepper
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon (2 gm) five spice powder
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon pillar box red food colouring
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)


Cut the chicken into 4 pieces. By cutting the chicken in to smaller pieces to marinate you will end up with more flavoursome char sui. If you want to leave the chicken in one piece you can do this as well. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.

Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. I placed my maltose in the microwave for a few seconds to make it easier to work with. Maltose is quite a solid hard sticky substance. (I used honey instead of maltose)

Cover  well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, Iit would be best if left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a paste when cooking the pork.

Cooking Method

Pre-heat oven to moderate 180˚C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Cover a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Place on top of this a rack on which to cook the chicken.

Place chicken in a hot frying pan or wok. Sear it quickly so it is well browned

Remove from pan/wok and place chicken on the rack and place in oven.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes, basting and turning until cooked through.

Baked Char Sui Bao

Servings: 12

Filling Ingredients

350 gm (12 oz) char sui (finely diced)
2 green onions/spring onions (finely sliced)
1 tablespoon hoisin
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
1 teaspoon (2 gm) cornflour
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 m

Dough Ingredients

2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast
¼ cup (55 gm/2 oz) sugar
½ cup warm water
2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) plain flour
1 egg (medium size – slightly beaten)
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water
(1 cup=240 ml, 1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)

Filling Directions:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan.
  2. Add diced char sui to the wok/pan and stir then add spring onions, cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add hoisin, dark soy sauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture, stir fry for one minute.
  4. Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the pork mixture.
  5. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.

Bun Directions:

  1. Place the sugar and warm water in a bowl, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add yeast and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes until it becomes all frothy.
  2. Sift flour in to a large bowl.
  3. Add yeast mixture, egg, oil and salt and stir. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 – 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once dough has doubled in size knock back and divide in to 12 portions and shape in to round balls
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll out to approximately 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Then pick the piece of dough up and gently pull the edges to enlarge to about 8cm (3 inches) in diameter.
  8. Place a good sized tablespoon of filling on the dough circle. Then gather the edges and seal your bun.
  9. Place the bun seal side down on your baking tray(or as I did in a muffin tin). Continue with rest of dough.
  10. Once all buns are complete brush surface with egg wash.
  11. Place in a preheated oven of 200º C/392º F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Try not to over fill your buns or they may burst while baking

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

The baked char sui bao freezes very well. All you need to do is take them out of the freezer and place in the over to warm. The steamed ones should freeze okay as well. To warm them place in microwave for about 30 seconds until warm and defrosted.