Char Siu Bao by Davis Lau

I typically work on new recipes or do time-consuming meals when I’m bored or feeling nostalgic. With COVID and shutdowns at its beginning phase, it was both. My boys were growing weary of our meals at home and missed buying baos every Sunday in Chinatown. Char Siu Bao is one of those things which I am just nostalgic for. As often as we can when we go back out to NY, we hit up spots like Mei Lai Wah and Hop Shing for dim sum and at least a dozen of their baos to take home. It is a taste of my childhood. The baos are fluffy and sweet and the meat to filling ratio is just right with the crunch of sautéd onions. That being said I like recreating flavors. The char siu is a recipe passed down to me from my mom, I’ve picked up other recipes and techniques from chefs and home cooks alike. Nothing beats mom’s. It’s a tried and true dish in our household. Often during holidays, we pair it with Siu Yuk (Crispy Roasted Pork, mom’s recipe as well) and my scallion ginger sauce. That being said, make the Char Siu to enjoy on its own the night before. Make extra so you have enough for plenty of baos for the next day. 



300 ml warm water approximately 100 °F

4 tbsp sugar

3 tbsp yeast (3 packets)

3 cups of flour

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp melted butter

1 egg beaten


1/4 onion diced

1/2 tbsp hoisin

Char siu diced

Sesame oil to taste

Light slurry

Char Siu

2 lbs half fatty, half lean pork

2 tbsp dark and light soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

4 tbsp cooking wine


Marinate pork overnight. Roast at 400 till 160.

Dice and sauté all ingredients in the filling with the pork and finish with slurry and cool

Make Bao by adding all the dry ingredients to the mixer.

Unbaked Char Siu Baos

Let yeast incorporate with 300ml water and 1/2 the sugar. Wait 10 mins. Mix on low for 3 mins. Then on high w melted butter for about 5 mins. Scrape down bowl and mix a for a couple of mins. The dough should be soft and bouncy. Lightly oil a bowl. Proof till double In size. Punch and portion put 12 baos. Knead and fill place seam side down. Preheat oven to 375F. After all the baos are done. Cover and proof for 30 mins or approximately double in size. Brush top w egg wash. Bake for 30 mins. Remove, let stand for 15 mins and enjoy!

Baked Char Siu Baos fresh out the oven!

About the Author

Davis Lau (center) and his family at his restaurant Sesami

Davis Lau is one of the owners of Sesami, a fast-casual restaurant that promotes Asian cuisine through the Asian American perspective in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. We take things that we love like Pork Bulgogi, Classic BBQ chicken (mom’s recipe), and fried tofu and we make an endless amount of bowls with the vegetables we love. We derive flavors from our travels domestically and abroad. One can go heavy protein or heavy veggies. Eat what you like! We pair those flavors with our bold in house sauces. Signature green sauce of scallion and cilantro is my favorite. Besides our bowls, we offer munchies like our Sesami tots and Night market chicken. For drinks, we make small batch Oolong and Jasmine teas which are house blend. Currently, we are offering contactless pickup. Ordering is easily done through

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