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Char Siu Bau

Prep Time:45 Minutes
Cook Time:45 Minutes

Nutritional Information

A traditional Chinese bun baked on the EGG, using smoked pork tenderloin.


  • For the Marinade:
  • 2 each garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 3/4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and silverskin
  • 1 chunk plum wood
  • For the Flavoring Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, and more to taste
  • 1 pinch white pepper, and more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster flavored sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • For the Dough:
  • 5 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons lukewarm water
  • 1 each egg
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 1/4 ounces all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • For the Egg Wash:
  • 1 each egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • 1. For the Marinade:
  • 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, sugar, five-spice powder, hoisin sauce, honey, rice wine, both soy sauces and the sesame oil. Set aside 1/3 of the marinade, cover and refrigerate to later baste the pork tenderloin.
  • 3. Place the pork tenderloin in a ziploc bag and add the marinade. Squeeze out any excess air and close the bag. Place the ziploc bag in a pan to catch any leaks. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours, or even overnight, turning the bag 2 or 3 times.
  • 4. Remove the pork and the reserved marinade from the refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
  • 5. Preheat EGG to 225 degrees F, set up for smoking, using plum wood, plate setter with the feet up, a disposable aluminum pan filled half way with water and your stainless steel grate. Place pork tenderloin on the stainless steel grate and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Baste the pork tenderloin with the reserved marinade every 10-15 minutes.
  • 6. Remove the pork tenderloin from the EGG and let rest 10 minutes prior to slicing.
  • 7. For the Flavoring Sauce:
  • 8. While the pork tenderloin is cooling, put together the flavoring sauce.
  • 9. In a medium sauce pan, combine together all the flavoring ingredients and whisk to smooth. Cook over medium heat and let simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • 10. Small dice the pork tenderloin and place it in a bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of the flavoring sauce of the pork tenderloin and toss to coat thoroughly. Taste and add more flavoring sauce as desired. Adjust seasoning to taste with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Set flavored pork aside. Serve any extra flavoring sauce on the side with the completed baked bun.
  • 11. For the Dough:
  • 12. Melt the butter with the milk in a sauce pan over medium heat. Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, or until lukewarm. Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the water, and set aside for 1 minute. Whisk the milk mixture and the egg to blend.
  • 13. Combine the sugar and flour in a food processor. Pulse two or three times to blend. With the machine running, pour the yeast mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream. After a sticky mass of very soft dough forms, about 5 seconds, continue processing for 45 to 60 seconds to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough that mostly cleans the bowl. The finished dough should stick a bit to your finger when pressed. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth, fingertip soft, and slightly elastic.
  • 14. Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 45 minutes, or until nearly doubled.
  • 15. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper before beginning to assemble the buns.
  • 16. Remove the dough from the bowl and put it on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, then cut in half. Cover one-half with plastic wrap or an inverted bowl to prevent drying.
  • 17. Evenly portion the dough out into 5 pieces. Lightly roll each piece between your hands into a ball and flatten each one into a 1/4-inch-thick disk. Use a wooden rolling pin to roll the pieces into a circles, 3 1/4 inches in diameter. The rim should be thinner than the center; keep a 1-inch-wide belly.
  • 18. The finished circle will rise as it sits. Lay the finished circles out on your work surface, lightly dusting their bottoms with flour to prevent sticking.
  • 19. Assembly:
  • 20. To form a bun hold a dough circle in a slightly cupped hand. Use a spoon to center 2-3 oounces of the pork filling on the dough circle, pressing down very gently and keeping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the dough clear on all sides; your hand will automatically close slightly. Use the thumb of the hand cradling the bun to push down the filling while the other hand pulls up the dough edge and pleats and pinches the rim together to form a closed satchel. Pinch and twist the dough closed at the end.
  • 21. Place the bun on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough circles, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Set in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes to rise. Work with the other half of the dough and repeat.
  • 22. Preheat EGG to 350 degrees F, using indirect heat and a stainless steel grate.
  • 23. For the Egg Wash:
  • 24. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, honey and water.
  • 25. Brush the tops and sides of each bun with the egg wash. Bake the buns for 15- 18 minutes, or until a rich golden brown; the cooked buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the EGG, and let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy warm.

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Chef JJ’s is a unique, personal and hands-on culinary experience with a focus on kamado style cooking, corporate team building, private events and grilling classes. Indy's large party restaurant. Indianapolis, Indiana 317.602.3828