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vegan char siu bao in a bamboo basket with one split in half filling showing

Vegan Char Siu Bao

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5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 7 servings 1x


These homemade Vegan Chinese BBQ ‘Pork’ Buns (Char Siu Bao) are perfectly fluffy and filled with a sweet, savory barbecue filling– just like the ones at dim sum! 


Units Scale

Char siu bao dough:

Char siu bao filling:


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm soy milk (with the lesser amount). Stir in the sugar and oil. Add the flour, corn starch and salt to a stand mix. Start at a low speed and then slowly pour in the yeast mixture (ensure it does not directly hit the salt). Increase to medium speed (setting #4) and let it run for about 10 minutes or until a sticky and very smooth dough forms (add remaining liquid if needed 1 tsp at a time). Cover with a damp paper towel and let it rest for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until almost double in size. Press down on the dough with your fingers (checking earlier is better)– it should slowly spring back. If it springs back too quickly, rest for longer. If it does not spring back at all, it may be over proofed and cause the bao to collapse. 
  2. While dough proofing, make the filling. Mix together the mushroom sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix the corn starch and vegetable stock. Fry the onions over high heat until caramelized (about 4 minutes). Decrease to medium high and cook mushrooms for 2 minutes. Turn down to medium low add all the sauce. Stir and cook until it starts to simmer. Add the slurry and stir until it thickens. Turn off the heat and then stir in the char siu seitan. Set aside and cool.
  3. Sprinkle the baking powder over the dough and knead again at speed 4 until the baking powder is mixed it (you can also knead it on your work surface). Knead until smooth again. Cover and rest for another 10 minutes. In the meantime, if you do not already have some parchment paper prepared, cut 7 squares about 4.5×4.5 inches. 
  4. Divide the dough into 7 equal size pieces (I use a kitchen scale for accuracy). Gently flatten the dough with a rolling pin first and then flatten out the sides, keeping the middle thicker. The dough should be about 4-4.5 inches in diameter. Place the filling in the middle and pleat it closed. 
  5. Place the baos on parchment paper and into the steamer basket. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, place the steamer on top and steam for 10-12 minutes (do not open the lid while steaming). Serve warm and enjoy! 


  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: entree
  • Method: steaming
  • Cuisine: chinese, vegan


  • Serving Size: 1 bao
  • Calories: 224
  • Sugar: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 367mg
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 3.96g
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Fiber: 1.4g
  • Protein: 6.6g
  • Cholesterol: 0