Siopao (Asian Pork Buns)

The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

siopao - baked pork bunsThis months Daring Bakers challenge was to make Siopao – Asian filled buns. We could fill them with any sweet or savoury filling we wanted, but the filling recipe given with the challenge was for pork. Being vegetarian, I was initially planning on making a veggie filling for mine, but after hearing that the challenge was for pork buns, my not-remotely-vegetarian fiance gave me puppy-dog eyes and pleaded with me to make pork ones for him (I may be exaggerating slightly about the pleading…). I relented as the poor man is forced to eat a vegetarian diet roughly 90% of the time as I do most of the cooking (he doesn’t complain). I don’t mind cooking a bit of meat for him every now and again and will occasionally make a batch of meat pies to store in the freezer for when he gets a craving. I figured I could do the same with the buns (I doubt he’d be able to eat twelve of them within a couple of days!).

siopao, pork bunsThis does mean however that my description of the buns comes entirely from him, as I was unable to try any myself. So, Damian says that the dough was very soft, springy and slightly sweet and the filling was well flavoured, the buns are very satisfying and more-ish and he was very happy. So there you go.

pork bunsThey were pretty quick and simple to make, the dough was one of the quickest I have ever made as it is no-knead, you simply stir everything together then cover and leave to rise. Make the filling and leave it to cool while the dough is rising, which is a simple matter of frying some onion and garlic, adding the pork and then just a couple of other ingredients, all in one pan. Easy, even a vegetarian like myself can do it! You then divide the dough up into twelve pieces, it is a little sticky, but that makes the buns softer, and also makes it easier to seal the dough around the filling so you don’t get any leaks. Roll each piece out into a disc (don’t roll them out too thin or they will split) and divide the filling between them; (a word to the wise – remember to remove the star anise from the filling…I forgot and Damian got a bit of a nasty surprise…), pinch the edges of the dough together to seal the filling inside, leave them to rise again then bake for 20 minutes.

Siopao (Asian Pork Buns)

Servings 12
Author Domestic Gothess


  • For the dough:
  • 360 ml (1 + 1/2 cups) lukewarm water
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 7 g (2 tsp) fast action yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 550 g (4 + 2/3 cups) plain flour
  • For the pork filling:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 450 g (16 oz) finely diced or ground pork
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour cornstarch
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten, to glaze


  1. To make the dough:
  2. Whisk together the water, melted butter, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add the flour and mix in until completely incorporated and you have a slightly sticky, tacky, but not wet, dough. Cover the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size.
  4. Make the filling:
  5. Heat the oil in a largish pan, add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes longer.
  6. Add the pork and stir anise and cook until the pork is browned then stir in the soy and oyster sauces and the sugar, continue to simmer until the pork is cooked through.
  7. Whisk together the cornflour and cold water, add to the pan and cook for a couple more minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the star anise and set the filling aside until cooled.
  8. To assemble:
  9. Line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
  10. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface, fold it over several times, it will be a bit sticky so add more flour as needed. Divide into 12 equal pieces.
  11. Roll each piece out into a disc about 13cm/5in wide, don't roll it out too thin or your buns will split.
  12. Place a heaped tablespoon of the cooled filling into the centre of the disc, bring the edges of the dough up over the filling and pinch tightly to seal. Place the filled buns seam side down on the prepared baking sheets, well spaced apart.
  13. Loosely cover with greased clingfilm and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until risen and puffy.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
  15. Brush the risen buns with the beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.

siopao - asian pork buns

asian pork bunsI am sharing these with Totally Talented Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire, Fiesta Friday, Foodie Fridays and Foodie Friends Friday Tasty Tuesdays on #CookBlogShare

Link up your recipe of the week

28 Comments on Siopao (Asian Pork Buns)

  1. milkandbun
    February 27, 2015 at 9:15 am (3 years ago)

    Such a beautiful buns! and great idea for lunch or may be picnic? 🙂

  2. Claire
    February 27, 2015 at 11:56 am (3 years ago)

    Great recipe. Just what ive been looking for. Is it bread flour or just normal?

    • hannahhossack
      February 27, 2015 at 11:58 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 I used plain (all-purpose) flour, but bread flour should be fine too.

  3. Giramuk's Kitchen
    February 27, 2015 at 3:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Those buns look absolutely delicious!! I am REALLY wishing I had some right now! I really want to give these a go… we love stuffed bread rolls!!

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:49 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂 unfortunately I couldn’t try any myself being vegetarian…they looked really good though!

  4. Nancy
    February 27, 2015 at 5:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my goodness…looks fabulous! Thanks for posting your recipe. 🙂 I’ve already pinned it and I’ll be making these real soon!

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you!

  5. Hilda
    February 27, 2015 at 10:37 pm (3 years ago)

    I’m glad you took this challenge and did such a fine job. Thanks for posting.

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Hilda 🙂

  6. chefjulianna
    February 28, 2015 at 7:23 am (3 years ago)

    Wow, I can’t’ believe you made your own pork buns!! That is more than impressive! These buns look amazing! 😀

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:53 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Julianna 🙂

  7. Julie is HostessAtHeart
    February 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm (3 years ago)

    This recipe came out great! I had to miss this challenge this month so am a little jealous of yours. I will have to make them another time!

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm (3 years ago)

      They looked really tempting…I almost gave up vegetarianism to take a bite!

  8. J Seaton
    March 1, 2015 at 6:09 am (3 years ago)

    This recipe takes me back to the Chinese bakery I visit whenever I’m in Vancouver. They look delicious!

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:57 pm (3 years ago)

      I’ve never actually been to a Chinese bakery! There is one near me that I keep meaning to visit and haven’t got round to it…I really must go!

  9. petra08
    March 1, 2015 at 4:04 pm (3 years ago)

    What a gorgeous recipe, the buns looks so delicious and the pork filling so tasty! I will give them a try, I have never seen a recipe for these before! 🙂

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 8:58 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂

  10. Janine
    March 1, 2015 at 10:13 pm (3 years ago)

    Wow these look perfect – as in like bakery perfect! I don’t think I’ve ever tried a no-knead filled bun recipe, but these look so gorgeous that I think I’m going to have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 9:09 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you! It is actually the first time I’ve used a no-knead recipe and I was really surprised by how well it worked, they were perfect 🙂

  11. Johanne Lamarche
    March 2, 2015 at 1:02 am (3 years ago)

    Wow LOVE these but always buy them in Chinatown! Expertly executed and beautifully photographed

    • hannahhossack
      March 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Johanne 🙂

  12. Kat
    March 3, 2015 at 9:54 pm (3 years ago)

    These look delicious! Perfectly golden 🙂

  13. Steph @MisplacedBrit
    March 4, 2015 at 11:07 pm (3 years ago)

    And you did it again!! …These look FANTASTIC!
    A totally different little treat too – love it 🙂

  14. Honest Mum
    March 7, 2015 at 12:49 am (3 years ago)

    Wow those look utterly scrumptious! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

  15. Sarah James
    March 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm (3 years ago)

    Those buns look so tasty, I love the sound of the Asian flavours with the pork. Popping over from #TastyTuesdays

  16. lucyparissi
    March 11, 2015 at 10:11 am (3 years ago)

    Wow there are so many things I love about these! Your fiancé is one lucky guy : ) Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

  17. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy
    March 12, 2015 at 8:57 am (3 years ago)

    Oh this looks absolutely delicious. Love the styling too. Will have to pin it for later. Popping over from #recipeoftheweek

    • hannahhossack
      March 18, 2015 at 9:24 am (3 years ago)

      Thank you 🙂


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