Siew Pao (Baked Char Siu Bun) 燒包

When we were little, my Mom used to drive across the Klang bridge to buy these baked buns or shāo bāo (包) with roast pork fillings for us, as snacks. It has been 20 years, but I still remember the taste of this delicious bun.

The filling is shallots, roast pork or Char Siu (叉燒) and green peas. Special thanks to Lily for the recipe.

This Asian snack is also referred to as:

  • Baked Char Siu Bun or Baked Char Shao Bun in English
  • Siew Pao or Siu Pao in Cantonese
  • Shao Bao in Mandarin
  • Recipe for Char Siu filling (adapted from Lily’s recipe)

    2 Tbsp oil
    1 Tbsp Flour
    4 chopped shallots
    300 gm Char Siu ( finely diced )
    3 Tbsp sugar
    ¾ cup water (Since the Char Siu was fully cooked, I reduced the water to slightly less than 1/2 cup. The more water, the longer I have to wait for the sauce to thicken.)
    1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
    1 Tbsp light soya sauce
    1 tsp Dark soya sauce
    1/2 cup frozen green peas

    Heat oil and stir in the shallots.
    Add in flour and fry until flour is cooked and brown.
    Put in the diced char siu and fry for a short while.
    Add in water, all the sauces and sugar.
    Cook till the sauces thicken and gluey.
    Lastly add in the green peas.
    Set aside to cool .

    For the skin, I used the Pie Crust Mix, a tip, I learned from Rasa Malaysia. I made 12 Siew Pao from one package of Pie Crust Mix. The hardest part about making this snack is perhaps wrapping the bun. Don’t put too much filling or it will be too hard to enclose the bun. Since I was conservative on the filling, there is still a small bowl of filling left.

    I baked the buns according to the temperature listed on the Pie Crust Mix. After 10 minutes of baking, I took it out and brushed one beaten egg yolk on the top of each bun and put it back into the oven and bake until golden brown.


    Filed under Asian Snacks, Malaysian Food

    31 responses to “Siew Pao (Baked Char Siu Bun) 燒包

    1. lily ng

      lee ping

      so did you school in klang? cos if you do, i have a friend who is my neighbor now, who is around your age and her family is still in klang,

      good job on the siew paos

    2. Hi Lee Ping, it’s strange. I found my mum’s recipe of siew pau when she was taking lessons from the famous Linda Quo and was going to try them today but ran out of time.

      Yours look really good. Did you originate from Klang? If so, which part of Klang?

    3. Dear Auntie Lily,
      Really, your neighbor is around my age? I have been trying to look for my old schoolmates who went to Convent Klang.

    4. Dear Judy,
      My family lived in Taman Gembira (near Port Klang).

    5. Amazing. I have relatives who live in Taman Gembira. I used to live in Jalan Duku, went to Convent Klang. My mum was the primary headmistress there. What year were you?
      I am feeling rather excited. So, do you know Ilene Ong?

    6. Dear Judy,

      Amazing indeed! My aunt still lives in our old home in Taman Gembira.

      I am not familiar with Jalan Duku but you went to Convent Klang and your Mom was the primary headmistress? I just turned 37 years old. Since I am bad with numbers, I will let you calculate which year I was in. Looking at my photo, do you feel you have seen me before?

      I know Ilene Ong from blogging. I have a link to her blog!

    7. Wow, you are so young. My son was borne the year you left school. My mum retired in 1986. You are two years older than my sister, Ivy Yap. I am sure you know some people that I know if we hailed from Klang. Were you in primary 1 or primary 2 because each had its own headmistress?

      God bless,

    8. Dear Judy,

      Can I call you Big Sister then?

      Ivy Yap sounds very familiar. Perhaps she was in the same class as one of my younger sisters. I have 3 younger sisters, Lee San Chong (3 years younger than me), Lee Na Chong (4 years younger than me) and Lee Li Chong (youngest).

      I am not familiar with the terms primary 1 or 2. I recall from Standard One thru Five, it was primary. From Form One thru Five, it was secondary. And I was in both primary and secondary Convent school. There were also subclasses within each Form. I was in the “K” class. I remember the top student in my class was Shanti, an Indian girl.

    9. Oh my, they look so good. I want I want. 🙂

    10. Dear Rasa Malaysia,

      Thanks for the compliments. I must say, your short cut crust tip, saved me a lot of time.

    11. I want I want!!! I need to start hunting for short cut crust pastry already…never seem to find them in the supermarkets

    12. Dear Teckiee,

      My neighbor had a sample of it and they loved it as well.

      The short cut crust pastry is called Pie Crust Mix. I found 2 different brands. I used the brand that Rasa Malaysia recommended, which was Betty Crocker. It was on sale for US$2 a box. One box can make about 12 buns.

    13. what does mrshbt stand for?

      making crust and dough is a real pain. (LOL, started playing with oven recently)

    14. Jonzz,

      Mrshbt stands for Mrs. HBT. I am married to a Ph.D. who specializes in Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors.

      p/s What types of food have you tried baking? Making crust or dough from scratch is a pain. However, as I mentioned in the article, I used a short cut crust. So, it wasn’t too involved.

    15. Kenny Mah

      Heya mrshbt,

      Just dropped by to say Hi! Am still busy but always happy to see your comments on my blog. The latest entry is a long-promised interview with Sharanya that I kept putting off due to work. But I always keep my promises. 🙂

      Elsewise, I’m spending time in my new place. Just nice to have it all to myself, even if I am still renting. Next step is to buy my own place! And when I do, it’ll have a fancy kitchen where freshly-baked fragrance of siew pao can be smelled every day… Yums…

    16. Kenny,

      Please don’t feel obligated to come by when I visit. I understand that you are busy. Just come by when you are done with your projects or when you need some chicken soup. Chicken soup tastes best when you are hungry or starving.

      It must be super expensive to buy your own place in KL. We will just have to find a way to make your short story novel, a bestseller. I will buy multiple copies to distribute to my friends.

    17. alice

      lee ping,
      Isn’t it exciting that you discover that Judy also hailed from Convent school and from Klang? Actually, when I previously saw your reply to a blogger’s comment (Lemongrass, I think) about the school you came from, I was thinking of telling you yesterday (after seeing Judy’s comment on Bak Kua) that Judy also came from the same school as you. But I thought it’s better you two discover about each other. Got something in common hor? Loves cooking, Christians, Convent school, Klang, got relatives in Australia, etc… etc… Wah, if I got Judy and you as my neighbor, I no need to cook already hor. Chiak boey liao lor!

    18. alice

      Oh, btw, I love siew pao. I even brought back some from Malaysia on my last trip in summer. My sister gave me a recipe on siew pao but never tried it cos making the crust puts me off. Good idea to use the pie crust as a short cut. I’ll try it during the summer vacation.

    19. Dear Alice,

      As you can see, we were equally excited about each other from the chains of comments. Judy, later sent me email and I responded back to her via email. She is a warm person, and full of love.

      I look forward to getting to know her more and definitely try out her wat tan hor or wat tan mein or kong hu char.

      p/s I love using the pie crust as short cut. I have tried the flattened frozen pastry dough before, but I think the taste and texture of the pie crust comes closest to the real siew pao that we had, growing up in Malaysia.

    20. Using the ready made pie crust is indeed ingenious, I will definitely try it.

    21. peter chong

      Hi Lee Ping,
      We are very impressed with your siew pao. It looks so scrumptious and we hope to try it out on our next visit to you at Portland.
      Good luck and happy cooking.
      Pa and Mom

    22. Dear KopiSoh,

      After leaving your blog, my heart still feel heavy. I thought of my own Mom. She is a strong woman. When I was younger, I never saw her shed a tear. She did everything, drove us to school, cooked for us, washed all the clothes by hand, mop the floor (every night), brought us to piano and even ballet lessons.

      Only recently, she realizes that there are some things that are beyond her abilities to control. For example, her health.

      I am happy to know that your spirits are high. However, if you ever need a “ear” to listen, I am here. If you prefer, you can write email to me as well.

      Dearest Pa,
      Sorry, just read your comment. Apparently, the system thought it was SPAM and put your comments in my SPAM box. Perhaps, it is because you have been leaving many comments on my blog? Pa, thanks for your continuous support and for being my biggest fan.

    23. I have to google this Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors…. I feel so blur right now.

    24. Dear Teckiee,

      Don’t worry about it. I am still “blur” about HBT after married to him for 14 years.

      He has written 3 very technical books. His first book is all about HBT and it retails for US$150. If you google, search for “William Liu” and “HBT”, you will find his books.

    25. I’m definitely going to try this recipe! They look SO good.

    26. Dear Steamy Kitchen,

      The Siew Paos are really yummy. Our local Safeway stores are still selling $2 a box of pie crust mix. Looking forward to seeing an article on Siew Pao from you. I wonder what dishes you will use to display your Siew Pao in.

    27. This is one my favourite.. Klang Siew Pao.
      Definitely trying this soon. I like the pie crust idea. I think the pie crust come in round shape right.. so do you to re-rolled them again?

    28. Dear Cocoa,

      The photo of the pie crust mix is posted in this article. The pie crust is in powder form, you have to add water. Follow the instruction on the box.

    29. no I am not. i am from Ipoh. But Klang Siu Pao is very famous in Malaysia 🙂 I think now they even have the halal chicken version for muslim.

    30. hmm need to check out this pie crust. maybe i can try to egg tart since Hubby is requesting for it since i started myblog. I always bought the pillsbury pie crust and they are premix in round pie shape.

    31. Dear Cocoa,
      My auntie from my father’s side is from Ipoh. Whenever they come down to visit us in Klang, they always bring us Ipoh’s Pomelo.

      I think pretty soon, Siew Pao will be famous in Kansas City. And you can substitute the roast pork with roast chicken that is halal suitable for muslim.

      I have used the brand that Rasa Malaysia recommended, which was Betty Crocker. It was on sale for US$2 a box at Safeway a couple of weeks ago. One box can make about 12 buns.

      If you have left-over crust, you can even make egg tarts for your Hubby. I have not try the Pillsbury pie crust that are premix in round pie shape but I have used up 3 boxes of Betty Crocker’s Pie Crust mix. And the result has been great each time.

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