Semi-Homemade Char Siu Pork Buns

Semi-Homemade Char Siu Pork Buns

Today’s recipe for Char Siu Pork Buns is the result of a great trip to the local Asian supermarket. Before I share that story, let’s focus on these buns! They pork is sticky and crispy on the edges. Wedge that between a pillow of fluffy Asian style rolls and top with more gooey sauce and crunch pickles. Whoa does that yield some serious flavor!

My co-worker and I share the same affinity for being worldly in the kitchen. I decided it was time to take her to a local Asian supermarket near our office to make some new discoveries. We didn’t just stick to the noodle aisles either. We slowly combed every inch of that place. While, I’m not as adventurous as some cooks, it definitely gave me some great inspiration. My loot included my usual dumpling wrappers, a new steamer, sticky buns, and a bunch of new sauces and spices to experiment with.

Fast forward a few days later and I was now looking for what to stuff my buns with. Well, a fellow blogger of mine had me covered. I had recently stumbled across RecipeTin Eats recipe for Chinese Barbecue Pork (aka Char Siu). It looked absolutely perfect for what I was trying to pull together. The glaze looked thick and sappy (perfect for drizzling extra on the buns!).

Well, RecipeTin Eats didn’t let me down. The pork was tender and the marinade was perfection. I doubled the sauce to use it for my composed dish. I also picked up some sweet and spicy pickles from my local favorite, Picklicious. These pickles give it the crunch and the brightness the bites need. These buns melt in your mouth and warm your belly. It’s Asian comfort food for sure!

I know you all don’t have picklicious near you so I’ve found the next best thing for you:

If you don’t want to order out for these, just use bread and butter pickles. You just won’t get the full effect!!

And to help you again (in case you don’t have a local Asian Supermarket near you) here is a link to a bun recipe so you can make them at home:

Now that you are equipped with all the things you need for this Char Siu Pork Bun recipe, let’s discuss how to serve it!

  •  With a side of wilted Chinese greens like Bok Choy
  • As a part of a Dim Sum meal – add in my steamed chicken dumplings for this!

Chow down folks! And stay tuned later this week on how to use the Pork leftovers (think fried rice!).

…all for the love of the dish

Semi-Homemade Char Siu Pork Buns


  • Ingredients for Marinade
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbs soy sauce (normal all purpose soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (not critical)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Ingredients for Pork
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Ingredients for Buns
  • 6 pork Buns
  • Pork tenderloin slices
  • 12 sweet and spicy pickle chips
  • 1/4 cup of reserved Char Siu Marinade


  1. For Marinade:
  2. Place the Marinade ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to simmer for just 30 seconds, then set aside to cool.
  3. Then place the pork and 1/2 the marinade in a ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible, then massage it so the marinade is all over the Pork. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  4. For Pork
  5. Take the pork out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with foil or baking/parchment paper and place a rack on top (rack is recommended but not critical).
  7. Remove pork from the marinade, save ziploc Marinade.
  8. Mix 1 tbsp honey into the ziploc bag with the Marinade.
  9. Place the pork on the rack and tuck the thin end of the the tenderloin underneath so the whole piece is roughly the same thickness.
  10. Roast for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 - 160F. Around halfway through roasting, baste generously with the reserved Marinade. Sort of dab it on so you get as much Marinade on the pork as possible - this is key for getting the thick, glossy glaze.
  11. When the pork is cooked, switch the oven to the broiler/grill. Baste the pork very generously with the remaining ziploc bag Marinade (again, dab rather than brush it on), then broil/grill the pork until it is nicely charred and caramelised - around 2 to 3 minutes. Baste at least twice during broiling/grilling - preferably more. It's the key to the thick glaze.
  12. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  13. For the buns
  14. Bring the bottom of a steam pot to boil. Place parchment paper in the top piece and place 2-3 buns at a time inside. Cover and steam for 3-4 minutes. Do this in 2-3 waves for all the buns.
  15. Bring remaining 1/2 of marinade that was not in the ziploc bag to a simmer to reheat.
  16. Slice the buns in half, place 1-2 slices of glazed pork, a teaspoon of marinade and 2 pickles on each bun.
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