I made char siu bao for the first time last night and followed this recipe to make the dough. It came out great tasting but bad looking- I couldn't find advice on how to shape the bao correctly. Are there any instructions or tips I can follow so that it looks a bit nicer?

Below is a picture of one tier before steaming. I just folded up the sides and tried to spin the center. (Next time I'll definitely make the bao smaller and put in less filling, since some of these started leaking while they were steaming.) I put each bao in a paper baking cup, but when they were done, most of the bao were stuck to the cups and the bottom just broke open.


Thanks for any help!

Update: Here's my second batch- came out much much better by following the tips below:

enter image description here

  • any more specifics on what it went wrong? Specifically what did it look like?
    – talon8
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 18:57
  • yes, I edited my question with more info and a pic!
    – mdegges
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 19:30
  • Those don't look all that bad to me, especially for a first try. The two in the back row are actually pretty credible. I suspect you will get a lot better just with practice!
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented May 2, 2013 at 20:54
  • 1
    See this recipe, with tips and pictures on forming the bao: blog.junbelen.com/2010/02/15/…
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 0:36
  • 3
    @mdegges Since you've discovered some good techniques, you can answer your own question. You don't have to accept it, you can still hope for other more experienced answers too, but you may as well put your answer in its proper place!
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 4:35

1 Answer 1


Some tips I found useful while making the second batch of bao:

  1. Start out by making small buns
  2. Use a rolling pin to even out the dough (should be about 3-4 inches in diameter)
  3. Add just a small amount of filling to the center
  4. Gather up all 5 sides (not 4!!) and pinch them together in the middle
  5. Generously spray oil in baking cups, and place buns in cups (this way the buns won't stick to the steamer or to the baking cups)
  6. Steam for 15 mins, or freeze and steam at a later date for 20 mins

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