Steamed Fish Ball Buns

Char-sui Baus are the only dish I’ve missed since becoming pescarian, although I have to admit I’ve eaten the soft doughy buns and left the pork filling. It is possible to find vegetarian alternatives in the Chinese supermarkets but they often use lard, so no use there. For the filling, I used pesto as I’ve been trying to find alternative uses for it, the basil flavours really work! I’m working on a gluten-free version but haven’t mastered it just yet.


1 ¾ cup plain flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp butter

pinch of salt

½ cup warm water


¼ small onion, minced

3cm courgette, finely sliced

3 Chinese fishballs, finel sliced

1 tsp pesto


Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Cut 8 squares of baking parchment, approximately 5cm x 5cm.

  1. In a bowl, rub in the butter to the 1 ½ cup of flour & salt. Add the sugar & yeast into the mixture & combine well.
  2. Gradually add the warm water, this should form a sticky paste.
  3. Add the remaining ¼ cup of flour and knead for 5 mins.
  4. Divide into 8 balls, flatten and add a teaspoon of the filling in the center, taking care not to overfill them. Bring the edges together and pinch to close. Place each bun on a square of baking parchment and put on a plate. Once all the buns are filled, cover with a plastic bag & set aside for 30mins in a warm place.
  5. In a wok or steamer, steam the buns for 15mins.

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