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pineapple bun with bbq pork

pineapple buns with Chinese BBQ pork (shortcut!)

One of my most recreated recipes this year was my shortcut pineapple buns (made easy with Hawaiian sweet rolls). You all loved it for how easy it was to make pineapple buns without needing to make your own dough!

Today I want to share these pineapple buns with Chinese BBQ pork filling — inspired by New York City Mei Lai Wah’s iconic buns! The combination of sweet and savory makes them an even more enjoyable version of my original shortcut pineapple bun recipe. They’re sure to impress at your next gathering 🙂

If you can’t find Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls where you are, any dinner roll should work for these.

Check out these other popular smellylunchbox recipes:

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pineapple bun with bbq pork

Pineapple Buns with Chinese BBQ Pork (shortcut!)

These pineapple buns are made even better with a filling of savory, Chinese BBQ pork — a perfect sweet and savory combination that can be made in just an hour!
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

Pineapple Buns:

  • 1 pack Kings Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls 12 rolls
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter softened
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 90 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) AP or cake flour
  • 1 egg yolk for the cookie batter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 whole egg for brushing the top

Chinese BBQ Pork Filling:

Instructions
 

Make the pineapple bun topping

  • In a bowl, mix softened butter with sugar until smooth. Add 1 egg yolk and vanilla extract, and mix until incorporated.
    50 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sift in flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until all the flour disappears.
    90 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) AP or cake flour, 1/8 tsp baking soda, 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and roll into an even log. Refrigerate for 20-30 min (this can stay in the fridge longer if prepping ahead of time).

Make the BBQ pork filling

  • Dice the shallot and Chinese BBQ pork (char siu) into similar sized small pieces.
    1 large shallot or 1/4 of a red onion, 5 oz (~1 1/4 cups diced) Chinese bbq pork
  • Heat up a pan on medium heat, and add neutral oil.
    1 tbsp neutral oil
  • Once the oil is warm, add the diced shallots. Cook until softened but not overly browned, or about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the water, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin, sugar, and chicken bouillon powder.
    2/3 cup water, 1 tsp light soy sauce, 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp hoisin, 1.5 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the cornstarch and room temp or cold water until the cornstarch is fully dissolved.
    1 tbsp water, 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Make sure the sauce is at least simmering, then add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Stir immediately to incorporate.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, add the diced char siu and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
    1/4 tsp sesame oil

Assemble and bake

  • Preheat your oven to 375F. Separate the Hawaiian sweet rolls, and place on a wire rack on a baking tray with at least a 1/2 inch of space between each roll.
    1 pack Kings Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls
  • With a sharp knife, cut a deep hole from the top of each roll to make space for the BBQ pork filling (it should look like a bread bowl). Be sure to not pierce all the way to the bottom of the roll. (If you’re unsure, watch the video attached to the bottom of this recipe card to see a visual)
  • Use the knife to gently lift and push the cut piece out, then fill each hole almost to the top with the BBQ pork filling. Place the cut piece back on top and press down gently.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge, and cut it into 12 even pieces. I used a scale for consistency but it’s optional!
  • Roll each piece into a ball, then press it flat in between plastic wrap until it’s ~1/8 inch thick. Repeat with the rest.
  • Lay a cookie crust on top of each roll. Using a butterknife, draw a crosshatch pattern (optional) but don’t cut all the way through.
  • Beat an egg in a bowl, and lightly brush the cookie tops.
    1 whole egg
  • If your oven uses convection heat (it distributes heat with a fan), you may want to use aluminum foil to create a protective wall around your baking tray to prevent your rolls from getting too toasty.
  • Bake for 13-15 min or until golden brown. They’re best enjoyed slightly warm!
Keyword char siu, chinese bakery bun, Chinese pineapple bun, chinese pineapple bun with bbq pork
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

11 Comments

  1. I will try this recipe but can chicken be substituted for the pork (I don’t eat pork)? Will use a roasted chicken, shred it, then add the sauce to the chicken.

  2. 4 stars
    Turned out but the bun was not nicely circular like yours. Also my bread rolls were very crispy like toast. Did you reshape your rolls?

    • Hi Jo-Ann,

      Thanks for trying the recipe! If you used Kings Hawaiian rolls (what I used), they’re usually a little square-ish. I didn’t reshape my rolls; mine looked circular because of the circular shape from the topping. If you want a rounder shape overall, you can use rounder soft dinner rolls!

      If your rolls were crispy, it probably means that your oven uses a fan to distribute the heat (convection). I recommend wrapping the baking tray with aluminum foil walls to protect the rolls from the oven’s heat. I hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    I love the topping on pineapple buns, which are my favorite pastries from Chinese bakeries.

  4. 5 stars
    I never leave a review, but this recipe is THE BOMB! I used plain chicken cut up and thrown in with the onions, then proceeded with the rest of the recipe. The topping is on point, the taste is awesome! Will try again next time I have BBQ pork laying around.

  5. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe. Love how easy it is to make at home. The char siu filling was tasty and the topping was great. Thank you!

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