Local Style Manapua

Steam or bake your Manapua “Char Siu Bao,” a local favorite in Hawaii.

Try dipping it in a little shoyu hot mustard, delicious. Enjoy!

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Manapua - Steamed (Pork)
Cuisine: Chinese & Local Style
Recipe type: Snacks
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ cup dried shrimp, chopped
  • ¾ pound char siu, diced
  • 4 water chestnuts, diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 package hot roll mix (13-3/4 ounces)
  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add all ingredients except for hot roll mix. Fry slightly.
  2. Prepare hot roll mix according to package directions.
  3. Let dough rise until doubled in size.
  4. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.
  5. Pinch dough into twelve 1-1/2 inch balls.
  6. Flatten pieces of dough, keeping center thicker than the edges.
  7. Put a tablespoon of meat mixture in center.
  8. Form buns by pinching edges together to seal filling.
  9. Place on wax paper squares, seam side down.
  10. Cover and let rise until doubled again (about an hour).
  11. Steam for 15 minutes.

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Manapua - Baked (Chicken)
Cuisine: Chinese Local Style
Recipe type: Snacks
  • Char Sui Chicken: combine ingredients and marinate overnight
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ cup white rice cooking wine
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ tablespoon Chinese five spice
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon red food coloring gel or 20 drops red food coloring
  • Manapua Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1½ tablespoons cooking oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups sifted flour
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Char siu chicken, cooked and shredded
  • Red food coloring
  1. Char Sui Chicken Instructions:
    Place overnight marinated chicken into an aluminum lined baking dish. Pour remaining marinade over chicken. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Dough Instructions:
    Sprinkle yeast over 3 tablespoons lukewarm water. Allow to stand until yeast softens. Next, add oil, sugar and salt to remaining 2 cups warm water. Stir well and let mixture cool. Then add in yeast mixture and stir. Set aside.
  3. Place mixing bowl with sifted flour into stand mixer and attach dough hook. Add about half of the liquid mixture to flour and turn on. Then slowly add remaining mixture to form a thick dough. Knead for 10 minutes until dough is formed like a ball. Place sesame oil into a clean bowl and coat all sides of dough with sesame oil. Cover and let rise in warm area.
  4. Filling Instructions:
    Shred and chop cooked char siu chicken and place in bowl. Add leftover cooked garlic and marinade to chicken. Set aside.
  5. Add water, sugar, salt, and cornstarch to a medium size pot. Cook on medium heat, and whisk until thickened. Add char siu chicken mix to pot and mix well. Add red food coloring and set aside until cooled.
  6. Final Phase:
    After dough has risen, place onto lightly oiled board and spread dough out, then cut into 12 pieces. Take each piece and form into a ball. Then take dough ball and press to flatten. Use a rolling pin to evenly flatten out dough. Place flatten dough onto hand and fill a ⅛ measuring cup with char siu filling. Carefully crimp ends together by pinching and twisting. Shape evenly into a ball and place on greased or lined baking pan. Repeat until done with remaining dough balls.
  7. Brush tops with sesame oil.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  9. Enjoy!


How to make Baked Manapua (cha siu bao)


More Local Style Recipes