Recipe: Pork Belly Bao Buns


Bao buns are all the rage at the moment and for a very good reason- they're to die for! Ours are stuffed to the brim with slow cooked pork belly that's glazed in a sticky, sweet sauce. The recipe makes 12 but remember! One is never enough! So make plenty if you're expecting guests...


For The Pork

  • 10 g fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 orange
  • 1 l chicken stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 kg pork belly, sliced into strips

For The Buns

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 150 ml water
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

For The Glaze

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 100 ml pork stock
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Cook the Pork Belly

Step 1

Cook The Pork Belly

Slice the ginger and chilli, peel and crush the garlic and quarter the orange. Add those to a large saucepan with the stock, cinnamon, star anise and pork belly. Bring the liquid to a simmer then add a lid and turn the heat down low. Simmer for 2 hours. Remember to save some of the stock!

Make the Buns

Step 2

Make The Buns

Stir together the plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and yeast. Make sure the salt doesn’t come into direct contact with the yeast. Use a stand mixer or mix by hand and pour in the water, milk and cream. Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Get a little oil onto your hands and form the dough into a ball. Oil the bowl and replace the dough. Cover with clingfilm and prove for an hour, until doubled in size.

Finish the Pork Belly

Step 3

Finish The Pork Belly

Chop the pork belly into bite sized pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or a wok. Add the pork belly and fry until it begins to brown. Pour in the honey, soy sauce, rice wine and leftover pork stock and let it bubble away until it becomes a sticky glaze around the pork. Throw in the sesame seeds and coat the pork.

Shape the Buns

Step 4

Shape The Buns

Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut into equal portions (about 75g each). Roll the portions into balls, then flatten into ovals. Rub with a little oil, then fold them over chopsticks or any suitable cutlery! Place the folded buns onto a baking tray, cover with clingfilm and prove for another 20 minutes.

Steam Buns and Assemble

Step 5

Steam Buns And Assemble

Bring a little water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Place bamboo steamer (or a wire rack covered with a bowl) over the pan and line it with baking paper. Carefully place the balls into the steamer and steam for 20 minutes before allowing to cool. Serve the buns in the steamer and let people dig in! Makes 12 pork buns

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