Sticky Pork Bao Recipe

What could be better than sticky, sweet and savoury, succulent pork belly encased in a fluffy bao bun with fresh herbs and veggies and a creamy, spicy sauce? My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Whether you’re looking for a delicious snack or a satisfying meal, my Sticky Pork Bao is a must-try recipe. Although this does take a while in the oven, there’s very little prep work required and the results are so worth it! To save time, you can cook the pork in advance; see the recipe notes for reheating instructions.

Can you make Sticky Pork Bao ahead of time?

Yes, follow steps 1-6 and refrigerate the pork for up to 48 hours in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave; add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen if needed. Not suitable to freeze.

Are Sticky Pork Bao buns suitable for leftovers?

You can refrigerate Sticky Pork Bao for up to 48 hours. Reheat in the microwave; add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen if needed.

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Sticky Pork Bao Recipe

Sticky Pork Bao

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Total Time: 2 hours 5 mins
  • Yield: 2 (Makes 8 bao) 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Pork

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500800 g (11.8 lb) boneless pork belly, cut into approximately 2 cm or ¾” slices (or pork rashers/slices)
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly sliced into matchsticks
  • ½ cup (120 ml) Shaoxing wine (can be substituted with regular wine or with water)
  • ¼ cup (60 g) brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) tamari or all-purpose soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 (120 ml) cup water

To serve

  • Bao buns
  • Peanuts, crushed
  • Spring onion/scallion, finely sliced
  • Carrot, sliced into batons
  • Cucumber, cut into batons
  • Coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Chilli, finely sliced
  • Equal parts sriracha and whole egg mayonnaise, mixed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F (140°C fan).
  2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof dish on medium-high heat and cook the pork slices for 3-5 minutes, turning regularly until brown all over. Set aside. Do this in batches if needed so that the pork is not overlapping/crowded in the pan.
  3. Turn the heat off. In the same pan, add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds in the residual heat. Add the Shaoxing wine, stir for 30 seconds and then add the remaining ingredients (the brown sugar, tamari or all-purpose soy sauce, Chinese five spice, star anise and water).
  4. Return the pork to the pan. Cover with a lid (or double layers of foil) and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  5. The pork should be tender enough to break apart with a fork. If not, continue cooking (covered) in 15-minute intervals until it is.
  6. The sauce should be sticky and glaze the pork. If not, simply return the pork and sauce to the stovetop uncovered and cook for 2-3 minutes on high heat or until the sauce has reduced to a honey-like consistency.
  7. Serve the pork in bao buns with all or some of the suggested toppings.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD

Follow steps 1-6 and refrigerate the pork for up to 48 hours in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave; add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen if needed. Not suitable to freeze.

LEFTOVERS

Refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Reheat in the microwave; add 1-2 tbsp of water to loosen if needed.

  • Author: Nicole
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Pork, pork buns
  • Method: pan, assemble
  • Cuisine: Chinese