Braised Pork Belly Recipe – Steamed Buns (Gua Bao)

These fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or Pork belly steamed buns are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.

Even if I didn’t love Vegas already, I’d hop on a plane tomorrow to go back to Bachi Burgers where they serve the most scrumptious foods. These are American foods with an Asian flair or Asian foods made American, I just can’t decide which, but the flavors intermingle so delectably in each dish and the dishes are so unique, it doesn’t matter. One of my favorites is the Gua Bao – pork belly steam bun.

These fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or Pork belly steamed buns are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.
Gua Bao recipe - one of my favorite pork belly steamed buns

Once you’ve tried the original, you’ll want to make them at home, but it’s a lot of work. Just getting the buns right is a huge challenge. The buns alone take hours to make since you let them rise three times.

You don’t bake them, but steam them to perfection. It’s well worth the effort though because they are part of the delicious flavor of this dish.

This fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or Pork belly steamed buns are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.
Gua Bao recipe - one of my favorite pork belly steamed buns

Nothing is simple and quick on this recipe. There was a TV program “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” that featured Bachi Burgers and you got to see how this one was made.

I had seen it long before we went to Vegas, which was one of the reasons we headed toward the restaurant the first chance we had and once we ate there, decided two more trips were in order before we left for home.

These fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or Pork belly steamed buns are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.
Gua Bao recipe - one of my favorite pork belly steamed buns

Not only are the buns time consuming to make, the pork belly is first seared to seal in flavor, then baked with spices, allowed to sit overnight, sliced and deep fried. It’s then braised in the sauce for a crisp glaze on the outside.

The only simple part of the sandwich, which I feel is almost sacrilegious to call it that, is the final assembly. You slip a piece of pork belly into a delicious bun, top it with a slice of radish and a slice of egg.

Top the egg with cilantro and chopped Chinese veggies and insert a toothpick to hold it all together. I found one recipe that topped this with cucumber and pickled carrot, which also sounds good.

Bachi Burger serves this sandwich with a dipping sauce that is described as a Chinese vinaigrette, but it’s thick and adds to the already yummy sandwich.

Right now I should be looking for an easy to make recipes for this dish, but instead, I’m trying to find the lowest air fare to Vegas. It seems a lot easier to head for the original on this one.

Also, one of my recommendations is the Bachi Oxtail Fries – this is to die for oxtail fries.

These fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or Pork belly steamed buns are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.

Braised Pork Belly Recipe – Gua Bao

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This fluffy bun Gua Bao recipe or “Pork belly steamed buns” are like most breads you can basically fill it with anything. It is also amazing with pulled pork, fried chicken, pork ribs, tofu and even bacon and egg.
Servings: 20
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs whole piece pork belly
  • 5 g dried red chillies seeded
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 5 pcs star anise
  • 5 slices of ginger
  • 15 pcs whole white peppercorns
  • 4 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce plus 2 extra tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoon sugar plus 2 extra tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 60ml (1/4 cup) water
  • ½ cucumber thinly sliced
  • 30 g toasted peanuts finely chopped
  • A handful of coriander leaves
  • Sriracha hot sauce optional

Pickled Carrot

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

Gua Bao Dough: (or you can buy the dough in any Asian market)

  • 200 ml water at room temperature
  • 7 g dry yeast
  • 150 g high gluten wheat flour see note, plus extra for dusting
  • 150 g low gluten wheat flour
  • 10 g dry milk powder
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Instructions:

Pickled Carrot:

  • Mix hot water, vinegar, sugar and salt together, stir well until all sugar has dissolved. Julienne carrots into matchstick size about 5cm in length then put them in an airtight sealed jar.
  • Pour the solution into the jar until all carrots are fully submerged. Close lid and keep in the refrigerator up to a month.
  • The carrot taste better after they’ve been pickling for 3 to 4 days so, prepare pickled carrot a day or a week before.

Pork Belly:

  • Put the whole piece of pork belly, skin side up, in a large saucepan and fill it with 2 liters of water or until about an inch high from the skin of the pork. Bring it to the boil on high heat, skim out all the impurities floating on the surface.
  • Turn heat down to a simmer, add garlic, ginger, red chillies, peppercorns, soy sauces and sugar, give it all a stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Let it braise for 1.5 hours or until the pork is melting tender but not falling apart. Remove the pork from the stock and transfer to a plate, set aside to let it cool down.

To Make Sweet Sauce:

  • Strain 2 cups (250ml) of the braising stock into a small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons each of light soy sauce and sugar then bring to boil. Reduce the liquid by half, stir in cornflour water until it thickens.
  • Remove from heat, set aside until ready to be used.
  • Once the pork is cool enough to handle, cut it into thin slices about 5-7mm thickness. Put the meat back in the stock, close the lid and keep warm until ready to be used.

For Dough: (or buy the dough at your local Asian Market)

  • To make the bun dough, add yeast to water and let it activate for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add the remaining dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand-mixer with a dough hook.
  • Pour the yeast water into the bowl and start mixing on low speed until it forms a rough dough. Keep kneading the dough for another 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
  • Grease a bowl with oil and put dough inside, cover with cling film and let it rest for 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch the air out of the dough, transfer it to a floured surface and spread it out into a 40cmx15cm rectangle, then roll it into a tight log. Cut the log into 12 equal size pieces, about 35-40 grams each.
  • Flatten each dough then roll them up into balls. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with tea towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. It will double in size again.
  • In the mean time, cut out twelve 8cmx8cm squares of baking paper. Take one dough and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8cmx15cm oval shape, dip a chopstick in vegetable oil and place it in the center of the oval, fold it in half then pull the chopstick out.
  • Place the bun on a square of baking paper and put it back on the baking tray, repeat with the rest of the dough. Once completed, cover with tea towel and let it proof for another 30 minutes.
  • Set up a steamer over simmering water, in batches and steam the buns for 10 minutes.

To Assemble:

  • Remove paper from the bun and peel it open, layer the bun with cucumber slices, pickled carrot, slices of pork belly and coriander. Slather with sweet sauce and Sriracha sauce, then sprinkle with peanuts.

Notes


 
Nutrition Facts
Braised Pork Belly Recipe – Gua Bao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 61 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 465mg20%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 16IU0%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Tag me on Instagram @theforkbitedotcom or tag #theforkbitedotcom!
Appetizer
Asian, Chinese
Keywords: bao pork belly, bao rolls, braised pork belly with chinese buns, gua bao buns, gua bao recipe, pork belly bao recipe, pork belly buns recipe, pork belly steamed buns

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5 thoughts on “Braised Pork Belly Recipe – Steamed Buns (Gua Bao)”

  1. 5 stars
    Oh boy! I missed these gua bao buns so much, Im so glad I found your recipe. Now, I can recreate these at home.. Yay!! thank you for posting.

  2. 5 stars
    Love the combination of ingredients here.. my family loves braised pork belly and this will be one of my top lists to do this weekend. thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    I just bought the buns from the Asian market, and I’m ready to recreate these pork belly steamed buns. the pics look gorgeous.

  4. 5 stars
    One of my favorite Taiwanese gua bao recipe… it’s so good and my family loves it…

  5. Pingback: Pork belly buns – TDT

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About me:

abt me 150x150 Hi there, my name is Calleigh. Glad you’re here, you will find recipes that are easy to make and taste fantastic. You’ll also find some of my personal favorite foods, ones I’ve eaten in restaurants. Thank you for stopping by.

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