pork belly buns


I’m the type of person that goes out to eat and asks myself ‘can I make that?’  I thought this when I ate the pork belly buns at a local Taiwanese restaurant.

Pork is good.  Pork belly is amazing.

I have wanted to try this recipe for for-e-ver.  Thankfully the superbowl was coming so I had an excuse to make it.  It’s not often that I try to cook any type of Asian food.  My husband can tell you one of the first times I made Indian food it was basically inedible.  He tries so hard to not hurt my feelings when I cook for him but I knew it was bad so I’ve stayed away from it until recently.  I definitely redeemed myself by making these pork belly buns.

So let’s talk ginger.  I know some people like it and some don’t.  Previous to my recent Asian cooking adventures, I didn’t care for it.  I DO NOT like huge chunks of it in my meal. It’s just unnecessary.  But I’ve learned the need to balance ginger with other flavors.  I suppose this could be true with other ingredients I don’t like.  I just have to find the right balance.


Observe pork belly. It looks like bacon before it’s sliced.

This recipe takes time so to prevent spending an entire day in the kitchen I recommend cooking the pork belly the night before.


Wasn’t sure how much it would cost but I thought it was decent.  I bought 2.3lbs and it made enough for 4-6 people.


Here is everything needed to make the braising liquid, buns, and chili sauce.  I’m not even going to try to make the bun from scratch so I used a bun mix from Uwajimaya. I like perusing the aisles looking at all of the uncommon ingredients.  Next to the bun mix I found potato starch.  I wonder what it’s used for.


Notice the red and green chilies on top.  This is the amazing chili sauce that tied everything together. I doubled the recipe and there was none left. I could see myself putting it on top of other things like tofu, chicken or even eggs.

So will I be making this again?  Um, yes. Who wants to come over?


Pork Belly Buns

Recipe by Steamykitchen


Pork Belly

2lbs of pork belly

1 tablespoon cooking oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1 fresh chili pepper, minced

1 green onion, chopped

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 cup water


14 ounce package of steamed bun flour (banh bao)

+ ingredients indicated on bun mix instructions (i.e. milk, sugar, oil)

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour for dusting work surface

16 squares of parchment paper

Chili sauce

1 stalk green onion, minced

1 fresh chili, minced or sliced very thinly

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cooking oil

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce



Pork belly

Preheat oven to 275F.

Wrap the pork belly well in foil and roast for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating at least 2 hour or up to 2 days.

Slice pork belly into 1/2inch pieces.

Whisk together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and water to make sauce mixture.

Heat a large saute pan over high heat. When hot, add cooking oil add several pork belly slices to the wok, but do not crowd the pan. Fry each side until browned. Remove on to plate and repeat with remaining slices. Please be careful the grease will pop and crackle. I used a splatter guard to keep the grease from getting everywhere.

Using the same pan turn the heat to medium-low. Make sure there is a little grease left in pan. Add in the garlic, ginger, chiles and green onion. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Do not burn. Pour the sauce mixture into the pan.  Return the pork belly slices back into the pan and let simmer for 10 minutes.


Follow the directions on the package to make the dough, cover with damp towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

On a clean work surface, sprinkle all-purpose flour. Place the dough on work surface and cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and keep all balls covered with damp towel.

Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into an oval, about 4″x3″. Fold the oval in half and place on parchment square. Keep covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel to prevent drying out. Repeat with remaining dough.

Prepare steamer and steam the buns for 15 minutes. Avoid overcrowding. Continue to steam in batches.

Chili sauce

Mix the green onion, chili, vinegar and salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil, and immediately pour on top of the green onion mixture. The oil will pop and crackle.

Once all components are ready, open each bun, spread some hoisin sauce in the bun. Add a slice of pork belly and top with kimchi and chili sauce. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “pork belly buns

  1. Potato starch is used like cornstarch, as a thickener for soups and gravies and things. It’s nice for people who have a gluten intolerance who can’t use flour. You can actually see potato starch when you soak peeled potatoes and then let the container dry… not that I do that. Ha. We so need to go to one of your Superbowl parties!

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