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Pork belly bao buns

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Translated as ‘treasure’, steamed bao buns with their yielding, pillowy texture and unctuous fillings are our new fave thing. Too difficult to make at home we wondered? Not after learning a few precious secrets from the guys at Devon’s Bao & Roll. Prepare to join the bun club …

Bao buns

Serves 10

You will need

For the boa buns:
Plain flour 300g
Self raising flour 300g
Dried yeast 1½ tsp
Baking powder 7g
Caster sugar 100g
Salt ½tsp
White wine vinegar 7ml
Warm water 285ml
Vegetable oil 50ml

For the pork belly:
Boneless pork belly 1kg, cut into 1 inch slices
Garlic bulb 1, peeled and crushed
Spring onions 1 bunch, chopped
Red chilli 1, sliced
Star anise 1
White sugar 100g
Light soy sauce
Dark soy sauce 

For the peanut icing:
Salted peanuts 50g
Icing sugar 50g

Mustard greens 1 jar

Method

  1. For the buns: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl before adding the white wine vinegar, mixing and then adding the water. Knead the ingredients until they come together like a dough.
  2. Next add the oil, a small amount at a time, kneading between each dose. This should take between 20-40 minutes and you should have a dough which springs back when pressed.
  3. Transfer the dough into a bigger bowl (large enough that it can double in size), cover with clingfilm and leave to prove somewhere warm.
  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, separate into pieces weighing 70g each. Roll each bun into a smooth oval shape, brush lightly with oil and fold in half.
  5. Place each of the folded bao buns onto piece of silicon paper and allow to prove for a further 20-35 minutes. Steam the buns for 10-15 minutes in a bamboo steamer.
  6. For the pork belly filling: Brown the pork belly in a large pan for around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spring onions, chilli and star anise and lightly fry for 5 more minutes.
  7. Add the soy sauces in equal amounts until the pork is covered and bring to the boil.
  8. Turn the heat down and add the sugar. Leave for around 2 hours, or until the pork belly is tender.
  9. For the peanut icing: lightly blend the peanuts with the icing sugar until combined. Sprinkle on top of the pork belly-filled bao along with a teaspoon of mustard greens.

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