Sticky Pork Bao Buns



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Serves 3-4


Prep: 30 min


Cooking: 2 hours


For the pork:

  • 1 x Otway Pork belly cut into thick slices
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 100ml Shaohsing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder

For the optional sauce:

  • 8 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce (or to taste)

To serve:

  • 12 plain bao buns (ready-made)
  • Spring onion, chopped
  • Coriander
  • Chilli slices
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, julienned


Step 1
Heat oven to 160°C.Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. In batches, brown the pork belly well, then transfer to a plate. Tip the sugar into the dish and cook over a medium heat until starting to dissolve and caramelise, then quickly stir in the garlic, ginger and star anise, and cook for 1 min.

Step 2
Carefully pour in the rice wine and soy sauce – watch out, it will spatter – and simmer to dissolve the sugar. Stir the pork into the caramel to coat, then add 100ml water and the five-spice, and bring to a simmer. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 1 hr 30 mins.

Step 3
Remove from the oven, uncover, put on a high heat to simmer and reduce the sauce until sticky. Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead and chilled. Reheat with a splash of water.

Step 4
To create the extra spicy hoisin sauce (if desired) – in a small saucepan, mix the hoisin sauce and Sriracha sauce together. Heat gently over a medium heat until it has warmed through.

Step 5
Steam bao buns for 10-12 minutes, just before serving.

Step 6
Once ready, prepare everything for serving – split open freshly steamed bao buns.

Step 7
Spread both sides of the bun with the sauce (if desired).

Step 8
Layer pieces of pork and vegetables inside.

Step 9
Serve and enjoy.

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