Fluffy steamed buns with a mouthwatering filling, this pulled pork bao bun recipe is sure to make a regular appearance on your menu.
Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.
Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.
Preheat oven to 160°C.
To make the pulled pork, combine the kecap manis, hoisin sauce, Chinese five spice, star anise, pepper and 1/4 cup (60ml) water in a small bowl.
Remove and discard string from the pork and trim and discard excess rind and fat. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning, for 5 mins or until brown all over. Transfer to a deep roasting pan.
Add the onion to the frying pan and cook, stirring, for 2 mins or until slightly soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 30 secs or until aromatic. Add to the pork and pour over kecap manis mixture. Cover the roasting pan with baking paper and foil.
Roast, turning halfway through cooking, for 4 hours or until the pork is tender. Use 2 forks to coarsely shred the meat, stirring to combine with the pan juices.
Meanwhile, to make the pickled onion, combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 mins or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is hot. Remove from heat and add the onion. Season. Set aside, stirring occasionally, for 30 mins to cool. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour or up to overnight. Drain well to serve.
Heat the buns following packet directions. Divide pulled pork among buns and top with cucumber, pickled onion, carrot and coriander. Sprinkle with chilli. Serve with extra hoisin sauce.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Avoid freezing prepared bao buns, as the texture will be affected. You can store the cooled filling in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 1-2 days. Or wrap the filling and place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
These Asian pulled pork bao buns embrace all the Asian-style flavours we’ve come to know and love. Chinese hoi sin sauce and Indonesian kecap manis lend a sweet spiciness, while the flavourful pulled pork is nested into fluffy white steamed buns.
Bao buns were first made in Northern China and are said to date way back to the third century, when a famed military strategist Zhuge Liang ordered them to be used as a lure for a hostile deity. Thankfully, the lure worked and bao buns stood the test of time.
These days, bao buns and their variations are found right throughout South-East Asia and the West. A bao is usually a bun made of white dough and stuffed with a range of fillings, then steamed until ready to serve. They range in sizes and fillings depending on the region they come from. However, fillings are usually a mix of pork, beef, chicken or vegetables.
Perfect served as a dinner party starter, or as part of a yum cha feast, bao buns always impress. But for a standalone meal, they’re delicious served with this simple Asian cucumber salad that’s ready in just 15 minutes. Or try serving them with stir-fried or steamed leafy Asian greens.
Other tasty bao fillings include pulled beef, crumbed fish or prawns, and for a vegetarian option try marinated tofu and mushrooms.
If you enjoy a pulled pork bao bun, you might also like to try this chicken bao buns recipe. Ready in 30 minutes, they make an impressive starter and their small size also makes them an ideal finger food for birthdays and other celebrations.