Gua Bao (Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns)



Braised Pork Belly:

686g pork belly (cut into slab)

1 stalk spring onion (sectioned)

4 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)

150g shallots (peeled and sliced)

3 tbsp light soy sauce

2 tbsp cooking caramel

3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine

20g rock sugar

1 tsp five spice powder

¼ tsp ground white pepper

1 ½ cups water

Adequate cooking oil

Pickled Mustard Green:

400g pickled mustard green (shredded and soaked in water for 30 minutes to reduce saltiness, rinse a few times and squeezed dried)

2 tbsp shallot oil

2 tbsp sugar


½ cup toasted peanuts (ground) mixed with ½ tbsp icing sugar

1 red chilli (seeded and shredded)

1 stalk cilantro (use leaves only)

Steamed Buns:

2 cups pau flour

2 tbsp caster sugar

A pinch of salt

84ml water

60ml full cream milk

2 tsp instant dried yeast

2 tbsp cooking oil divided)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Heat up a non-stick skillet on low heat. Add in sliced shallot and adequate cooking oil. Deep-fried the sliced shallot until crispy and golden brown. Remove the fried shallot and set aside the shallot oil for later use.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of shallot oil in a non-stick skillet. Pan-fry the pork belly until brown on all sides. Remove and transfer into a simmering pot.
  3. Use the remaining oil to saute the spring onion and garlic until fragrant. Remove and transfer into the simmering pot.
  4. Add in light soy sauce, cooking caramel, Chinese cooking wine, rock sugar, five spice powder, ground white pepper and 1 ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the steamed buns:
  • Add the water and instant dried yeast into a small bowl. Stir well and leave aside for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pau flour, caster sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and create a well at the centre.
  • Pour in the yeast mixture, follow by full cream milk and mix into a rough dough.
  • Transfer the dough onto a working surface and continue to knead until everything is well incorporated.
  • Add in 1 tbsp of cooking oil and continue to knead until the dough become smooth and elastic.
  • Cover the dough and leave in the cold oven for 1st round of proofing until doubled in size.
  • Deflate the dough and divide the dough into eight equal portion, i.e. 54g each.
  • Shape each dough into balls and flatten to an oval shape.
  • Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of cooking oil on the surface and fold the dough over by the middle.
  • Repeat the process until all ingredients has been used up.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lined steaming rack and leave for 2nd round of proofing around 15 minutes.
  • Steamed buns at preheated steamer on high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off heat. Tilt the cover of the steamer slightly to allow hot air from coming out for around 1 minute before removing the steamer buns from the steamer.
  1. After 1 hour of simmering the pork belly, add in the fried shallot and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes until the pork belly become tender and sauce become thickens. Dish out and set aside.
  2. Heat up a non-stick skillet. Dry-fry the shredded pickled mustard green until heated through. Add in shallot oil and sugar. Stir-fry until combine. Dish out and set aside.
  3. To assemble:

Place a piece of braised pork belly in the middle of the steamed buns, together with some pickled green mustard, garnish with sweetened ground peanuts, shredded red chilli and cilantro.



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