Sticky pork belly bao buns

Treat yourself to the irresistible taste of sticky pork belly bao buns with this delicious recipe. Tender pieces of pork belly are marinated in a sweet and savory glaze, giving them a deliciously gooey texture.

Perfect for a weekend or special gathering, these bao buns are the ultimate crowd pleaser. The buns are soft and fluffy and enclose the juicy pork belly, creating a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

Please note that this recipe contains pork and is only suitable for non-Muslims. Savor the rich flavor and satisfying bite of these sticky pork belly bao buns and savor every delicious bite.


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 800g boneless pork belly, cut into thick slices
  • 4 tablespoons light muscovado sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 100 ml Shaosing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
  • 250g flour, plus some flour for dusting
  • 1 tbsp white powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 tsp fast-acting dry yeast
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus some for greasing
  • a handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp togarashi spice mix (see tip below)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Cucumber sticks
  • grated spring onions



Togarashi is a Japanese seven-spice blend that contains ground chilies, sesame, poppy seeds and citrus peel. You can buy it in Asian grocery stores or online at, or

Preparation steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3.
  2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof baking dish over medium-high heat.
  3. Fry the pork belly well in batches and then place it on a plate.
  4. Add the sugar to the mold and cook over medium heat until it begins to dissolve and caramelize.
  5. Quickly stir in the garlic, ginger and star anise and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Carefully pour in the rice wine and soy sauce – be careful, it will splash – and simmer until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Stir the pork in the caramel to coat, then add 100ml water and the five spices and simmer.
  8. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven, cover, simmer over high heat and let the sauce reduce until it is sticky.
  10. Can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Warm up with a splash of water.
  11. To prepare the chili peanuts, crush most of the peanuts using a pestle and mortar.
  12. Add the remaining nuts and roughly crush until a lumpy consistency is formed.
  13. Stir in the togarashi powder.
  14. Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container.
  15. For the rolls, place the dry ingredients and a large pinch of salt in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  16. Pour in the milk, oil and 100ml lukewarm water and stir until the mixture is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  17. Place in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  18. Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a sausage shape.
  19. Cut the sausage into 10 equal portions.
  20. Roll each portion into a bun, then use a rolling pin to roll each bun into an oval.
  21. Lightly grease each piece, then fold over a greased chopstick or skewer and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet to rest for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  22. Before steaming, remove the chopstick or skewer.
  23. Heat a steamer and steam the rolls in batches on circles of baking paper until they rise, about 10 minutes.
  24. Divide the rolls and fill each with a slice or two of pork, drizzle with a little sauce.
  25. Sprinkle some coriander, cucumber and spring onions on top.
  26. Sprinkle with the crushed nuts and fold in.

Nutritional Information

570 22g 6g 66g 17g 3g 26g 1.4g

Equipment and tools

To make sticky pork belly bao buns, you will need the following equipment and tools:

  • dulcimer
  • Knife
  • frying pan
  • measuring spoon
  • measuring cup
  • mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper
  • Steam basket

Allergen information

This Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns recipe contains the following allergens:

  • peanuts
  • soy

Storage and leftovers

If you have leftover Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, steam the rolls for a few minutes until warmed through. Please note that the consistency of the rolls may change slightly when warmed up.

Health Benefits of Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns

Health Benefits of Sticky Pork Belly Bao Buns

Sticky pork belly bao buns are not only incredibly delicious, but they also offer several health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and their respective nutritional benefits:

Pork belly

Although pork belly is known for its high fat content, it can still be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Pork belly is an excellent source of protein and provides essential amino acids necessary for the growth and repair of our muscles, skin and other tissues. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc and selenium.

garlic and ginger

Both garlic and ginger have been used for centuries for their potential health benefits. Garlic is known for its immune-boosting properties and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Ginger, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties and can aid digestion and relieve nausea.

rice wine and soy sauce

Shaosing rice wine and dark soy sauce, commonly used in Asian cuisine, not only add flavor to the dish but also provide health benefits of their own. Rice wine can improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed in moderation. Dark soy sauce, made from fermented soybeans, is a source of antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure.

Chinese five spice powder

The Chinese five-spice powder used in these bao buns contains a blend of spices like star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. These spices are traditionally used in Chinese medicine for their potential benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Plain flour and baking powder

Although the main purpose of flour and baking powder in this recipe is to create the fluffy bao bun texture, they still contribute to the nutritional profile of the dish. Plain flour contains essential carbohydrates, while baking powder acts as a leavening agent and makes the buns easier to rise during baking.

Togarashi spice mix

Although togarashi seasoning is not a traditional ingredient in bao buns, its addition gives the dish a unique flavor. Togarashi typically includes ground chilies, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and citrus peels. The presence of chili can have a metabolism-stimulating effect and help relieve pain.

Roasted peanuts and coriander leaves

Both roasted peanuts and coriander leaves are optional toppings for the bao buns, but offer additional nutritional benefits. Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats, proteins and fiber, while coriander leaves contain vitamins A and C and have antioxidant properties.

Cucumber and spring onion

Finally, the addition of cucumber sticks and grated scallion gives the bao buns freshness and crunch. Cucumbers are hydrating and low in calories, while green onions are a source of vitamins K and C.

All in all, despite their delicious nature, sticky pork belly bao buns can still be enjoyed as part of a healthy and varied diet. By using high-quality ingredients and consuming them in moderation, you can enjoy their deliciousness while reaping potential health benefits.

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