Try our pork belly bao buns recipe, then check out our pork bao buns, Chinese pork belly, pork dumplings and more Asian street food ideas.

How to make the best bao buns

The secret to steamed buns is adding extra raising agent and double rising, which gives you a pillowy bun to stuff your pork belly into

Bao buns recipe



  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 ½  tsp dried active yeast
  • 350g plain flour
  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder


  • 1kg pork belly slices, skin and excess fat trimmed off
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp chinese five spice
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 5 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp shoaxing rice wine
  • 2 tbsp  groundnut oil


  • shredded and tossed with a splash of rice wine vinegar to serve cucumber
  • shredded to serve spring onions
  • to serve sriracha chilli sauce


  • STEP 1

    Mix the sugar and yeast with 250ml warm water and leave until the mixture starts to froth a little. Put the flour in a large bowl with a large pinch of salt and add 2 tbsp oil and the yeast mixture. Mix to a rough dough with a wooden spoon and then tip onto a floured surface and knead until you have a smooth, soft dough. Knead in more flour if you need to. Tip into an oiled bowl, turning the dough until it is coated in oil, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. Punch the air out of the risen dough.

  • STEP 2

    Tip it onto a floured surface, flatten it out with your hands and sprinkle with the baking powder. Fold the dough over and knead until the baking powder is incorporated and the dough soft. Cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes. To make the pork filling put the meat in a dish in one layer. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat. Leave for 2-3 hours or overnight. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Sit a rack on top of a roasting tin in which you’ve poured a splash of water. Lift the pieces of pork from the marinade put them on the rack.

  • STEP 3

    Roast the pork for 1 hour, turning and basting 2 to 3 times with the leftover marinade. To finish the buns, cut outsquares of baking paper. Divide the doughinto 12 pieces.

  • STEP 4

    Roll out each piece of dough into an oval about 12 x 6cm (use a little more flour if the dough is sticky).

  • STEP 5

    Put on a piece of baking paper, brush one side with oil and fold gently in half using the paper (you want to be able to open them once they are cooked).

  • STEP 6

    Put a large steamer over a medium heat and steam the buns a few at a time for 6-8 minutes or until puffed and cooked through (open carefully and check the middle is cooked through). Don’t let them touch or they will stick. Cut the pork into pieces and stuff into the buns with some cucumber, spring onion and a squirt of chilli sauce. Best made and eaten straight away.


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