Chinese Style Braised Pork and Bao

by Jo Kenny

chinese braised pork

If ever there was a perfect marriage of foods, it was sweet, sticky meats stuffed into a squishy bread-based vessel. This Chinese braised pork and bao is a little time consuming and technical, so one to save for when you have some more time. The pay off is a delicious street food style feast that’s perfect for a night in with your significant other or friends! Spoiler: Q’s braised pork is to die for.

Sticky Chinese Braised Pork

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 500g belly pork, sliced into 1cm chunks.
  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mirin rice wine
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cup of chicken stock

The pork will need to be braised so you need a pot with a lid. Firstly you need to boil the sliced meat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. In the empty pot add the sesame oil on a medium heat, add the sugar and caramelise with the oil. Once melted, add pork and stir for 2 mins until brown. Add the soy sauces, Mirin, vinegar, garlic and ginger, stirring well to combine. Add the chicken stock and simmer on very low heat with the lid on for 1 hour. Stir every 10-15 minutes, the liquid will reduce into a lovely, sticky sauce. You can and a little water if it’s getting too thick.

Bao Buns

This bao bun recipe isn’t ours: I chose to use one from Sorted Food. Before you make these you will need to have a way to steam the buns, either a steamer, or steaming basket over boiling water will do.

  • Makes 10
  • 500g plain flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 150ml water (warm)
  • 100ml whole milk
  • 50ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp oil for greasing

To make the dough for your bao buns combine the plain flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and yeast.  Next pour in the water, milk and cream and mix. Knead for 10 minutes; the dough will begin as very sticky, but after about 5 minutes will start to come together. You eventually will be left with a nice smooth ball of dough.

Oil your bowl and replace the dough. Cover with clingfilm and prove for an hour, until doubled in size. Once proved, roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into a fat oval. Rub with a little oil, then fold them in half over chopsticks or a spoon. Place the folded buns onto a baking tray, cover with clingfilm and prove for another 20 minutes.

Finally, steam for 20 minutes.

Serve with very thinly sliced cucumber and spring onion.

Cooking Tips

  • Don’t include the seeded part within your sliced cucumber.
  • Try and get your bao ovals as round and neat as possible so they look uniform once you steam them.
  • Try adding a sprinkle of sesame seeds over the pork for garnish
  • That sticky sauce is delicious, be sure to pour some in your bao! (Be sure to have a napkin ready too!)
  • Leftover pork? Enjoy it with rice or noodles and fresh pak choi.

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