Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pork Belly Buns

Holy goodness in a palm sized sandwich.  This recipe here takes a handful of my favorite things and slaps it all together into a three (sometimes two) bite devour.  I love pork belly (think bacon) and Vietnamese Thit Kho/Thit Ba Roi, I love steamed buns (think Banh Bao), I love Hoisin sauce, and I love crunchy cucumbers and carrots.

To make this as quick and simple as possible so that I wouldn't have to wait hours to eat it, I grabbed a pack of pre-made buns from the Korean grocery store. Pop those babies in the microwave for 45 seconds and you've got steamed buns.  The longest process, if that, was cooking the meat, which then I had to refrain from eating all of. It was that good and reminded me of moms cooking.  Assembly took a few moments, eating took less. I never made it to the dining table and my five year old, who I usually have to coax to eat, gobbled three of them - which to me means mega success all around.

What You'll Need:
2 pounds of Pork Belly (skinless/boneless) - you can buy it
   pre sliced to size, or cut it yourself into 1/2 " pieces.
3 tbs Sugar 
2 tbs Fish Sauce
1/2 cup of Warm Water
Fine Black Pepper
1/2 Onion - chopped
2 Thai Chilis - chopped
1 Cucumber - sliced
1 Carrot - shredded
Hoisin Sauce
Pre-made Lotus Leaf Steamed Buns (you can make them yourself.. but that borders on too fancy for me).

Put the pork belly in a large frying pan and cook over medium/high heat.  I do not use oil because the meat will provide plenty for you. 

Once the meat starts to cook, add the onions (minced garlic too if you want) and give it a few stirs here and then add the sugar and fish sauce.  

When the sugar has dissolved, stir again to coat the meat and then do not stir the meat for awhile to let it caramelize. About 6 mins or so.  

Once this happens, you can add 1/2 cup of water and stir.  At this point turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer. Stir occasionally. 

While the meat is simmering, cut the cucumber slices, and shred the carrots.

Steam the buns in the microwave, approx 45 seconds under a wet paper towel.  You can also use a steamer - instructions are on the package. And yes, I did steal two and eat them.

By now the meat should look like this and you'll want to add some green onions and red chilis to it along with the black pepper. Stir it well.

You could stop at this point and just eat this with rice, and depending on how many buns you end up eating, you may have leftovers to do just that.

Yum yum yum, now its time to assemble and eat!
Squirt a little hoisin sauce on the bottom bun and place a few shreds of carrot over it. Next place a piece of meat followed by a cucumber slice. Thats it!  And awesome little flavorful Bao.


  1. mmmmmm....Gonna have to try these!

    1. They are definitely a perfect hand sized meal. Four was a decent filler! (or perhaps I was greedy. lol)