The acclaimed lyricist Sir Mix-A-Lot once said:
“My anaconda don’t want none
Unless you’ve got buns, hun”
Now, what a snake had to do with anything, I don’t know, but I am 100% sure the buns he was talking about were Bao Buns!
If you’re unfamiliar with Bao Buns then you’ve been missing out as they’re are AMAZING. Technically, “Bao Buns” is a bit inaccurate as “Bao” means “Bun” and thus we’re calling them “Bun Buns” but hey, nevermind. Either way, they’re super fluffy buns originating from China that are usually filled with pork belly, but have also been known to have fried chicken, tuna or whatever you can conjure up really. Me? I love having them with Pulled Pork with a sticky ginger beer and soy sauce, and garnished with spring onion and pickled cucumber.
While making your own Bao Buns may seem a bit intimidating, they’re actually not that complicated. It just takes a little bit of time to make due to having to make the dough, and if you’re using a slow cooker for your pulled pork then that’ll take some time too. But trust me when I say they are 100% worth the wait!
Pulled Pork Bao BunsPrint Recipe
- For the Pork:
- 1kg Pork Shoulder
- 500ml Ginger Beer
- 2 x Red Chillies, chopped
- 3 x Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 25g Chunk of Ginger, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Mirin (Rice Wine)
- For the Bao Buns:
- 500g Plain Flour
- 7g Yeast
- 7g Baking Powder
- 75g Caster Sugar
- 5g Salt
- 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
- 250ml Whole Milk
- 50ml Coconut Cream
- To garnish:
- Sea Salt
- Spring Onions
To make your dough, add the plain flour, yeast, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a bowl. Then add in the rice vinegar, sesame oil, coconut cream and a little of the milk and start to bring together.
Gradually add in the rest of the milk until the mixture starts to form a smooth dough. Then knead for 5 - 10 minutes (5 minutes if you're using a stand mixer, 10 if you're kneading by hand) until the dough becomes smooth, glossy and elastic.
Cover and leave to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
To make the pulled pork, place the pork shoulder into a slow cooker and then add in the ginger beer, hoisin sauce, mirin, soy sauce and the chopped garlic, chillies and ginger and place the lid on and leave to slow cook for 3 - 4 hours until it falls apart.
Remove the liquid from the slow cooker and reduce it down over a medium heat in a saucepan until you've got a sticky sauce.
If you're using a pressure cooker, then you need only give the pork about 1 hour and the liquid will already have reduced to a sauce-like consistency.
Once the dough has proved, lightly dust a surface with flour and tip the dough onto the surface and knock out the air.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces (around 75g each) and roll them into about a golf ball size.
Flatten down the balls, and roll them out into circles about 1cm thick.
Light dab the dough with sesame oil and fold them in half, then place them into a bamboo steamer baskets (lined with baking paper) to prove for about 20 minutes.
While the buns prove, slice your spring onions lengthways and then halve your cucumber and scoop out the seeds, and then slice that lengthways too. Place the cucumber into a bowl and cover with a layer of salt and leave for about 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes have passed drain the pickled cucumber and rinse with cold water and place on kitchen towel to dry off.
Place the bamboo steamer containing your proved Bao Buns over a pan of simmering water and leave to steam for about 20 minutes.
The buns should double in size and become super fluffy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes before handling.
Fill the buns with your sticky pulled pork and garnish with spring onions and pickled cucumber, and enjoy!