Steamed Pork Buns with Hoisin

Steamed Pork Buns with Hoisin on display

PREP TIME: 1 hour
COOKING TIME: 1.5 hours


  • Pork: 1.5kg pork belly
  • Sesame oil
  • Caster sugar


  • 30 grams lard, melted, plus extra for brushing
  • 5grams (1¾ tsp) dried yeast
  • 35grams caster sugar
  • 400grams bakers flour, plus extra for dusting

Pickles & garnish bowls:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 teaspoon castor sugar
  • 6 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 heap tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • Hoisin sauce


1. To prepare the pork: (Preheat oven to 200ºC). In a large roasting tray, rub the belly with sesame oil and season with a good pinch of sea salt and sugar, dry skin.

2. To prepare the buns: Combine all the bun ingredients with 1 level teaspoon of salt, then knead for 10 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and prove for 1 hour. Roll into smooth balls x 20, place on a flour-dusted tray, cover with a damp tea towel and prove for another hour. One-by-one, with a rolling pin, roll the balls into 10cm x 12cm ovals. Lay an oiled chopstick across the middle like a hinge, fold the dough in half over the top and pull the chopstick out. Place each bun on a little rectangle of greaseproof paper in bamboo steamers, in single layers, ready for steaming later.

3. To prepare the garnish bowls: (Preheat the oven to high). For the garnish bowls, I like to make quick pickles by finely slicing the cucumbers on a mandolin into a bowl. Sprinkle each with ½ a teaspoon of salt (don’t worry– most will drain away), then add the sugar and vinegar. Toss and pop into the fridge until needed. Lightly toast the sesame seeds and put in another small bowl. Trim the spring onions, then finely slice lengthways. Pick the coriander leaves. Finely slice the chilli.

4. When you’re ready to go, slice the pork, then halve each slice, return it in a single layer, to the tray it was cooked in, and roast in the oven until golden, draining away the excess fat occasionally to help it crisp up OR just slice a slab of pork and so long as the skin is crackled up it’ll be all good to go.

5. At the same time, steam the buns over a pan of simmering water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fluffy. Scrunch and squeeze the pickles to get rid of the excess salty liquid, then transfer to clean bowls. Take everything to the table with a bottle of hoisin and let everyone build their own.

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