Delicious steamed bao buns are a great way to use any leftover meat from dinner, especially the tender, Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork that I shared the recipe for a couple of days ago. They make a perfect little alternative to a regular pulled pork sandwich or burger and put a tasty asian twist on your lunch!
You can make a batch of the buns on the weekend and freeze them so you have them ready to defrost and fill when you want to eat them. They go great with salad leaves, carrot, and spring onions, but you can put whatever you like; they’re very versatile!
A few months ago I went to the Ekka with my daughter and there was a food truck that was serving these bao buns. At the time I had no idea what they were but I just saw people walking around eating them and they looked so delicious. I really wanted to eat one but I had just eaten a corn dog and a strawberry ice-cream and I wasn’t planning on vomiting that day. So I forgot all about them until a couple of days ago when I made some pulled pork and I was trying to think of what I could eat the pork with rather than just a regular sandwich and I remembered the little bao buns I saw at the Ekka! The ones at the Ekka had flavoured pork belly in them but I thought it would taste just as great with the pulled pork because it’s sort of the same thing. And they did! They were so yummy and just the right size, they were small but not too small, which was better for me than a big pulled pork sandwich or burger.
These Pulled Pork Bao Buns do take a while to prepare since the dough has to be left for a few hours to rise, however, they are very easy to make! I actually made mine with a bread maker and saved myself A LOT of time, so if you have a bread maker definitely use it to save yourself from all the work and time of making and kneading the dough. But don’t worry if you don’t have a bread maker because the recipe is very simple to follow! Once the bao buns are all steamed and ready, start filling them with the pulled pork and whatever other fillings you like and enjoy them as a little lunch, a tasty appetizer, or as party nibbles!
- 500 g Plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 50 ml milk
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 200 ml water
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pulled pork recipe here
- Lettuce sliced carrot, spring onions, etc. (whatever you want to fill them with).
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a larger bowl.
- Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp of warm water then add it to the flour mixture, along with the milk, oil, vinegar and water.
- Mix it all together until it forms a dough (adding water if needed).
- Lightly sprinkle some flour onto a bench or cooking board and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes or until it's smooth.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl (I used olive oil spray), cover it with a damp tea towel and leave it to rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and punch it down on a bench/board.
- Flatten the dough with your hands then sprinkle the baking powder on top and knead for 5 minutes.
- Roll the dough out into a long sausage shape (about 3cm thick) then cut into 3cm wide pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball using your hands then leave them to rest for 2-3 minutes.
- Roll out each ball with a rolling pin into a flat oval shape about 3-4mm thick.
- Place a chopstick flat on the surface in the centre of each oval and fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull the chopstick out (the recipe I followed said to lightly oil the dough and the chopstick, however, I didn't find it necessary but if you're dough is a bit sticky you may need to).
- Leave the prepared buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover them with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Heat water in a large steamer over medium-high heat.
- Steam the buns (in batches, depending on how many will fit in your steamer) for 8 mins until puffed up.
- Prise open each bun and fill them with the pulled pork, lettuce, sliced carrots, and spring onions (or whatever fillings you like).