Bao have become a new family favourite in my house. They’re a quick meal for me to make, especially since the mantou buns cook in just 10 minutes from frozen. If you have time to marinate the pork it’s a great flavour enhancer but if you’re short on time just get them in the oven and get your prep done while the pork cooks. I’ve also made bao with my fried chicken and a bourbon caramel which is sensational. Mantou buns now a staple in my freezer, right alongside my pastizzis.
Sticky Pork Bao with Pineapple
PREP 20 MIN
COOK 45 MIN
What you’ll need:
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Shaoxing wine
2 star anise
1.2 kg boneless pork belly, cut into 1.5cm thick slices
2 cups fresh pineapple, peeled, cored & finely diced
¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to serve
1 lime, juiced
12 mantou buns, to serve
4 spring onions, thinly sliced, to serve
What to do:
Place the five spice, ginger, garlic, sugar, soy, Shaoxing and star anise in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight if you have time.
Preheat oven to 200°C Fan.
Use tongs to remove pork from marinade (reserve) and transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Roast pork for 45 minutes, turning over after 20 minutes, until tender, dark and caramelised.
Meanwhile, place pineapple, coriander and lime juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Place buns onto some baking paper in a steamer and poke some holes through the bottom. Cover and steam for 10 minutes until fluffy and cooked.
Strain reserved marinade into a small saucepan. Add ¼ cup water and place over medium heat. Simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Once pork is cooked, allow to cool slightly then slice each piece in half to fit inside the buns and brush with sauce. To serve, place pork in steamed buns and brush with extra sauce, spoon over some pineapple and top with extra coriander and spring onions.