To make 6
1/2 tsp yeast
120ml lukewarm water
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ heaped tbsp. sugar
½ tsp salt
4 strips of pork belly, chopped in half
100ml soy sauce
4 ½ tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Chinese five-spice
3 garlic cloves, minced
few drops of red food colouring (optional)
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into thin strips
2 spring onions, chopped into thin strips
1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
small bunch of fresh coriander
large handful salted peanuts
- Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of lukewarm water. Set aside.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the dissolved yeast to the bowl with the rest of the water, mix until you form a ball of dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Wipe the bowl with some oil to prevent sticking, put the dough back in, cover with cling film and leave to prove for 2hrs.
- Remove the dough, flatten, then knead for a further 5 minutes.
- Roll the dough into an elongated sausage shape about 5cm thick and then cut into 5 or 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into a 5mm thick oval-shape.
- Brush the dough with oil and fold the ovals in half to resemble a bun shape.
- Place each bun on a square of parchment paper, cover with cling film and leave to prove for a final hour.
- Cook the bao on their parchment squares in a bamboo steamer for 8-10 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients together and use it to coat the pork. Marinade for a few hours, or preferably over-night in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 180°.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and cook on a lined baking tray for 1 hour, turning half way through. Reserve the excess marinade.
- Remove the pork belly chunks from the oven and add to a pan with sesame oil. Fry for 10-15 minutes to allow the pork to crisp up. Add the marinade after 10 minutes and cook until it thickens.
To serve the bao: open it up, spread 1 tbsp hoisin sauce on the bottom, add a chunk of pork belly + excess marinade and garnish with spring onions, carrots, red chilli’s and crushed salted peanuts.