Chinese steam buns stuffed with slow cooked Hoisin pork belly

Oh, how I love these! I first ate these delicious, fluffy Chinese steam buns in a little restaurant in the hutongs of Beijing back in 2009. I have since then returned again and again for these lovely bites of cloud but missed them upon returning home. Imagine my excitement when I found a little restaurant in China Town in London that serves these, and my other favourite, Dan Dan noodles. After eating here for about 4 times a week, I decided it was time to make my own and now you can too!



  • 500g Pork belly, skin removed
  • 500ml Chicken stock (preferably fresh or liquid stock)
  • 100ml Hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tsp. Chinese five spice
  • 1 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. Runny honey


  • 125g Flour
  • 5g Yeast
  • 1 Tsp. Baking powder
  • 25g Lard, chilled and cubed
  • 80ml Milk
  • Salt


  • 1 Cucumber, peeked and sliced lengthwise into 3mm slices (I used a thin peeler for this)
  • 2 Spring onions
  • 3 Tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Light brown sugar


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160c
  2. Place the pork in an oven dish and cover with the stock. Cover and cook for 3 hours, turning the pork over half way
  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour and lard and combine well before adding in the yeast and salt
  4. Heat the milk until just before boiling point, you want to make sure not to kill the yeast when adding this to the mixture. Add the milk and combine really well
  5. Cover the dough and let rest for 1,5-2 hours or until doubled in size
  6. At this point, add the baking powder, combine well and divide into 8 pieces
  7. Flaten the pieces and make into an oval shape
  8. Brush with a little sesame (or vegetable/peanut) oil, fold, cover with a damp cloth or cling film and leave for another half hour to prove
  9. When the pork is done, let it cook in the stock before taking it out
  10. Meanwhile, add some salt to the cucumber and leave for 30 minutes before adding in the onions, vinegar and sugar. Combine well and put aside
  11. Reduce the stock to 1/3rd, add the honey, hoisin, soy sauce and simmer until thickened
  12. Brush the pork with the hoisin/honey glazing and place under the grill
  13. Repeat this step until the sauce is finished (keep a little sauce for serving)
  14. Steam the buns 5-6 minutes
  15. Shred the pork with two forks
  16. Fill the buns with cucumber, pork and a little of the hoisin glazing
  17. Enjoy!

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