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Gua Bao (Pork Belly Bao)

My Gua Bao recipe incorporates spicy yet sweet Asian flavors into tender, crisp pork belly slices, all wrapped in a fluffy steamed bun.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Asian, Taiwanese
Servings: 10
Author: Kevin


Pork Belly

Pickled Shallots

  • 2 shallots sliced thin
  • rice wine vinegar to cover
  • 1 red Birds Eye Chili minced

Sweet Peanuts


  • 10 Gua Bao Buns (or store bought)
  • Pickled Shallots
  • Sweet Peanuts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves


Pickled Shallots

  • Thinly slice the shallots and mince the red chili. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

Sweet Peanuts

  • Finely chop roasted peanuts and mix with powdered sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Pork Belly

  • Cut the pork belly lengthwise into 1 inch thick slabs. Place in a Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pork, set aside on paper towels.
  • Drain pot and heat oil. Fry pork belly until browned on both sides. Add garlic, green onions, ginger, shallots, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili flakes, Chinese Five spice, white pepper and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil and continue cooking for around 1 1/2 hours or until the pork belly becomes tender, but not falling apart. Make steamed buns.


  • Remove pork belly pieces and keep warm on covered plate. Remove solids from braising liquid and discard. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to reduce and thicken.
  • Cut pork belly into 3-inch pieces and toss with the reduced liquid to coat.
  • Carefully pull each steamed bun apart to open and add 1-2 pieces of pork belly, pickled shallots, cilantro and sprinkle with sweet peanuts.



Nutrition calculation is for meat and condiments only. See Gua Bao Buns for nutrition information. 


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 486mg | Potassium: 310mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 588IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg