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Taiwanese Gua Bao6 | Sift & Simmer

Taiwanese Gua Bao 割包

A recipe for delicious braised pork belly sandwiched in between a homemade fluffy steamed bun.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 488kcal
Author Michelle | Sift & Simmer


Pork Belly Braise:

  • 2 lbs pork belly
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 inch ginger smashed
  • 2 green onions cut into 3" pieces
  • 2 Thai chilies optional
  • 3 star anise whole
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed whole
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed whole
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns whole
  • ½ teaspoon 5-spice powder
  • 4 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon rock sugar
  • 4 C beef broth or water


  • ½ cucumber sliced
  • ½ carrot julienned
  • a few sprigs cilantro chopped
  • 1 Thai chili chopped (optional)
  • 1 green onion chopped (optional)
  • hoisin suace

Bao Dough:

  • 2 ¼ C all-purpose flour
  • ¾ C warm milk
  • ½ tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon oil for brushing tops of the buns


Pork Belly Braise:

  • Rinse pork belly and pat dry. Turn on the Instant Pot to Saute and add 1 teaspoon oil. Place pork belly in to brown on all sides for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chilies, garlic, spices and ginger and saute until fragrant.  Add soy sauce, sugar, and 4 C of beef broth or water to cover. Cover with the lid and set the Instant Pot to Meat setting and cook for 40 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once pork belly is cooked, remove from braising liquid and set aside. Save the braising liquid for noodle soup. Strain the braising liquid and remove the fat from the surface.
  • Tip: an easy way to do this is to pour it into a bowl and set it in the freezer to chill. Once cold, the fat surfaces to the top and you can scrape it off quickly.
  • Cut the pork belly into 1" slices and place into steamed buns (baos).


  • Cut out 10 square pieces parchment paper approximately 4" in diameter. Set aside.
  • In a large stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Leave to proof.
  • When the yeast has been activated (bubbly), add in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and oil.
  • Turn on the mixer and knead dough for 8-10 minutes on low speed, until the dough is nice and elastic. Add a little flour or water at a time depending if it's too sticky or too dry.
  • Turn out dough onto an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size (about 90 minutes).
  • Once dough has risen, gently deflate and move it over to a board dusted with some flour.
  • Taking the dough, roll into a log and cut into 10 pieces, each piece roughly 50g.
  • Shape each piece into a ball and flatten out into an oval shape using a rolling pin.
  • Brush the top of the dough with a little oil and fold in half.
  • Lay the dough onto the prepared parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Lightly cover and rest for about 30 minutes, until slightly puffy.
  • Heat water in a large bamboo steamer over high heat. When buns are ready to be steamed, arrange the buns into the steamer and steam for 10-12 minutes, until puffy.
  • Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes before carefully removing the buns from the steamer.


  • Gently peel the warm buns open and assemble with the pork belly, toppings, hoisin sauce, and serve immediately.


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 32mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg