EASY PORK BAO
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Introducing pork bao – the quick and easy weeknight version made with everyday ingredients. Now you can enjoy this delicious Chinese meal any time you like!

Easy pork bao with pickled cucumber, Asian slaw and roasted peanuts.

We love pork bao but rarely have them because of the time involved in slow cooking the meat and the fact that the buns aren’t the easiest to find.

This weeknight version uses pork mince and regular buffet rolls, but has all the same delicious flavours and is ready in just a fraction of the time.

I’ve added a big Asian slaw to up the veggie content. If you have extra mince mixture left over, this is delicious on top of the slaw with a generous helping of peanuts and coriander.

 

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Easy pork bao with pickled cucumber, Asian slaw and roasted peanuts.

EASY PORK BAO

Keyword: MAIN MEALS, PORK
Difficulty: Easy
Ready In: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Introducing pork bao - the quick and easy weeknight version made with everyday ingredients. Now you can enjoy this delicious Chinese meal any time you like!

QUICK PRINT

Ingredients

PICKLED CUCUMBER

  • 1/2 telegraph cucumber
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup water (60ml)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

SLAW

  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 apple (ideally green)
  • 2 handfuls coriander
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

PORK

  • 600 g pork mince (1lb 5oz)
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce (125ml)
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

TO SERVE

  • 12 plain par-baked buffet rolls
  • 1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts (100g)
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tbsp boiling water
  • 1 handful coriander

Instructions

  1. MAKE PICKLED CUCUMBER

    Thinly slice cucumber. Whisk vinegar, water, sugar and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in cucumber and set aside to pickle.

  2. MAKE SLAW

    Finely shred cabbage, grate carrot and apple, and roughly chop coriander. Place in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Drizzle over slaw and toss to combine.

  3. Preheat oven to 180ºC (360ºF) fan bake.

  4. COOK PORK

    Heat a large non-stick pot on medium-high. Add pork mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned all over. Stir in hoisin sauce, vinegar and soy sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. COOK ROLLS

    Meanwhile, place rolls on a large oven tray. Completely wet a clean tea towel, then wring out to remove excess water. Cover the rolls with the tea towel and bake in oven for 10 minutes, until steamed. Don’t use the tea towel if you have a gas oven!

  6. ASSEMBLE AND SERVE

    Roughly chop peanuts. Mix hoisin sauce with water. Drain cucumber. Season pork with salt and pepper.

  7. Cut rolls down the centre (don’t cut all the way through). Fill with cucumber, pork and coriander. Drizzle with hoisin sauce mixture. Serve with slaw on the side and sprinkle peanuts over the whole meal. Any extra mince is delicious on top of the slaw!

Recipe Notes

WINE MATCH: Try a Riesling.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: Use gluten-free soy sauce. Hoisin sauce usually contains gluten. This homemade version is a great alternative: https://www.picspeanutbutter.com/recipes/pics-homemadehoisin-sauce/. Swap the rolls for gluten-free wraps (microwave to warm, or wrap a stack in tinfoil and heat in the oven) - you can add the slaw into the wraps too.
INGREDIENT SWAPS / NOTES: You could use beef or chicken mince instead of pork.
EQUIPMENT TIP: The tea towel method for steaming the rolls isn’t suitable if you have a gas oven (too dangerous). Cook the rolls without the tea towel - they will be crunchier on the outside rather than steamed, but will still taste good!
STORING AND REHEATING: Cucumber and slaw can be stored together. Keep other ingredients separate. Pork can be reheated in the microwave. Reheat rolls in the microwave or oven. Assemble meal just before serving.

 

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