5 from 2 votes
Gua Bao (Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Course: staple
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: buns, Pork Belly
Servings: 8 making 8 portions
Calories: 980 kcal
Author: Elaine
bun dough
  • 2 cup all purpose flour
  • 125 ml water , or 140ml milk, 3.5% fat
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp. of sugar , optional
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil , optional
Fillings-side ingredients
  • pickled mustard green , minced and stir-fried
  • 1 cup toasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp. sugar powder
  • Coriander leaves
Optional spicy sauce
  • 2 fresh thai pepper
  • 2 minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced scallion
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
Filling–Taiwanese braised pork
  • 1 kg pork belly , skin on
  • 1 cup fried shallots
  • 25 g rock sugar
  • 4 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. soy paste , or 2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 4-5 garlic cloves , sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper powder
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
braise pork
  1. Cut the pork belly into large slabs. Place in a pot with enough cold water, bring to a boil and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer out, drain and clean.
  2. Heat around 1 tablespoons of oil in a wok and then fry the pork belly until browned. Transfer to a simmering pot, add all the other ingredients and enough water except fried shallots, bring to a boil and continue cooking for around 1hour. Add fried shallots if you plan to use and continue simmering for 30 minutes to 50 minutes until the pork belly becomes really soft.
Steamed buns
  1. In a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients for 9-12 minutes with hook and low speed until get a elastic, smooth and soft dough. Shape it to a large ball and cover with wet cloth. Set aside for proofing (around 1 hour).
  2. When the dough is about 1.5 times in size, transfer out and re-knead until smooth in surface again (key step to smooth surface). Then divide into 8 portions. Knead each of the portions for 1 or 2 minutes until they are smooth. And then roll each of the small balls to an oval like shape.

  3. Slightly dust the oval (or brush a layer of oil on surface) and fold the dough over by the middle.
  4. Place them in steamer, turn up the fire and heat for 2-3 minutes, turn off the fire and wait for 15 minutes. Re-start the fire and steam the buns for 10 minutes after the water boils.
Fillings and sauce
  1. Mix all the ingredients for optional Chili sauce.
  2. Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in wok and then fry minced pickled mustard green for 2-3 minutes until aroma.
  3. Smash toasted peanuts and mix with 1 tablespoon of sugar powder.
  4. Add braised pork, mustard green, sweet smashed peanuts and fresh coriander leaves.
Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts is based on each single Gua Bao.

Nutrition Facts
Gua Bao (Taiwanese Pork Belly Buns)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 980 Calories from Fat 711
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 79g 122%
Saturated Fat 27g 135%
Cholesterol 90mg 30%
Sodium 969mg 40%
Potassium 613mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 42g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 10g
Protein 22g 44%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Vitamin C 23.8%
Calcium 7.8%
Iron 25.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.