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Steamed Red Curry Pork Buns


  • Braised Red Curry Pork:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 300 g 10 oz pork belly, chopped
  • 1 1 1/2 inch knob ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2-3 red chilies thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
  • Bao Dough:
  • 250 g 9 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water


  • For the Curry:
  • In a large cast iron skillet melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the pork belly and sauté until browned on all sides. Transfer the meat to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  • Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat from the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, curry paste, fish sauce, sugar and ground coriander and sauté until a paste forms and turns a slightly darker color, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Stir in the reserved pork and cover. Let simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the lime juice, fresh coriander and red chilies. Set the curry aside to cool. Transfer the curry to a sealable container and let chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
  • For the Dough:
  • Whisk the flour, yeast and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the water to the mixture until a shaggy dough forms - you might not have to use all of the water. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth and silky. Form the dough into a ball.
  • Dust the bottom of a large bowl with additional flour. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean, damp tea towel. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise. Let rise for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until it is reduced to almost it's original size. Roll the dough into a snake-like shape and divide into 12 evenly-sized pieces. Roll each piece in a ball and, using a floured rolling pin, roll each ball out to form a circle roughly 3-inches in diameter. Try to make the edges at little thinner.
  • To Assemble:
  • Spoon roughly 2 tablespoons of the curry in the center of 1 of the bao skins. The curry should be thick enough that you can form it roughly into a ball shape. Pleat the edges of the bao skin together to form a sort of toque shape at the top of the bun. Place your thumb firmly in the center of the toque and twist the bun with your other hand. Refine the shape and set aside. Repeat with remaining skins and curry.
  • In a large pot bring 3-inches of water to a rolling boil. Line a bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves or perforated parchment paper. Place the buns (five at a time) in the steamer and set the steamer in the boiling water. Cover and steam the buns for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the finished buns to a plate and serve immediately.