Wild Pork Char Siu Gua Bao is a delicious preparation of wild pork! I used a muscle off of the back leg, but you could use the front shoulder, belly, or any other cut too.
I love bao! The delicious bun coupled with the savory meat is a perfect combination! Gua Bao is an open faced bao normally filled with tender pork belly. I did not have pork belly, so again I used a whole muscle off of the back ham of a wild boar, and it turned out great!
I was originally introduced to bao on a high school trip to California. We toured San Francisco’s China Town and our tour guide stopped at one of the restaurants and bought a few for the group to share. I was blown away. I had never tasted something so amazing!
Fast forward to my time at Auburn University, there was a small business that opened called Dumps Like a Truck. It was a young couple that served dumplings and bao out of a food truck. Whitley Dykes had an eye for business and his wife, Desiree (Kunyu Li) Dykes, a knack for food. They were a hit and they were soon able to buy a store front, which they named Irritable Bao. Their business and food were booming! Their line would be hours long, leaving customers hoping they didn’t sell out before they could get their hands on the delicious dumplings and bao. Having had both of these amazing experiences with this Asian dish, it was immediately added to my “Must Make” recipe list when I started this account.
Anywhoooo…. Sometimes cooking can take forever and with a full-time job that can make life hectic. I like using my Instant Pot for times like this, but any pressure cooker will do! I tried a new technique I was reading up about in this recipe. Instead of letting the meat marinate over night I put the pork and the marinade in the Instant Pot. The pressure created by the Instant Pot is supposed to force the marinade into the meat. It worked!! I let the Instant Pot naturally release, which took around 35 minutes, in order to keep as much moisture trapped in the meat as possible. All around, this process was much faster than waiting for the meat to marinate overnight. Enjoy!!
Wild Pork Char Siu Gua Bao
- 1.75 lbs pork 2-3 inch thick cubed slices
- 1/8 C sugar
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder seasoning
- 2 T hoisin sauce
- 2 T honey
- 2.5 T soy sauce
- 2 T rice wine
- 1 T toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp molsasses
- 3 cloves garlic fresh; minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ginger fresh; minced
- 10 drops red food coloring optional
- leftover sauce
- chili oil
- green onions
- sesame seeds
Char Siu Pork:
- Mix all ingredients except pork in the Instant Pot bowl.
- Add pork and coat well in the sauce.
- Close Instant Pot, seal, and cook for 35 minutes on high pressure.
- Let steam release naturally. This might take over 30 minutes, so be patient.
- Shred and stir pork once done.
- Dissolve instant yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk.
- Stir mixture until frothy.
- In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the frothy mixture to the dumpling flour. Knead for 10 minutes.
- Add cooking oil and knead for another 10 minutes.
- Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm area for an hour.
- Roll dough in a small amount of flour.
- Cut in half.
- Roll each half into a sausage formation.
- Cut into 8 equal sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a thin circle (less than a 1/4 inch thick).
- Flour each side and fold in half like a taco.
- Place a small square of parchment paper on the bottom. This will prevent the bun sticking to the steamer.
- Place dough in a steamer basket. ( I only did four in a basket so I didn't overcrowd them... they expand). If using bamboo baskets, you can stack up to 3 at a time.
- Set steamer over ~1/2 to 1 inch of boiling water and let cook for 10 minutes. There is no need to flip them.
- Carefully open the bun and dress them with the toppings listed above.