Steamed Pork Belly Buns

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2015 Jan/Feb

The restaurant Momofuku is known for its steamed pork belly buns. Surprisingly, your own version isn’t that difficult to accomplish with a quick, simple dough made with flour and coconut milk.



  • 2 lbs. skinless pork belly
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. salt


  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
  • hoisin sauce
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • paper muffin cups and non-stick spray
  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • wedges of lime


Place the pork belly in a small roasting pan. Combine the brown sugar and salt and rub all over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 450°F, pour off any accumulated juices from the pan, and roast the belly one hour, basting once or twice, until golden. Turn the heat down to 300°F and cook for another hour and a half, until the pork is nice and tender. Remove and let the meat cool in its juices, then thinly slice, shred or chop it once it’s cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, to make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, add the coconut milk and stir until you have a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll into a long log, then cut it into 14 to 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin circle.

Top each piece of dough with some pork, a drizzle of hoisin sauce and a pinch of cilantro. Fold the dough over and pinch it together to seal. Place seam-side down into paper muffin cups that have been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Place the buns, in their papers, in a steamer basket over simmering water. Cover and steam for 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Immediately sprinkle with sesame seeds, while the buns are still tacky. Serve warm, with extra hoisin sauce and wedges of lime. Makes about 1-1/2 dozen buns.