Ingredients: For the pork belly:
- 1 lb pork belly, skin-on
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 star anise (optional)
- 1 cup water
For assembling the buns:
- 8 small steamed buns (often referred to as mantou or bao buns)
- Hoisin sauce
- Crushed peanuts
- Fresh cilantro or Thai basil leaves
- Pickled mustard greens (optional)
- In a large pot, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, brown sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, star anise (if using), and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Add the pork belly to the pot, ensuring it is fully submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the pork belly is tender and cooked through.
- Once the pork belly is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool slightly. Reserve the cooking liquid for later use.
- Slice the pork belly into thin pieces.
- To assemble the Gua Bao, take a steamed bun and spread a small amount of hoisin sauce on the inside.
- Place a few slices of pork belly in the bun, followed by some crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro or Thai basil leaves, and pickled mustard greens if desired.
- Repeat the process with the remaining buns and ingredients.
- If desired, you can heat the assembled buns in a steamer for a few minutes to warm them up.
- Serve the Gua Bao warm as a delicious and flavorful Taiwanese street food.
Gua Bao is a beloved Taiwanese dish that features tender and flavorful braised pork belly stuffed inside soft steamed buns. It is often enjoyed as a snack or light meal and is a popular street food option in Taiwan. The combination of savory pork belly, tangy hoisin sauce, and various toppings creates a delightful culinary experience.