Steamed buns are a family favourite and easy to cook, simply use a bamboo steamer to steam the buns. The quick pickle can be made a day or two ahead. The recipe is also adaptable; use the same mix to pickle red onions, thin matchsticks of carrot, or sliced radishes. While slow-roasted pork belly is more often used for the bao, pork fillet is perfect for tender and quick cooking.
For the pork:
½ onion, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
3cm piece ginger, finely grated
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce plus
1 tablespoon for finishing sauce
3 tablespoons shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
400g pork fillet, silverskin removed
oil for frying
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Herbs such as coriander, Vietnamese mint and basil
Spring onions, sliced
Roasted peanuts, chopped
Cooking the pork:
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients with the pork.
Marinate in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of four hours if you can. When ready to cook, remove the pork from the marinade (but reserve the marinade).
Heat a little oil in a frypan and fry the pork for 12-15 mins, turning evenly.
Remove from the pan to rest for 10 mins, add the marinade to the pan along with ¼ cup water and 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, bring to the boil, then simmer until thickened.
To make the pickle:
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into thin slices and
put into a bowl.
Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in small saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over the cucumber and set aside for 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
Steam the buns according to packet instructions.
In each bun, add sliced pork with a little sauce, some herbs, pickle, spring onions, peanuts and chilli.