In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Momofuku Pork Buns

I’ve been splurging on cookbooks lately – the strong Aussie dollar has been making it too difficult to resist. The Momofuku Cook book (by David Chang and Peter Meehan) arrived after Christmas and has been inspiring me non-structurally for a few weeks. By that I mean I haven’t sat down, read through a recipe, gone shopping and produced. More I’ve been looking and ready and realising that I’ve got many of those ingredients in the cupboard, so have improvised based on photos and some quick reading.

But this weekend, I have a 6 day break from work, and due to Melbourne Gastronome’s review, a hankering to try the pork bun recipe.

So this is what they are supposed to look like according to the foodstyled book.

pork bun focus

And this is what they did look like, according to some food savvy bloggers who styled them quite beautifully at a potluck dinner on Saturday night.   (Thanks for the photo Claire)

The recipes is based on the one in David Chang’s book, but I have made some adjustments for Australian measurements, my preferred methods and tinkered with the pork flavour to suit my palate a bit better. A standard Australian tablespoon is 20ml. A US one is 15ml.

Steamed buns
1 x 20ml Tablespoon dried yeast
1.5 cups water (37° Celcius)

Warm bowl of mixer with dough hook fitted by filling with warm tap water and leaving to sit while you measure the water for the dough. Empty bowl, fit to the mixer, pour in water and add yeast. Stir slowly with dough hook until dissolved.

4½ x 20ml tablespoons of sugar
2½ x 20ml spoons of skim milk powder
¾ x 20ml tablespoon of salt
1 x 5 ml teaspoon (Rounded) of baking powder
1 x 5 ml teaspoon of baking soda

Stir slowly with dough hook to combine.

Add 4½ cups plain or bread flour and
drop 3 x 20ml tablespoons of lard (or vegetable shortening if you must) on top.

Turn on to low setting and knead for 8 – 10 mins until it forms a soft, but not sticky ball.

Put into a lightly oiled bowl and sit in a warm place until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and turn it out on to a board. Cut into half, and then each half into four pieces. Slightly roll each piece and cut in 25g pieces. (recipe made 48 for me). Cover with cling film and leave for 30 mins.

Cut pieces of baking parchment (silicon paper or Glad Bake), one for each piece approx 10cm x 10cm

Flatten a ball and roll it out to an oval about 10cm long using a small rolling pin or piece of dowel (I used a bottle of rosewater). Fold over in half, place on a piece of parchment and let sit for another 30 – 45mins.

Now steam in batches for 10 mins until they are puffed and glossy – don’t crowd the steamer.

Remove parchment and allow to cool. Wrap back in parchment and stack in an airtight container and place in fridge if you’re not using them straight away. or double wrap in freezer wrap to freeze.


1.5 kg slab skinless pork belly
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup salt
½ x 5ml teaspoon five spice powder
2 x 20ml tablespoon rice (or sherry) vinegar

Mix salt, sugar and five spice in a small bowl.
Trim pork belly and remove any ribs that are still attached
Rub belly with salt mix and place in small roasting pan, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but no more than 24.

Heat oven to 230°C Conventional (210°C Fan-forced). Uncover pork and discard any liquid that has collected. Cook belly fat side up for 1 hour, basting with rendered fat halfway. Turn oven down to 120°C Conventional (110°C Fan-forced), baste pork with vinegar and cook for further hour to hour and a half until pork is soft and tender to touch, but not falling apart. Baste as often as you like during this time.

Allow pork to cool, when cool enough to handle, wrap in foil and put in the fridge until it’s thoroughly cooled. This makes it easier to cut. Cut into 1 cm slices that are about 5 cm long.

Reheat to serve (I used a microwave, or you can use a frypan)

To serve

Thinly sliced cucumber, mixed with salt sugar and vinegar for 5 – 10 mins to lightly pickle
Thinly sliced spring onions
Hoisin Sauce

Steam buns, tear open, spread with sauce, add greens and pork.

pork bun focus


11 thoughts on “Momofuku Pork Buns

  • Thanks for that. We’re having a little potluck party this week, kind of for Xmas I guess and I’ve been trying to find something unique.. found some awesome ideas at a potluck recipe site. You know, someone should invent a website where you can write what you’ll be taking, and it would check no one brings the same thing!

    Comment from: Johnie Scavone

  • Finally made these – and they were so amazing. I had no room in the freezer for leftovers, so we just had to eat them all…

    As usual, I didn’t read the recipe attentively enough before starting, so had no time to cool down the pork, so the slices were nowhere near as lovely as yours, but supremely edible.

    I ended up buying HK “bread flour” from Minh Phat for them but don’t think it gave them a different texture.

    Comment from: Injera

  • […] I reprised my Pork Buns. […]

    Pingback from: essjayeats » Blog Archive » Momofukurage Dinner

  • Welcome Trissa, Yes I was a bit surprised by the admission that they buy their buns, but the recipe is easy and it tastes darn good! Give it a go and tell us how it turns out.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • I’ve been dying to make these ever since I got the Momofuku book UNTIL I found out that he actually buys them rather than makes them! But having seen your post, I am once again inspired! Thanks for sharing.

    Comment from: Trissa

  • Thanks very much for posting this. I am sure these will be coming out from my kitchen fairly soon too.

    nom nom nommmm

    Comment from: penny aka jeroxie

  • Rilsta – glad you enjoyed them

    JSJ – Can’t wait to hear how yours turn out. They aren’t the usual bao, so perhaps that will break the curse?

    Jess – Who on earth brought all that food! You rock too chick.

    Injera – just plain flour. Made a lovely dough. And yes, lard is good! Good luck.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • +1 on the definitely making these!

    Did you use ordinary plain flour or a bread flour in yours? I’m totally going with the lard, though!

    Comment from: Injera

  • These were great, but I had eating cramps so I couldn’t go in for more.
    I still need to educate Ed on hoisin ettiquite.


    Oh, and did I mention that you rock?

    Comment from: Jess

  • OK I am definitely making these. I’ve had some disasters with pork buns before so hopefully this will crack the curse. Thanks!

    Jetsetting Joyce

    Comment from: Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT)

  • YUM! These were awesome! Thanks so much for bringing them & introducing me to their awesomeness! 😛 The buns were so soft and fluffy!

    Comment from: Rilsta @ My Food Trail

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