I love Bao! Cute little Asian-style sandwiches filled with everything from duck to pork belly. When I was experimenting with biscuits, I wondered if it was possible to make a good bao using refrigerator biscuits. Well, I found out that it is indeed possible and they turned out perfect!
For the Bao:
1 can plain buttermilk biscuits
10-8”x 8” pieces of aluminum foil
1 head Napa cabbage or 2 sheets of parchment fitted and cut to fit your steamers
For the Belly:
1 ½ lb. pork belly
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbs Gochujang
2 tsp honey
1 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs low sodium soy sauce
½ tsp onion powder
2 tbs water
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 tbs teriyaki marinade
½ tsp ginger powder
½ tsp cayenne
For the Crudité:
½ c matchstick carrots
20 cucumber slices, sliced thin
1 c cilantro loose packed
2 large jalapenos sliced
Cut pork belly into thick rectangle strips of 3-4 equal sized pieces. Set aside. In a large gallon sized zip seal bag, combine all ingredients for the pork belly. Mix thoroughly. Place your pork into the bag and coat well. Squeeze all the air out of the bag, making sure not to spill any marinade. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. You can also store this in the freezer if you’re planning on making it at a later date.
When you are ready to make your bao buns, prepare your steamer by filling the bottom of your wok or pot with roughly 3-4 cups of water. Do not fill to the bottom of your steamer, otherwise your buns will become soaked. Prepare your steamer by covering the bottoms with cabbage or parchment so your buns don’t stick. Be aware, if you choose to use Napa cabbage, there is a chance that some of the cabbage may stick to the bottom of your bao, but I like it that way.
Now, it’s time to get those buns ready. Flatten each biscuit slightly with the palm of your hand and fold them over individual pieces of foil to form a clam shape as seen in the photo on the previous page and set in the steamer. Repeat this method with each biscuit. Arrange the buns so that none are touching. Set your steamer trays in the wok, cover and bring to a hard simmer. Allow your bao buns to steam for approximately 15 minutes. Once they are fluffy and spring back when touched, remove from heat and allow to cool before removing foil. Meanwhile, preheat your broiler on high. Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray and arrange pork belly so they are not touching. Coat pork with remaining marinade and broil each side for roughly 1-2 minutes or until sauce becomes crispy and caramelized. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
Once your pork belly has cooled to your preference, slice pieces off starting at one end, about ¼ inch thick. Start assembling your bao by filling each bun with 3-4 slices of Pork belly, a few shreds of carrot sticks, 2 cucumber slices, a fluffy sprig of cilantro and about 3 slices of jalapenos. You can add a little sriracha for some tasty flare.