Yes, this is definitely right up there amongst the tastiest and interesting things I’ve made in a while. The pork cooks in a slow cooker for about 9 hours, so virtually no effort is required. It pulls apart into its own completely delicious sweet and spicy sauce. The steamed buns need a little effort, but after two tries, both successful, I will definitely be making these again.
I made the pulled pork in the Breville Slow Cooker and was the first recipe I have ever made in such an appliance. I am sold. You put all the ingredients into the pot; turn it onto low and go to sleep. When you wake up the next day, your house smells like something amazing happened and all you do is turn it off and you are ready to go. This makes more pulled pork than the recipe for 12 buns requires. I feel it’s worth making a bigger portion as its so delicious. You could double up on the buns, or freeze off any leftover pork. It lasts for days and there are so many exciting ways to use it up.
On my first test, I used a 3.5kg bone-in shoulder of pork or Boston Butt. The second time it was about 3kg, trimmed and without the bone. Both awesome, but I think its easier to just ask the butcher to do all the work. I tweaked the seasonings for my second test and am happy to say I have arrived at a perfect recipe for me. I love the flavour the hoisin delivers and I have kept it fairly mild with only one teaspoon of dried chilli flakes. I actually used smoked dried chilli flakes, but you could add more, or chilli powder if you wanted to ramp up the heat levels.
I made the steamed buns in my Breville 800 Class Mixer – stand mixer using the paddle attachment and dough hook. It pretty much does all the dirty work. It then just requires two separate proving stages. The milk powder is important, although on my second test I left it out by mistake. The buns still rose but the texture changed somewhat and I prefer the results with the powder. I steamed the buns in the Breville Multi Chef using the steamer basket. Easy peasy.
Recipe for steamed buns adapted from A Table for TwoPrint
gua bao with hoisin and ginger pulled pork
- Pulled pork with hoisin and ginger
- 1 x 3kg – 3.5kg pork shoulder / Boston butt, fat trimmed
- 2t five spice powder
- salt and pepper
- 1t dried chilli flakes or smoked chilli flakes
- 2T grated fresh ginger (about 10cm piece of ginger)
- 6 – 8 cloves garlic sliced
- 300ml hoisin sauce
- 250ml (1 cup) ginger beer
- Serve with a lightly dressed cabbage slaw, slices of fresh cucumber, pickled carrots, fresh coriander and hot sauce such as Sriracha
- Slaw + dressing
- 2T lime huice
- 2T lemon juice
- 2T rice vinegar
- 1t sugar
- 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
- Steamed buns – gua bao dough
- 200ml water, at room temperature
- 10g instant dry yeast (I sachet)
- 300g all purpose wheat flour (cake flour)
- 10g milk powder
- 4T caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- ½ t baking powder
- ½ t baking soda
- Rub the pork generously with the salt, pepper, five spice, chilli and ginger. Place in the main pot of the slow cooker and allow to marinate for about an hour. Pour over the hoisin sauce, ginger beer and add the garlic. Turn it onto slow, cover and cook for about 8 – 9 hours depending on the size of your pork. Once cooked, turn off and allow cool. Remove the meat, place on a tray and shred it with forks. It will literally pull part. Pour the sauce over it and keep anything left over in a pot for later if desired.
- To make the slaw, mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss with 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage.
- To make the dough, add yeast to the water in the bowl of the stand mixer and allow to activate for about 10 minutes.
- Use the paddle attachment, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix briefly until you have a dough. Scrape the paddle, attach the dough hook and continue kneading for about 5 minutes. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and briefly knead to form a round dough ball that is springy to the touch.
- Place this in a greased bowl, and cover with a sheet of greased cling film and allow to prove in a warm place for about an hour. It should double in size.
- Pinch back the risen dough on a floured surface and roll this into a log shape. Divide this into 12 equal parts. Roll each of these parts into a ball and place on a floured tray. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for a second time for around 30 minutes. It should double in size again.
- While this is proving, cut out twelve 8cmx8cm squares of baking paper. Fill the Breville steamer with water and set to STEAM.
- Roll a bun into an oval shape, dip a chopstick into a bottle of oil and fold the two pieces over this stick, which you then slide out. Place this folded piece of dough on a piece of baking paper. Repeat with all 12 pieces.
- Steam the buns 3 at a time in the steamer for 5 minutes. They will be firm to the touch and cooked through. Repeat until they are all cooked.
- To assemble the gua bao, add sliced cucumber and pickle to the bottom of the bun, fill with pulled pork, and finish off with the dressed slaw and fresh coriander Add a drizzle of hot sauce if you like.
Keywords: gua bao, hoisin, ginger beer, pulled pork
**This post has been sponsored by Breville South Africa. I’m working with the Marketing team on a wonderful project to develop recipes for these incredible appliances.
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.