Friday, October 29, 2010

Braised Pork Belly & Yam Buns (香芋扣肉包)

Unlike most of the "Kong Bak Pau" (扣肉包), where a slice of braised/steamed pork belly in dark soya sauce is wrapped between hot steamed buns, my version is cooked with yam in fermented red bean curd sauce (南乳)and soya bean paste (豆酱). 

These are the ingredients and preparation work:

 I bought frozen pork belly from NTUC (S$5 for 500g or 6 long slices).  Blanch them in hot water and cut each slice into 3 pieces.  For the yam, peel the skin, cut into the same thickness as the pork belly and deep-fried.  Deep-frying the yam is necessary to prevent it from breaking down during cooking.  

1) Heat wok over high heat, use some oil to coat the wok.  Drain off excess.
2) Add pork belly to brown both sides.  Push them to the side of wok.  
3) Add one tablespoon oil, add ginger and garlic, fry lightly.
4) Lower to medium heat, add the fermented red bean curd and soya beanpaste.  Fry lightly.
5) Push the pork belly back to the centre of wok to mix with the sauce.  
6) Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cooking wine and stir-fry again.
7) Add water to fully cover the pork belly, add star anise and cover wok
8) Simmer over low heat for 1/2 hour and turn off heat.
9) Arrange slices of pork belly and yam in a deep dish and pour the remaining sauce over it.
10) Cover the dish with clingwrap or a plate and steam over medium low heat for about 90 minutes till meat is tender.

At this point, you can serve this dish with rice or noodles, instead of making them into steamed buns. 

Ingredients for the dough (makes about 18 buns)

5g instant dry yeast + 1 tsp plain flour + 1 tsp caster sugar + 2 tbsp water (Portion A)
340g plain flour + 160g Hong Kong flour
70g sugar
120ml milk + 130ml to 160ml water
1 heap tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp shortening (白油)

1) Combine Portion A to rest for 5 mins.
2) Put all ingredients (except cooking oil and shortening) and mix well.  Knead for 5 mins (by mixer) or 10 mins (by hand) . 
3) Add cooking oil & shortening and knead for another 5 to 10 mins into a smooth dough.
4) Cover dough with plastic wrap or damp towel and rest for 30 - 40 mins.
5) Divide dough into 18 portions and roll each portion into rectangular shape (to fit the pork belly and yam).
6) Place a slice of pork belly and yam at the centre of each dough and fold to seal the filling. *
7) Place the buns (fold side down) on grease-proof paper, place on steam rack and rest for 45 mins (in warm humid places - I placed the buns in covered wok with warm water).
8) Steam the buns for 10 mins over high heat.  Reduce to low heat for another min, off heat and KEEP COVER FOR ANOTHER MINUTE before lifting the cover.
9) Remove and serve hot

* For easy handling, put the pork belly and yam fillings in the refrigerator for an hour before wrapping them in the buns.  


  1. Wow.. your version of kong ba bao look sooo yummy!!!! Is the bun easier to make. I see from the photo it's very soft and fluffy.

  2. You will find this easy to make as it's quite similar to your sweet potato mantou, except I used 2-parts plain flour to 1-part Hong Kong Flour, plus longer proofing time without baking powder. I tried using "all Hong Kong flour" and "equal parts plain flour/Hong Kong flour", but buns are too soft and cannot hold their shape.


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