Five Spice Pork Belly Bao

This five spice pork belly bao combines classic Chinese flavors with pork belly to create a delicious treat. The succulent pork is braised to perfection, absorbing the deep and complex notes of our aromatics. Encased in a soft, fluffy bao bun, each bite offers a symphony of textures and tastes. Tender, melt-in-your-mouth pork harmonizing with the pillowy steamed bun. Often garnished with fresh herbs, pickled vegetables, or a drizzle of hoisin sauce, this dish exemplifies the art of balancing sweetness, spiciness, and umami, making it a beloved and flavorful staple in Asian cuisine.

Five Spice Pork Belly Bao

This five spice pork belly bao recipe takes on traditional Chinese flavors that compliment sweet buns perfectly.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine asian, Chinese, fusion


  • 1 piece skin on pork belly
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 stalk scallions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cups water
  • pickled carrots
  • pickled jalapenos
  • crispy garlic
  • 1 package bao buns or soft bread rolls


  • Cut your slices of pork belly into ½ inch thickness and about 3 inches long.
    1 piece skin on pork belly
  • Season sliced pork belly with salt, five spice powder, and garlic powder.
    1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp five spice powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Sear them on a hot pan for 3 minutes each side.
  • Add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, crushed garlic, scallions, bay leaves, star anise, and water.
    1½ tbsp soy sauce, ½ tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 stalk scallions, 2 bay leaves, 1 star anise, 2 cups water
  • Stir and bring it up to a boil, then turn the heat down to med-low, and cover with a lid for 40 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn the heat up to high until the sauce in the pan get thick and glossy. (About another 10 minutes)
  • Assemble by placing your pork belly into your buns, top with pickled carrots, jalapenos, and crispy garlic .
    pickled carrots, pickled jalapenos, crispy garlic, 1 package bao buns or soft bread rolls
Keyword bao, belly, braised, buns, five, pork, spice