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Gua bao with braised pork ribs

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for gua bao with braised pork ribs.

By Emma Knowles, Lisa Featherby & Alice Storey
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 4 hrs cooking plus proving
  • Serves 8
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Gua bao with braised pork ribs
The buns are adapted from a recipe by Momofuku chef David Chang.


  • 125 ml (½ cup) each hoisin sauce and soy sauce
  • 50 gm brown sugar
  • 30 gm (6cm piece) ginger, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1 kg pork spareribs (about 4 pieces)
  • To serve: thinly sliced pickled mustard greens (see note), coriander, spring onions and coarsely chopped peanuts
Steamed buns
  • 30 gm lard, melted, plus extra for brushing
  • 5 gm (1¾ tsp) dried yeast
  • 35 gm caster sugar
  • 95 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 300 gm (2 cups) bread flour


  • 1
    For steamed buns, stir lard, yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and 190ml warm water in a bowl until yeast dissolves. Mix flours, 1½ tsp salt and remaining sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on low speed to combine, add yeast mixture and knead until smooth (8-10 minutes). Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size (2 hours). Knock back dough, divide into 15 balls and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper, cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size (1 hour). Working with a piece at a time, roll dough flat into ovals, brush half of each lightly with remaining melted fat and fold in half. Press lightly to close. Place on a sheet of baking paper, cover with a tea towel and set aside until doubled in size (1 hour). Steam buns in batches in a large steamer over high heat until puffed and cooked through (8-10 minutes), remove pan from heat, leave to steam (2 minutes), then set aside to cool.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150C. Combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and five-spice in a large casserole, add pork ribs and stir to coat. Add 150ml water, cover and braise in oven until very tender (2½-3 hours). Remove meat and set aside until cool enough to handle, then shred meat (discard skin, sinew and bone). Simmer liquid over medium heat until reduced by half
    (20-25 minutes), stir in meat and keep warm.
  • 3
    Split buns, stuff with pork mixture, pickled mustard greens, coriander, spring onion and peanuts, and serve.


Note Pickled mustard greens are available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Sparkling shiraz. Drink suggestion by Max Allen