If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that Vietnamese food is always packed full of flavour. They can take something simple and plain, such as a steam bun, and jam it with so much taste you can only wonder why you didn’t start delving into Vietnamese food earlier. And thus I present The pork belly bao. The bun itself is, like most buns, is made with several basic ingredients and isn’t very potent in flavour. It’s soft and fluffy and has a very smooth surface. For this particular dish, it doesn’t completely cover the filling like a traditional bao. Rather, it acts like a soft tortilla taco shell and looks like a mitt holding on to the fillings.
For the fillings of this particular bao, the star of the dish is pork belly which has been marinated in five spice. Five spice is a Chinese spice mixture and can contain things like star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and sichuan pepper. If anyone has ever had star anise, you know a little bit goes a long way! The meat itself is like the equivalent of bacon, so you know it’s tasty and many Asians tend to love this succulent cut! It’s savoury with various textures due to the fatty tops and meaty bottoms. There is also pickled carrots, pickled radishes, cilantro and cucumber which combine together with the pork to create this vibrant bao combo. The only thing missing was the kimchi fries, but I don’t think I could have eaten all of that on my own. If you find some Vietnamese style bao around, give it a whirl. 😀
***Addition: and Sriracha sauce was added to the mix. How could I forget the Sriracha? Lol