Pork Belly Bao with Papaya Slaw

Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 75 minutes
Serves: 8


  • 500g St Bernard’s boneless pork belly, skin dried out in the fridge overnight
  • 2 teaspoons five spice powder
  • Murray river salt
  • 8 bao buns
  • 3 stalks of spring onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • ½ bunch of coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Sticky glaze
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Spicy green papaya slaw
  • ½ a green papaya, julienne (substitute with green mango if unavailable)
  • 1 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 long red chili, thinly sliced
  • Pinch Murray River salt


  1. For the pork belly, preheat oven to 180°C. Place the pork, skin side down on a wire rack fitted into a baking tray. Season liberally with five spice powder. Turn pork over so it is skin side up.
  2. Cover the skin with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous coating of salt. Pour boiling water about 1cm deep into the pan and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. 
  3. Increase the oven to 200°C. Brush the salt crust from the pork, transfer pork to a flat oven tray and roast for 30-40 minutes or until skin has puffed and crackled.
  4. For the slaw, place all the ingredients into a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
  5. For the glaze, combine ingredients in a bowl.
  6. Steam the bao buns according to packet instructions.
  7. When the pork is done, let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing into 1cm thick pieces. Dip pieces in glaze.
  8. To assemble, place some of the green papaya slaw in the bao, then some spring onions and coriander and finish each with a piece of pork. Arrange on a serving platter.

Made this recipe? Take a photo and tag #thehealthycooks @thehealthycookstv on Instagram!