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Roast Pork Belly Buns with Homemade Yuzu Lemonade


17th June, 2014
Pat Breen & Lydia Wegner of Shop Ramen
Tuesday 17th June 2014


Today's Tasty Tuesday instalment from Pat and Lydia of Shop Ramen is a modern take on the traditional Chinese pork bun. Pat and Lydia's version of this deliciously more-ish 'bao' combines melt-in-your-mouth sticky roast pork with homemade sour cucumber pickles and Japanese Bulldog sauce.  Finger-licking fare at its finest!  - Lucy


Roast Pork Belly Buns with Homemade Yuzu Lemonade. Photo - Sean Fennessy. Styling - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Slow roasted pork belly sandwiched between fluffy white bread with sauce and a pickle - it doesn't get much better than this! It’s pretty amazing how widely popular this style of guo bao has become since it was conjured up somewhere in the land of Momufuku way back in the early 2000’s. Here we’ve taken some fresh frozen buns that are now increasingly available from many decent Asian supermarkets (in this case, Ming Phat which is on Nicholson St Abbotsford), and steamed them back to glory by adding pork belly, cucumber pickle, spring onion, and Japanese Bulldog sauce. We challenge you to stop after eating just one of these guys!

We've partnered these buns with our version of a Japanese homemade lemonade. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus that’s available in a fresh syrup form from good Asian grocers. It’s kind of similar to Lemon in flavor, if not a little more complex and pungent. Super refreshing!

Roast Pork Belly Buns


For the Pork Belly -

1-1.5 kg pork belly (skin off, bone out)
50g Salt
50g sugar

For the Pickled Cucumbers -

4 cucumbers
250ml water
250ml rice vinegar
150g sugar
10g salt
A splash of Chinese cooking wine.

To Serve -

2 packets of frozen buns (guo bao)
Thinly sliced spring onion
1 bottle of 'Bulldog' sauce (try Japanese grocery stores)


First we must roast the pork belly.  To do this, take 1 - 1.5kg pork belly (skin off, bone out) and season with a 50/50 mixture of salt and sugar. Refrigerate for two hours. Preheat an oven to 200C and roast pork belly for 30 minutes until light golden brown, then reduce the heat to 150C and roast for another 2.5 hours.

Open the oven every 30 minutes or so, and baste with the juices carefully. Once cooked, cool and refrigerate for 5-6 hours in order for the pork belly to firm up. This makes for easy slicing.

To pickle the cucumber, thinly slice it leaving the skin on, and add it to a mix of 250ml water, 250ml rice vinegar, 150g sugar, 10g salt and a splash of Chinese cooking wine. You can make this the day before for a more tangy flavour, or throw it together while your roasting your pork belly, it'll taste good either way!

To fill the buns, slice the pork into bite sized pieces and fill with just the meat. Leave all the other ingredients until after the bao has been steamed.

Steam the pork-filled buns until piping hot in a steamer. Remove from steamer and add the pickle, plenty of bulldog sauce, and fresh spring onion.


Pat saucing the pork bun. Photo - Sean Fennessy. Styling - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

Yuzu Lemonade


150ml Yuzu juice
Juice of 1 lemon
500g caster sugar
250ml water
1/2 tablespoon citric acid
1/2 tablespoon tartaric acid
Soda water


Dissolve sugar in water in a non reactive pot, over heat. Add citric and tartaric acids, dissolving completely. Bring to a simmering point and add the yuzu and lemon juices. Cool.

When ready to serve, add to chilled soda water, about a ratio of 1 part syrup, to 3 parts soda (or taste). Add some crushed ice and mint for an extra refreshing twist.


Roast Pork Belly Buns by Shop Ramen.  Genuine bite marks by Lucy.  Photo - Sean Fennessy. Styling - Lucy Feagins / The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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