Bacon Bao Buns


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

Braised pork belly is the classic filling of choice for steamed buns, but confit bacon is far and away superior because you get that silky mouthfeel with a good dose of smoky goodness. You will need to find butterflied bao buns, which are readily available in most Asian groceries or online.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces (225 g) Bacon Confit, cut crosswise into 8 equal pieces
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Vietnamese Glaze
  • 6 prepared bao buns, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) Nuoc Mam Cham, plus more for dipping
  • ½ carrot, peeled and thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a very sharp chef’s knife
  • ½ cucumber, thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a very sharp chef’s knife
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the bacon and cook until heated through and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the glaze and cook until the glaze has reduced and the bacon is nicely glazed, about 2 minutes.

While the bacon is cooking, steam the buns (see Note): Line your steamer with parchment paper or lettuce leaves and set over a pot with a few inches of boiling water in it. Make sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space between the buns. Cover and steam the buns until just firm to the touch. Fresh buns will take 12 to 15 minutes and frozen between 3 and 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the Nuoc Mam Cham, carrot, cucumber, and cilantro and toss to coat.

To assemble, place a piece of bacon inside each bun with a small amount of the dressed salad. Serve immediately with more Nuoc Mam Cham on the side for dipping.