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Korean Pork Belly Buns

Korean Pork Belly Buns with Smashed Cucumber Salad

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Tackle a classic Asian restaurant favorite with our easy homemade version. Fluffy steamed buns are stuffed with hoisin-glazed pork belly, plus pickled red onion for bright crunch. Served with a side of “smashed” cucumbers—a technique that releases tons of juicy flavor—it’s the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and absolutely delicious.
    Serving size
    2servings
    Prep & cook time
    minutes
    Cooking Skill
    medium
    By Chef Elana

    By Chef Elana

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • red onion
      • 1
      • red onion
    • Kirby cucumbers
      • 3
      • Kirby cucumbers
    • steamed buns
      • 10
      • steamed buns
    • pork belly
      • 10 ounces
      • pork belly
    • sugar in the raw
      • 2 packets
      • sugar in the raw
    • rice wine vinegar
      • 1/4 cup
      • rice wine vinegar
    • sesame oil
      • 1 teaspoon
      • sesame oil
    • mirin
      • 1 tablespoon
      • mirin
    • hoisin sauce
      • 1/4 cup
      • hoisin sauce
    • dark soy sauce
      • 1 tablespoon
      • dark soy sauce
    • Shaoxing rice wine
      • 2 tablespoons
      • Shaoxing rice wine
    • sesame seeds
      • 1 tablespoon
      • sesame seeds

    What You’ll Need

    • kosher salt
    • 12" large nonstick pan
    • aluminum foil

    Cooking Steps

    1. Prepare Ingredients

      Prepare Ingredients

      Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. Rinse cucumbers and using the bottom of a heavy pan, smash until cracks form. Cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Divide buns evenly between 2 pieces of foil and loosely wrap to create pouches. Pat pork dry with paper towel and cut crosswise into ¼-inch slices.  

    2. Pickle Onion

      Pickle Onion

      In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, all but 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add onion, toss to coat, and set aside to pickle until ready to serve.
    3. Make Cucumber Salad

      Make Cucumber Salad

      In a separate medium bowl, whisk together sesame oil, mirin, and remaining rice wine vinegar until fully combined. Add cucumbers and season with ¼ teaspoon salt. Toss to coat and set aside.

    4. Cook Pork

      Cook Pork

      Arrange pork in a single layer in a large nonstick pan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, flipping occasionally, until fat is rendered and pork is browned on both sides, 10-12 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then discard excess fat from pan.  

    5. Warm Buns and Make Sauce

      Warm Buns and Make Sauce

      While pork cooks, place pouches with buns in oven to warm for about 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Shaoxing rice wine until fully combined.  

    6. Plate Pork Buns

      Plate Pork Buns

      Drain onion, discarding pickling liquid. Plate cucumber salad and garnish with sesame seeds. Return pork to pan over medium heat and pour over hoisin-soy sauce. Cook until sauce is bubbling and thick, about 2 minutes. Fill warmed buns with hoisin pork and as much pickled onion as desired. Serve with cucumbers and dig in!  

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