Momofuku Pork Buns

pork buns

If Momofuku is famous for one item it’s the steamed pork buns. There’s been a lot of hype about the pork buns, even if they were an “eleventh-hour addition” to the menu. Chang himself admits that the buns are “a take on pretty common Asian food formula: steamed bread + tasty meat = good eating.” It’s true too, there are hundreds of versions of steamed buns and meats, but I have never had one as satisfying as the one I had that first time I visited Momofuku in 2007.

roasted pork belly, buns, quick-pickled cucumbers, hoisin, green onions

Maybe it was because I was really hungry, or maybe it was my giddiness at staying another night in NYC, but that first Momofuku pork bun was so perfect. The combination of sweet hoisin, green onions, roasted pork belly, and crunchy pickled cucumbers wrapped up in the perfect blank slate for flavour, the steamed bun, was handheld satisfaction.

gratuitous pork belly shot

The buns are ridiculously addictive, simple and satisfying. The recipe in the book isn’t really a recipe at all, more a how-to-assemble, as long as you have all of your ingredients ready. You need steamed buns, hoisin sauce, quick-pickled cucumbers, roasted pork belly, green onions and sriracha on the side.

hand-held satisfaction

Flip open your buns, spread some hoisin on both sides, cucumbers go on the bottom half, the top half gets a sprinkling of green onions then slices of roast pork belly are nestled in the middle. Fold up the goodness and eat!

pork buns for two

Damn you pork buns, I want to eat hundreds of you and fall into a food coma.

close up of pork buns

31 Comments add yours

  1. Fantastic! I’ve always wanted to make the pork buns – yours looks even better than the book!

    Aw, shucks, I don’t think they look better than the book, but thanks! :D You should try making them, they’re really good!

    steph on January 24th, 2010 at 1:01 pm
  2. it looks sooo juicy and mouthwatering delicious!! yummm!!

    Thanks for your comment BNDQ8! They were pretty mouthwatering!

    steph on January 24th, 2010 at 1:00 pm
  3. Hello, I just discovered your blog though Foodgawker and am really intrigued. I salute your attempt to make the buns. They look really good and now you have gotten me wondering about the Momofuku cookbook… :)

    Hi Shirley,
    Thanks for dropping by! The book’s a great read with lots of stories about the recipes and Momofuku restaurants. I highly recommend it!

    steph on January 24th, 2010 at 8:33 pm
  4. Awesome! Your blog is a nice surprise to me – I was reading blogs from and someone posted your Pork buns blog. Thank for showing us these step by step instructions and esply.the pictures! I don’t have the book yet and will surely buy one tomorrow! Thanks again!!

    Bessie :-)

    No problem, hope you get a chance to try the pork buns! I could eat hundreds of them!

    steph on January 31st, 2010 at 11:03 pm
    Bessie Yap-Sarmiento on January 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm
  5. You crack me up. The first time we had them too we were going nuts. We were talking about them for months and were so tempted to go back the next day for more. Where did you find your buns then? We were thinking of making the grits with the slow cooked egg. Did you catch that segment on Martha?

    I actually made the steamed buns. It was pretty fun and not as bad as I thought it was going to be. And yup, I’m going to be making the grits with the slow-poached egg soon!

    steph on February 6th, 2010 at 11:36 pm
  6. Your website made me go buy this cookbook. It’s fabulous! I have pork belly that I roasted this morning waiting patiently until lunchtime tomorrow. :) thanks for your wonderful posts and pics! :)

    Thanks! Isn’t it a great book? Send some photos of your pork belly if you have time!

    steph on February 22nd, 2010 at 1:14 am
  7. This looks so so so good. Have you tried the breakfast one @ Momofuku Milk Bar? Delicious!

  8. I saw this recipe on foodgal’s blog (…these are INSANE!!! sooo good.
    I HAVE your book (Xmas gift). Love it.

  9. Awesome. I’m super impressed with your momfuku experiment.

    Thanks so much!

    steph on April 8th, 2010 at 8:41 pm
  10. These looks so delicious!!! I’m dying here looking at your photos. I saw Chang on Martha Stewart making these so I decided to try them. They turned out perfect except the buns didn’t seem quite right…a little tough, not soft enough like they should be. They were tasty but hopefully the buns will turn out better next time. Btw, mine were yellow too and I hate that! I wonder how Chang’s bread baker makes them so white…maybe it’s the brand of flour?? I’m dying to know! :)

    Can’t wait to see the rest!

    You’re right, it is the flour brand; if you use super-bleached white flour, the buns will come out white. At least that’s what I’ve heard!

    steph on April 18th, 2010 at 9:39 am
  11. I’m hopelessly addicted to these now, thanks to your gorgeous closeups of that perfectly crispy skin!

  12. I had these at Momofuku not long ago and totally had a foodgasm. It’s not really fair to compare these to traditional pork buns, which I also love… these are a food all to themselves. I haven’t tried making my own yet, but your photos are tempting me to do so.

  13. Will you share the recipe you used for pork buns?

  14. I tried making these at home as well and I have to say they’re pretty damn good! Although I admit I made a slight variation on mine :P I must say I didn’t get mine as browned on the top as yours though.

  15. Your photos are stunning. I am making this dish for a dinner party this weekend. However, I am perplexed by the numerous options of hoisin sauce. Is there a particular brand that you recommend? Do you make your own? I would greatly appreciate your help. I don’t want to choose a brand which would diminish this recipe. The cookbook doesn’t recommend one either.

    >>> I am making this dish for a dinner party this weekend. However, I am perplexed by the numerous options of hoisin sauce. Is there a particular brand that you recommend?<<<

    LOL, but do you know where Chang gets the pork belly? :o) I do.

    CW NYC on March 16th, 2012 at 7:17 am
  16. your pictures are soo pretty! what camera/lens are you using? a macro-lens?

    Image details:
    Type: JPG
    Date: Jan 15, 2010
    Camera: Nikon D80

    I peeled that off the picture data, but no lens data.

    CW NYC on March 16th, 2012 at 7:15 am
  17. I love these! :D My dad makes them with duck instead of pork though.

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