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Luke Mangan’s Pork Belly Bao with pickled cucumber, shallot and hoisin from Coast Café + Bar

Luke Mangan’s Coast Café + Bar features a deliciously sumptuous menu packed with fresh, contemporary fare and is undoubtedly one of the most popular dining destinations at T1 International.

Luke’s all-day menu has something for everyone, but his Pork Belly Bao with pickled cucumber, shallot and hoisin is worthy of a mention and a great dish you can cook at home with family and friends.

Here’s a breakdown of Luke’s Pork Belly Bao.

Coast Cafe Pork Belly Bao


This recipe makes 1 portion (three pork belly baos) but you can adapt it to increase the number of portions.

  • 3 x 40gm slice of slow cooked pork belly (1kg raw pork belly skin on)
  • 3 x bao buns
  • 30gm x Lebanese cucumber
  • 5ml rice wine pickle (recipe below)
  • 3 x 6cm long spring onion (light green part)
  • 30ml hoi sin sauce
  • 30ml plum sauce
  • 5gm toasted white sesame seeds – dry roasted in a pan until golden

Receipe for: Slow Cooked Pork Belly

To brine the pork:

  • Gather 3 litres of cold water, 120g salt, 40g sugar and 20g toasted fennel seeds
  • Toast fennel seeds and add the other ingredients
  • Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved in the water
  • In a large tray, add the pork and pour the brine on the pork belly and brine overnight leaving the skin uncovered. This will make the pork more flavourful and succulent

For the pork salt:

  • Combine 1 cinnamon quill, 20gm Sichuan pepper, 10gm star anise, 100gm table salt and blend to a fine powder

To slow cook the pork belly:

  • Cut belly skin in three equal pieces, wash off with clean water then pat dry in paper towel
  • Rub the pork belly with the pork salt
  • Roast the pork belly covered with baking paper and foil at 75degrees for 12 hours with some rosemary and garlic, press overnight – portion into the desired slices

Rice wine pickle/pickled cucumber:

  • Gather 2 litres of rice wine vinegar with 500gm caster sugar and a pinch of salt
  • Warm all ingredients together until sugar and salt has fully dissolved
  • Cut cucumber into slices and pickle for five minutes


Grill pork belly until caramelised and heated through on a bbq or in a pan for five minutes. Warm bao buns in the steamer or microwave. Arrange pickled cucumber and spring onion in the warm bao buns. Nestle pork belly on top and dress with hoi sin, plum sauce and sesame seeds and serve immediately.