01 of 05
Tiger Bites Pig Gua Bao Recipes
Tiger bites pig (虎咬豬) is a well-known and popular Taiwanese snack food. The other name for this delicious snack is “Gao Bao” (割包) but people ask “why is it called tiger bites pig?”. This is because you place a piece of braised pork belly inside the bun and it looks like a tiger is chewing on a piece of juicy pork. Besides this dish also looks like a “wallet” so Taiwanese people think this has the symbolic meaning of “rich” or “having a lot of money” so people like this dish to have a lucky meaning.
Traditionally people serve this dish with ground toasted peanut with sugar, suan cai (pickled mustard green which tastes very strong and sour. In Chinese Suan Cai, 酸菜 means Chinese sauerkraut. This is of course optional but we almost always add chopped coriander.
However nowadays many restaurants and cafes have change the traditional recipe to include other ingredients instead of the pork belly. These include fried chicken fillets, fried fish or even beef. Personally I will always go for the pork belly as I simply love pork belly but you could give them all a go.
I would recommend people who want to make this dish to prepare it ahead so you can just reheat the pork before serving. This recipe also provides step-by-step photos and methods for making the steamed bun. If you think making steamed buns from scratch is too complicated or even just too much hassle you can alternatively buy steamed buns from most Chinese supermarkets. You can find them in the frozen section.
My recipe is a traditional recipe for tiger bites pig but as mentioned before if you’re not a fan of any of the ingredients or you have a peanut allergy then you can just leave or replace the ingredients for something else. Equally if you don’t like coriander a good alternative is spring onions. If you don’t like suan cai then you can replace this with julienned cucumber or blanches bean sprouts. If you’re like my husband and hate almost all vegetables you could do what he does and just eat the pork belly with the bun, peanut and coriander. The point is cooking and eating should be fun, free and creative. Of course knowing the original and traditional recipe is important but I see no harm in improvising any dish and being creative. You might create a whole new amazing delicious way of making tiger bites pig that everyone will love.
For the cooking oil part of the recipe you can use olive oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Do try to avoid any oil with a strong flavour though, like toasted sesame oil, blended sesame oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc, as these will overpower the food.
I didn’t use suan cai in this recipe as it’s not an ingredient that can be bought in my local area but tiger bites pig still tastes amazingly delicious with or without suan cai.
For more recipes like this, please check out my book "Home-Style Taiwanese Book"Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Braised Pork Belly
Ingredients for braised pork belly:
700g pork belly, cut into 1.5cm thick slices
2 spring onion, sliced
10 garlic, peeled
½ red chili, sliced (optional)
Seasonings for braised pork belly:
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons maltose syrup (if you can’t get hold of the maltose syrup then replace it with demerara sugar)
50ml rice wine or shaoxing rice wine
½ tablespoon dark soy sauce
10g rock sugar
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoon cooking oil
Methods for braised pork belly:
Continue to 3 of 5 below.
- Prepare the braised pork belly. Marinate the pork in 1 tablespoon soy sauce and maltose syrup. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok over low heat. Add the pork and sear until golden brown on both sides. Please be very careful doing this as the pork fat and skin can cause the oil to pop and you could burn yourself if you’re not careful. I always have my wok lid next to me just in case the oil starts to pop.
- Leave the pork belly from step 2 to cool down.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the spring onions, garlic and chili and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the pork and the rest of the seasonings for the braised pork. Bring to a boil over high heat then simmer over low heat for about 1.5 hours until the pork is tender.
03 of 05
Ingredients for steamed buns:
7g dried yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
160g plain flour
150g bread flour
cooking oil, as needed
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
- Mix yeast and sugar with the water until dissolved. Add both types of flower and knead into a smooth dough. Cover the dough with a clean damp cloth or cling film. Set aside for 30-40 minutes for the dough to rise.
- When the dough has risen, cut it into 60g portions, form each portion into a ball. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten each ball into an oval shape using a rolling pin.
04 of 05
3. Brush some oil over the flattened dough and drape each piece over the rolling pin to set the shape of the dough. Places all the buns on a big tray and wrap with cling film or cover by wet cloth on top to allow to rest for another 10 minutes.
4. Place the buns into a steamer with a sheet of parchment paper underneath of the bun and steam over high heat for 8-10 minutes. When done, the buns should spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Garish for Tiger bites pig
Garnish for tiger bites pig:
3 tablespoons ground toasted peanut and mix with caster sugar to taste
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped.
* Mix the peanut powder with some caster sugar. To assemble the tiger bites pig, place 1-2 slices of braised pork into each bun. Garnish with the sweetened grounded peanut and coriander. Serve immediately.
* This recipes can make 8-10 tiger bites pigs