Succulent Braised Pork Buns: A Culinary Tale from the Instant Pot

August 1, 2023

The Magic of Instant Pot: Pork Buns Delight

The braised pork buns Instant pot rendition is a culinary revelation. This modern tool simplifies the creation of classics like our braised pork buns. Imagine: mouth-melting pork shoulder, masterfully cooked drawing inspiration from the revered Hong Shao Rou recipe. Nestled within a soft Steamed Lotus Leaf Bun? It’s truly a flavor-filled journey, offering the most tender embrace for the pork.

The Birth of a Masterpiece: Trials, Triumphs, and Taste Buds

Every dish has a story, and these pork buns have an interesting one. They emerged from an experiment, a pursuit of the perfect Instant Pot Hong Shao Rou. Alas, our journey was sprinkled with missteps. However, as any seasoned chef knows, from culinary mishaps come the most unexpected delights.

That’s precisely what happened here. What seemed like a setback transformed into a scrumptious innovation. Complemented by freshly steamed buns, cool cucumber slices, and a touch of aromatic garnish, this new creation quickly won the hearts (and stomachs) of my family during a blogging interlude. So, while the traditional Hong Shao Rou eluded us, this dish stands testament to the fact that creativity often blossoms in unexpected corners.

Economical and Flavorful: A Seamless Fusion

Grounded in the essence of my mother’s recipe, this variant introduces pork shoulder, a more accessible and budget-friendly option, without sacrificing flavor or texture. The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. Just entrust all your ingredients to the Instant Pot and let the magic happen. And although I may not wear the crown of an Instant Pot connoisseur, every attempt inches me closer to culinary mastery. Ready for this recipe? Let’s dive in!


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or 70 grams of Chinese rock sugar; while rock sugar is the go-to for authentic flavor, it requires a tad more patience to dissolve)
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (sliced into 2-inch chunks)
  • ½ cup Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 recipe for Steamed Lotus Leaf Buns

Culinary Steps to Perfection

  1. Activate the sauté mode on your Instant Pot. Introduce the oil and sugar, and let the sugar evolve into a lush paste. Usher in the pork, browning it to perfection.
  2. Pour in the Shaoxing wine, both soy sauces, and water. Give it a gentle mix, secure the lid, and set your vent to a sealed position. Choose the meat/stew setting on high for a 20-minute culinary journey.
  3. Once the timer chimes, release the pressure based on your preference—quick or natural. As you open the pot, a rich aroma will greet you. Switch back to sauté, allowing the sauce to become thick, glossy, and generously coat the pork.
  4. Assembling time! Cradle a generous portion of pork within a steamed lotus leaf bun. Drizzle that rich sauce, layer some cucumber slices, and if you’re a fan of heat, a few chili slices. Close this delightful sandwich, and voilà! The ultimate treat awaits.

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