These Taiwan pepper pork buns (胡椒餅) are a popular street food snack in Taipei. While the traditional ones are made in a tandoori oven, I made mine in a traditional oven.
“We should be in Taiwan right now.” That’s a phrase that’s commonly said at my house. Having come from a house of foodies, I am constantly thinking about food. My husband and daughter have also become foodies, as most of our discussions are centered around food.
The three of us had been looking forward to our spring break trip to Taiwan that was ultimately cancelled. We hope to reschedule for another time later this year, but our plans are still up in the air. While I have attempted making these pepper buns before, I wasn’t happy with the way the crust turned out. The previous recipe called for pizza dough, which made the buns too thick. As a result, the bun-to-filling ratio was off.
This recipe made a thinner dough, and I was happy with how they turned out. I think I could have added more filling to each bun and seasoned it a bit more (it was a bit on the bland side and could have used more salt). But overall, I was much happier with how they turned out. I sent a photo of this to my dad, and he said that this version looked much better than before.
I can’t wait to finally visit my extended family in Taiwan, but until then, I will try to recreate some of their famous dishes on my own.
Husband’s rating: 4 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4 out of 5
My rating: 4 out of 5
Taiwan pepper pork buns (胡椒餅)
- 2 Tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil I used canola
- ½ cup water
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorns can substitute with black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 scallions finely chopped
Make the dough
- In a measuring cup or a small bowl, add the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Set aside until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, mix together the flour and salt. Then add the yeast mixture, oil and enough of the ½ cup of water until the dough comes together. You may not need all of the water. Continue mixing on medium speed until the dough is smooth, elastic and tacky (but not sticky). You may need to add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl. Cover and set in a warm place and allow to double, about 45-60 minutes.
Make the filling
- In a large bowl, mix together the pork, white and black pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, oil, soy sauce and salt. Add a little bit of hot water (about 1 Tablespoon) and mix well. Cover and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes. This can be prepared the evening before if desired.
Assemble the buns
- Once the dough has doubled, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a log. Divide it into 8 equal parts. Roll out each dough piece into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
- Add a generous portion of the cut scallions into the center of your dough. Then add a generous Tablespoon of pork filling on top. Bring the edges of the dough to the center and seal completely. Make sure there are no holes in the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place the buns seam side down on your prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each bun. Brush the top of each bun with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water). If desired, you can sprinkle some toasted white sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.