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Carnitas Steamed Buns


for 10 balls

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 lb pork shoulder (1.3 kg)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeñoes, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice (60 mL)
  • ½ cup orange juice (120 mL)
  • 5 cloves garlic

Steamed Buns

  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (235 mL)
  • 3 cups flour (375 g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 580
  • Fat 29g
  • Carbs 40g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Protein 36g

Estimated values based on one serving size.


  1. For the slow cooker carnitas: Combine the spices in a bowl and rub all over the pork shoulder.
  2. Add the onions and jalapeños to a slow cooker, then place the pork shoulder on top. Add the lime juice, orange juice and garlic cloves.
  3. Cover and cook low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. For the buns: Dissolve instant yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Let it proof/activate for 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.
  5. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder).
  6. Add the yeast mix to the dry ingredients, knead to form ball of dough.
  7. Place ball of dough into greased bowl, cover and proof dough for 1 hour or until double in size.
  8. Punch down dough, roll out and cut into golf ball sized pieces. Cover and rest the golf ball sized dough balls for 15 minutes.
  9. When slow cooker carnitas are done, pull apart with a fork and transfer to a separate bowl. Keep the juices in the slow cooker and use it for a dipping sauce later.
  10. When ready, prepare your steamer over high heat.
  11. Flatten each dough ball, add about a tablespoon of pulled carnitas to the center and pull the sides of the dough around the filling.
  12. Place seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Steam for 15 minutes.
  13. Serve with the slow cooker juices as a dipping sauce. If the dipping sauce has too much fat, skim the fat.
  14. Enjoy!
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Carnitas Steamed Buns