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RECIPE: Hoisin and ginger pulled pork bao buns

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

If you find yourself going straight to the bao buns when you see them on a menu, you'll love this week's recipe that our executive chef, Steve Barton (AKA Chef), has provided as something to do while we're all still encouraged to hunker down at home.

A fan favourite that conveniently looks great on the 'gram; this hoisin and ginger pulled pork bao bun recipe even includes how to make your own (plain) bao buns if you're one of the lucky ones who has got a supply of flour and sugar, or are just someone who fancies a challenge.

Chef's hoisin and ginger pulled pork bao buns


Pulled pork

  • 3-3.5 kg pork shoulder (fat trimmed)

  • 2 tsp five spice powder

  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes (can use smoked chilli flakes if you prefer)

  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger - a 10 cm piece of ginger should produce this

  • 6 – 8 cloves garlic sliced

  • 300 ml hoisin sauce

  • 250 ml (1 cup) ginger beer


  • 2 tbsp lime juice

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage

Other fillings

  • Fresh sliced cucumber

  • Pickled carrot

  • Fresh coriander

  • Hot sauce (optional)

Bao buns

  • Keep reading for how to make your own from scratch or purchase from the freezer department of your local supermarket


Pulled pork

  • Rub the pork generously with the salt, pepper, five spice, chilli and ginger

  • Place in the pot of a slow cooker* and allow to marinate for about an hour

  • Pour over the hoisin sauce, ginger beer and add the garlic

  • Turn the slow cooker onto low, cover and cook for about 8 – 9 hours depending on the size of your pork

  • Once cooked, turn off and allow to cool

  • Remove the meat, place on a tray and shred (it will literally pull part)

  • Pour the sauce over it and keep anything left over in a pot for later if desired

*If you don't have a slow cooker you can also prep your pulled pork in the over. There are a lot of great websites out there that will help you work out the best conversion in terms of cook time & heat needed


  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss with the shredded cabbage

Bao buns

  • Either follow the directions on the pack of any store-bought buns or keep reading for how to make your own authentic ones


  • Add sliced cucumber and pickled carrot to the bottom of the bao bun

  • Fill with pulled pork

  • Add a drizzle of hot sauce if you like it spicy

  • Finish off with the dressed slaw and fresh coriander

  • Enjoy!


Authentic bao buns from scratch

Making bao dough from scratch involves a bit more effort than simply pulling some store bought ones out of the freezer & cooking them.

However, as we've all got a bit of time on our hands and some of us are enjoying spending that in the kitchen, Chef has shared his bao bun recipe for you below:


  • 500g plain flour

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp dried yeast

  • 150ml water

  • 100ml whole milk

  • 50ml double cream

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil


  • Add yeast to the water in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow it to activate for about 10 minutes

  • Use the paddle attachment, add the rest of the ingredients and mix briefly until you have a dough

  • Scrape the paddle, attach the dough hook and continue kneading for about five minutes

  • Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and briefly knead to form a round dough ball that is springy to the touch

  • Place this in a greased bowl, cover with a sheet of greased cling film and allow the dough to prove in a warm place for about an hour (it should double in size)

  • Pinch back the risen dough on a floured surface and roll this into a log shape

  • Divide this into 12 equal parts

  • Roll each of these parts into a ball and place on a floured tray

  • Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to prove for a second time for around 30 minutes (it should double in size again)

  • While this is proving, cut out twelve 8cm x 8cm squares of baking paper

  • Fill a steamer with water and set to STEAM

  • Roll a bun into an oval shape, dip a chopstick into a bottle of oil and fold the two pieces over this stick, which you then slide out

  • Place this folded piece of dough on a piece of baking paper. (Repeat with all 12 pieces)

  • Steam the buns three at a time in the steamer for five minutes. They will be firm to the touch and cooked through (repeat until they are all cooked)


For more recipes created by our executive chef Steve Barton, click here


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