Savoury ‘N’ Sweet Steamed Bao Fillings
I love that Chinese New Year is a celebration filled with mouth-watering meals from dusk ’til dawn, including brunches with my favourite dim sum: steamed bao buns.
With the help of family-owned Taiwanese restaurant based, Mr. Bao, I’ve perfected this five-step steamed bun recipe. Once you’ve got a dozen buns ready to stuff, here are three heady fillings (two savoury and one sweet) to try. Grab your apron and get stuck in.
Pulled Hoisin Chicken
While you’re waiting for your buns to rise, turn tender chicken thighs into a succulent twist on the classic dim sum, Char Siu Bao. Load up your pillowy baos, then top with slices of cucumber and fried onions.
Mr. Bao tip: “Some hoisin sauces can be a touch too sweet. To add a savoury hit, mix in a teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice.”
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
200g hoisin sauce
2 spring onions
Sesame seeds or crispy fried onions to serve
Step 1: Preheat your oven to Gas mark 6/200°C/180°C fan. Place the chicken thighs in an oven-proof dish and smother in hoisin. Bake for 25-35 minutes.
Step 2: Place the cooked chicken on a board and shred or “pull” it apart with two forks. Return to the dish and mix.
Step 3: Fill the Bao buns with the pulled chicken, finely sliced cucumber and spring onions. Garnish with crispy fried onions.
Pulled Hoisin Mushroom
For the veg-lover, swap chicken for these sweet ‘n’ smoky umami mushrooms, caramelised in agave, paprika and soy. Finish with a dollop of hoisin sauce and sesame seeds, then tuck in.
200g chestnut mushrooms
25g agave nectar
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp smoked paprika
40g hoisin sauce
Sesame seeds or crispy fried onions to serve
Step 1: Preheat your oven to Gas mark 7/220°C/200°C fan. Tear the mushrooms into small pieces and spread out onto a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 min.
Step 2: Mix soy sauce, agave nectar and smoked paprika in a bowl. Pour it over the mushrooms once they start to brown and caramelise in the oven for another 8-10 min.
Step 3: Fill the bao buns with the pulled mushrooms, dollop over the sticky hoisin sauce and top with finely sliced cucumber. Crispy fried onions optional.
Apple custard ice cream
For dessert, a tangy, apple custard ice cream that’s the perfect frozen topping for your warm, squishy bao. If you’re ready to live your very best life, serve with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce.
Mr. Bao tip: “For an afters alternative, deep fry your bao in vegetable oil until golden. They’ll be crispy ‘doughnuts’ that work perfectly with the ice cream filling. This dessert is called ‘Chuan’ in our Daddy Bao restaurant.”
1 tin of custard
300ml double cream
285g apple sauce (vinegar-free)
Step 1: Combine the custard and cream in a large bowl. Cover with cling film and freeze for an hour.
Step 2: Remove the bowl from the freezer and mix again to stop ice crystals forming. Freeze again for an hour.
Step 3: Add the semi-frozen mix to a blender, then gently stir through half the apple sauce, creating streaks of apple through the custard ice cream. Freeze again for an hour.
Step 4: Scoop the ice cream into a bao bun and top with a drizzle of caramel and the remaining apple sauce.
How’re they looking? Get those un-bao-lievable buns on Instagram and tag Mr. Bao @mrbaouk and @goustocooking so we can see!
A bit about Mr. Bao…
Mr. Bao started on a post-it note between Frank and his friend Nick: “bao buns are awesome, start a bao restaurant”. Mr. Bao’s philosophy has always been that creating a little home from home could be something powerful. Unlike chain restaurants, family values are at the heart of our business – which is why you’ll see the owners serving tables or cleaning the bar. Some of our staff even started as customers. Our love for what we do can be seen on the faces of our crew and tasted in every dish.
Love a local, independent restaurant? Give them a helping hand by nominating them for our Cookstarter Campaign.
From the family-owned Italian, to the best bao joint in town, help us choose five independent eateries, and we’ll turn one of their popular dishes into a new Gousto recipe, provide £10k funding, marketing support and more.
What is Gousto?
Dinner, but not as you know it! Our big red recipe boxes will help you whip up wholesome, impressive meals no matter your skill level, with all of the flavour and none of the fuss.
From everyday favourites and ten minute meals, to global cuisines and healthy choices, our chefs are constantly cooking away in the kitchen to bring you 50 recipes on the menu every week.