Cow Bao

July 6, 2014

Author Notes: A ‘bao’ is a Taiwanese form of street food. Usually served as a ‘Gua Bao’. This consists of 4 elements; the bun (bao), meat (typically a braised piece of pork belly), pickled mustard greens and fresh coriander.

However, this is my take on this eastern Asian street food classic - the cow bao. An aromatic beef patty served in a bao, with a home made pickle and obviously tonnes of fresh coriander.
Joe Morris

Serves: 2


Bao; 20g butter (melted) - 5g dry yeast - 20g sugar - 50g plain flour - 150g bread flour - 110ml warm water - pinch of salt.

  • 400 grams ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriacha
  • 2 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Pickle; quarter of a cucumber (de-seeded, very thinly sliced) - 2 spring onions (thinly sliced/julienne) - 4 cornichons (thinly sliced) - 2tbsp mirin - 1.5tbsp sugar.

  • 1 bunch rocket
  • 1 bunch coriander
In This Recipe


  1. First up, you will need a steamer. Ideally a bamboo one. You can pick these up really easily from most Asian supermarkets/online. Mix together the water, butter, sugar and yeast. Then add that to the flours and salt. Mix together really well and knead for at least 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Place the dough into a covered/oiled bowl and leave for 2 hours in a warm-ish place. After this time, take the dough and quickly knead it again (knock-back) for about 30 seconds. From here, roll it into balls. I made 2 from this mixture but you could easily make 4 smaller ones. Cover the balls and leave for another hour. After this, you will need to steam the buns over the highest heat on the hob for about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the bao.
  2. The rest is massively easy. Take the pickle ingredients and mix those together and leave in the fridge for an hour - same with the beef patties. Fry the beef high, hopefully you will like it a bit pink in the middle like me. Then just mix together the rocket and coriander and you’re away. Steamed burger buns? Next level, way forward.

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