Chefs Recipes: Bao Buns

January 14, 2017

As part of our Chefs focus feature we bring you a tasty recipe for Mixed Hirata Buns with a choice of 3 fillings: Belly Pork, Tempura Halloumi and Shichimi Togarashi Grilled Tofu. All Hirata are served with an in-house pickled cucumber and luxury sriracha mayonnaise.

This recipe comes from Liam Watton, Head Chef over at our friends House of the Rising Sun in Shrewsbury where Modern Australian cuisine combines Pacific Rim flavours with a European cooking tradition. A blend of Indonesian, South East Asian influences and Australia's strong ties with Japan also help determine its taste and style.

What you'll learn in this recipe are the techniques used to make the perfect Bao Bun, how to elevate it with an amazing, complex cucumber pickle and finish with a luxurious in-house made sriracha mayo.




  • Kuro Brand Premium - UK Made Harata Buns (Bao Buns)


  • 500g water
  • 250g sugar
  • 250ml rice vinegar
  • 2 star anise
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 tbsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan pepper
  • 2 whole chilli
  • 2” piece ginger sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 Cucumber


  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 25ml sesame oil
  • 30g sriracha chilli sauce
  • 30ml sushi vinegar



  1. Place bao buns into the steamer on parchment paper
  2. Steam for 5 minutes


  1. Into a large mixing bowl add the egg yolks. Whisk for 90 seconds
  2. Add the salt and beat for a further 30 seconds until the yolk is thick and sticky
  3. Begin to pour in the veg oil drop by drop - never stop whisking. As the mixture thickens, you can start to add more quickly.
  4. Once your mayonnaise is near the required consistency add the sesame oil. Once it is all used beat the mayonnaise for another 30 seconds until thick and glossy. Then add the vinegar and sriracha sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients except cucumber, heat until dissolved and then allow to cool
  2. Cut cucumber into ½ cm thick slices about 3” long cover in salt and leave for 1 hour on a perforated tray. 
  3. Add cucumber to pickling mixture and vac pac.


Each Hiriata bun is served with its choice of filling. It's up to you whether you want to do a selection or just one flavour. Open the steamed bun and spread a layer of sriracha mayo on the bottom half. Lay on the chosen filling. Top with the pickled cucumber and gently close the lid over the top.


There you have it. A simple steamed Japanese bun elevated with some care and love by Liam and his team at HOTRS.

Remember to check out HOTRS next time you're in Shrewsbury to taste some amazing innovative food. Thanks to Liam and the team for providing the images and recipe for this article.

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