Recipe: Bao buns with pork belly, spicy mayo and peanuts


Since imitation is the highest form of flattery, Bao London should be very flattered that I attempted to make my own version of their amazing pork bao buns.

No, it’s nowhere near as good as theirs, but that was never the goal, instead it’s a very nice homemade version of the real thing. And for being a first attempt I think i did pretty well!


The recipe I used for the dough, is actually from Bao but I used regular plain flour rather than bleached so the buns look a little dull compared to the ones you see in restaurants or Asian supermarkets. I also added more flour as couldn’t shape mine otherwise, but I will publish the recipe I used rather than my version of it, but if you have the same problem as I did, then it works to add more flour.


I steamed the buns in a regular bamboo steamer with parchment paper at the bottom. So easy!


The finished buns looked pretty good!


While making the buns this pork belly was cooking in the oven. So yum!


And here you see my condiments (clockwise from top left); quick-pickled cucumber, chopped coriander, hot mayo, chopped spring onions and chopped peanuts.


I made a second version with leftover bulgogi chicken and used the mayo, coriander and spring onions for that one, and for the pork bao I used the mayo, pickled cucumber, peanuts and coriander. Both were really yummy but I must say the pork one was my favourite!


Bao buns, makes around 20 (you need 2-3 per person)

Adapted from Bao London’s recipe.

500 g plain flour – bleached if you can find it in Chinese supermarkets (it gives that brilliant white colour)
2 tsp yeast
145 ml warm water
2 pinches salt
50g sugar
15 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
145 ml milk

Mix flour, yeast and warm water together in a bowl. Cover and leave for at least 30 minutes in a warm place until it has doubled in size. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until it comes together as one.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes – it will be sticky but gradually become more elastic.

Break off 40 g dough and give it a quick knead, forcing it into an oval shape. Roll it out until around 2-3 mm thick and brush one side with vegetable oil.

Fold one side over the other and press down gently so it forms an oyster shell shape. Place on parchment paper in a warm bamboo steamer and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Steam for 15 minutes – the bun will rise and puff up but will be easy to break open.

Pork belly

1 pork belly 

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 125C. Place the pork in a buttered dish. Massage the salt into the rind and season the meat all over. Put in the oven and cook for two hours or until the meat is very tender.

Turn the heat up to 250C and cook the meat for another 10 minutes until the crackling is nice and crispy.

Spicy mayo

100 ml Hellman’s mayo

2-3 tsp Gochujang (Korean chilli paste)

a pinch of salt

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. 

Pickled cucumber

1/2 cucumber

1 tsp salt

75 ml caster sugar

acetic acid solution, also called sweet vinegar (1 part acetic acid  + 6-7 parts water)

1 tbsp water

Thinly slice the cucumber. This is easily done with a cheese slicer or potato peeler. Put the cucumber in a jar or bowl and pour in the salt and sugar, next add the acetic acid solution and water. Stir and make sure the salt and sugar dissolves. 

Bao buns with pork belly, spicy mayo and peanuts

bao buns, as above

pork belly, as above – cut into slices

spicy mayo, as above

pickled cucumber, as above

salted peanuts, finely chopped

coriander, finely chopped

Open the buns and spread some mayo onto the bottom half. Place two slices of pork belly on top, add a dollop of mayo and pickled cucumber. Scatter with chopped peanuts and coriander. 

Bao buns with bulgogi chicken, spicy mayo and spring onions

bao buns, as above

bulgogi chicken

spicy mayo, as above

spring onions, thinly sliced

coriander, finely chopped

Open the buns and spread some mayo onto the bottom half. Place two -three pieces of chicken on top, add a dollop of mayo and scatter with spring onions and coriander. 



Chicken noodles


Most people probably already have a go-to chicken noodle or stir fry recipe, but not me. So I looked at one of Jamie’s and then amended it a little (that’s usually how I roll). The result was a nice mixture of soft noodles and chicken, crunchy carrots and peanuts and freshness from lime and coriander. And like most stir-fries, it takes mere minutes to make.

Chicken noodles, serves 2

Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

oil for frying

1 garlic clove, chopped

a few spring onions, chopped

1/2 red chilli, finely chopped

1 lime, cut into wedges

2-3 chicken thigh fillets

1 carrot, cut into matchsticks

1/2  broccoli crown, cut into small florets 

2 egg noodle nests

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp fish sauce

a handful peanuts

1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped

salt & pepper

Cook the noodles according to the packet. Rinse and put aside.

Heat up the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Trim the chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Fry them until golden. Add salt and pepper. Then add garlic and chilli to the pan and thereafter spring onions, carrot pieces and broccoli. After a minute or so, add the noodles and heat up.  Add soy and fish sauce, squeeze some lime and season to taste. Top with peanuts and coriander. Serve with lime wedges. 

Rocky road with honeycomb


Rocky Road is one of those simple recipes where the sum of the parts are greater than you expect it to be. Every single thing that goes into rocky road is nice in it’s own way, but together you have these amazing crunchy, soft, sweet and salty clusters that are just to die for.

I altered the recipe I normally use when I made it in December for my Christmas drinks party and, I must say, the addition of honeycomb was just genius. I love honeycomb as it is, but I often find it a bit too sweet, so here where the buttery sweetness gets to mingle with salted nuts and semi-bitter chocolate it really comes together.

I usually use Scandinavian Dumle toffees (which you can now buy from Ocado) but they were sold out so I opted for Reisen instead. They’re a bit harder (so be careful of your teeth) but not as sweet, which worked well with the other ingredients.

Rocky road with honeycomb, makes 20-25

100 g marshmallows, cut in 4

135 g Riesen toffees, cut in 2

150 g roasted and salted peanuts

1/2 batch honeycomb, in pieces

200 g dark chocolate

100 g milk chocolate

snowflake sprinkles and edible glitter  

Line a square 20 x 20 cm tin with parchment paper. Melt both types of chocolate together in a bain marie. In a bowl, mix marshmallors, Riesen, peanuts and honeycomb. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix well, making sure everything is coated with chocolate. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and smooth it out. Scatter with sprinkles and glitter and leave to cool. Let it set in the fridge. Cut into cubes and serve. Keeps in the fridge for up to two weeks.  

Three minute icecream


This is such a good recipe to have up your sleeve. When you want nice icecream but haven’t got time to wait for the custard to thicken, or when you realise the iceblock to the icecream maker is not frozen.

It probably actually takes less than three minutes to whip it up, all you need to do is lightly whip some cream and fold in a can of condensed milk and some vanilla or other flavouring.

I made it this week the day before I had a friend coming for dinner straight after work. Together with the amazing butterscotch sauce and salted peanuts this made a lovely sundae.

Three minute icecream, 1 batch

500 ml whipping or double cream

1 tin (ca 400g) sweetened condensed milk


1 tsp vanilla

Whip the cream until soft peaks. Fold in the condensed milk and vanilla. Pour into a freezable container and freeze over night. 

Pasta with spinach and peanut sauce

I thrive on inspiration from other blogs. Isn’t it great what the internet can provide us with?

Last week I found this recipe on a Swedish food blog I follow; Kryddburken [The Spice Jar] – a wonderful pasta recipe with a fabulous sauce made with spinach, peanuts, lemon, garlic and parmesan. It was utterly simple and tasted lovely. I think this will stick to my weekday repertoire.

I adapted the recipe a little (omitted pine nuts and halved it). You find my version below.

Pasta with spinach and peanut sauce, serves 2

Adapted from this recipe.

200 g pasta of your choice

100 g spinach, roughly chopped

50 g salted peanuts

200 ml half and half (half cream, half milk)

1/2 lemon, the juice

75 ml grated parmesan

1 small garlic clove, pressed

1 tsp chilli sauce

butter and oil for frying

salt and black pepper

Cook the pasta accordingly. Chop the nuts with a knife or in a food processor. Add the butter and oil to a frying pan on high heat. Add the spinach and nuts. Cook until the spinach has wilted and the water has dried away. Add the half and half, garlic and lemon juice and let the sauce thicken while stirring. Season.

Remove from the heat after about 5 minutes and stir in the parmesan. Serve with the pasta.