Gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork

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gua bao with hoisin and ginger beer pulled pork

This recipe gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork can be mand in a slow or a pressure cooker and is so delicious.

To round off the series of recipes I produced that went from a slow cooker to a pressure cooker, I remade and retested my fave bao recipe with hoisin and ginger beer pulled pork. This is one of the easiest ways to feed a crowd. Especially in a more casual party environment and people can just DIY their own baos. Don’t be afraid to make the bao, they are much easier than you think, but do require a little time for all the proving. 

So if you have time and remember to do this in advance, do it in a slow cooker. If you are pressed for time or didn’t get your act together to plan in advance like I so often don’t, then the pressure cooker is your friend.

The fresh garnishes and dressed slaw liven this bao up and add zesty crunch.

gua bao with hoisin and ginger beer pulled pork

For my other recipes that can be made in either a slow or a pressure cooker:

Split pea and ham hock soup

A classic split pea and ham hock soup

Chicken casserole with white wine and herbs

A chicken recipe with white wine, herbs & garlic mad ein a slow and a pressure cooker

Vegan chilli with sweet potatoes

A super healthy and delicious vegan chili with sweet potato

Lemon meringue cheesecake

Lemon meringue cheesecake made in a slow & pressure cooker

Recipe – gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork in the slow & pressure cooker – published in Food & Home Entertaining July 2017 issue

*for a quicker version and to skip making the buns, make these into tacos using corn or flour tortillas, or burgers using burger buns. 

Gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork

Gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork is a delicous recipe to feed a crowd.
Print Recipe
gua bao with hoisin and ginger pulled pork


Pulled pork with hoisin and ginger

  • 1 x 3kg – 3.5kg pork shoulder / Boston butt skin removed and fat trimmed (you will need a smaller one for the pressure cooker)
  • 2 t five-spice powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 t dried chilli flakes
  • 2 T grated fresh ginger about 10cm piece of ginger
  • 6 – 8 cloves of garlic minced
  • 300 ml hoisin sauce
  • 300 ml ginger beer

Steamed buns – gua bao dough

  • 200 ml water at room temperature
  • 10 g instant dry yeast I sachet
  • 300 g all-purpose wheat flour cake flour
  • 10 g milk powder
  • 4 T caster sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda

Dressing & slaw

  • 2 T lime juice
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 t sugar
  • ½ tsp soy
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup finely sliced carrots

Other garnishes:

  • Cucumber ribbons
  • fresh coriander/ cilantro
  • sriracha hot sauce


Slow cooker

  • Rub the pork generously with salt, pepper, five-spice, chilli and ginger. Place in the main pot of the slow cooker and allow to marinate for about an hour. Pour the hoisin sauce over and add ginger beer and garlic. Turn it to high, cover and cook for about 4 – 6 hours on high or 8 – 9 hours on low depending on the size of your pork. Once cooked, turn off and allow cool.
  • Remove the meat, place it on a tray and shred it with forks. It will literally pull apart. Pour the sauce over it and keep anything left over in a pot for later if desired.

*Pressure cooker

  • Cut the pork into 2 larger pieces and use a maximum of 2.5 kgs for a 6Litres capacity pressure cooker (so 2 / 2.5ks divided into 2). Rub the pork generously with salt, pepper, and five-spice. Heat a skillet and brown the meat briefly on all sides until sealed and starting to brown (about 3 minutes per side. Place in the main pot of the pressure cooker and add the ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce and ginger beer (double ginger beer to 600ml for the pressure cooker). Cook for 70 minutes and then use the slow release method to release the pressure. Shred the pork as you would for the slow cooker and mix it back into the sauce.
  • *cooks note – if you are using a stovetop pressure cooker, once you have reached the pressure point cooking over high heat, be sure to place the pressure cooker over the lowest flame for the balance of the cooking time to prevent burning.
  • To make the slaw, mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss with 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage and carrots.
  •  To make the dough, add yeast to the water in the bowl of the stand mixer and allow it to activate for about 10 minutes.
  • Use the paddle attachment, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix briefly until you have a wettish dough. Scrape the paddle, attach the dough hook and continue kneading for about 5 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 it with a sheet of greased cling film and allow it 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 it on a floured tray. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for a second time for around 30 minutes. It should double in size again.
  • While this is proving, cut out twelve 8cmx8cm squares of baking paper. Fill a steamer with water and set it 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 3 at a time in the steamer for 5 minutes. They will be firm to the touch and cooked through. Repeat until they are all cooked.
  • To assemble the gua bao, add sliced cucumber and or pickle to the bottom of the bun. Fill with pulled pork and top with the dressed slaw and fresh coriander leaves. Add a hot sauce such as Sriracha if you like.


You can make the pulled pork in advance and reheat before serving. This is the perfect recipe for a party and to feed a crowd.
Author: Sam Linsell



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  1. Hi sam this recipe sounds so yummy….getting hungry looking at it only. Could you use beef for the recipe if yes what cut would you advise? Also how do you steam the buns? Thank you

  2. I’m dying to try these, but I seem to be missing how to steam the buns – the recipe stops at the second prove? Thanks

  3. HI, Jojo Oops sorry – I’m not sure how that copy didn’t make it over. I’ve updated the recipe now. Tanks!

  4. These look amazing! Love a good steamed bun!

  5. Karla Nauhaus says:

    Hi Sam, I love the look of this recipe but I do not eat pork. What would you suggest as a good alternative?

  6. Hi Karla, thanks so much, but it really is just a pork recipe – I can’t see it working with anything else to be honest.

  7. Thanks Brian – and really so easy to make once you get the hang of it.

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