Steamed bao buns with confit duck
2 hours, plus curing time
Prep time
5 hours
Cooking time
12 servings


Eight spice powder

20 g juniper berries
30 g whole star anise
15 g white peppercorns
15 g cinnamon quills
15 g whole cloves
1 pinch saffron threads

10 g cardamom pods
25 g salt flakes

Confit duck leg

4 duck legs
50 g salt flakes
1 tbsp eight spice powder
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
250 g duck fat, or more if needed

Steamed bao buns

500 g (3 ⅓ cups) plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
310 ml (1 ¼ cups) lukewarm water
7g (2 tsp) dried yeast
50 g butter, melted
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tbsp neutral oil


230 g (⅔ cup) hoisin sauce

4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 baby cos lettuce, thinly sliced
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced

½ cup coriander sprigs


Eight spice powder

  1. Toast the spices in a large pan over medium heat, Induction setting 5 for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  2. Grind all the spices and salt to a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
  3. Allow to cool.

Confit duck leg

  1. Trim the knuckle from leg bone and discard.
  2. Sprinkle each duck leg with salt, eight spice and herbs; and place in the fridge for 12 hours to cure.
  3. Wipe the salt from the duck with a paper towel.
  4. Place the duck into oven-proof dish, cover with duck fat, place in oven on shelf level 2.
  5. Confit the duck on Convectional at 110˚C for 4 hours or until the meat nearly fall off the bone.
  6. Remove the duck from the duck fat and refrigerate until needed.
  7. Heat a frypan over medium-high heat, Induction setting
    7 and brown the duck legs on all sides.

Steamed bao buns

  1. Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Combine the water, yeast and melted butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the salt to the dough and continue to knead on medium for 4 minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and place into the oven on Prove yeast dough for 15 minutes. Cover and place into the fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and portion the dough into 30 g pieces; roll each piece into a ball. Using a rolling pin, roll into an oval shape, approximately 8 cm long. Brush the dough with a little oil and fold in half crosswise. Place in a baking paper-lined perforated steam container, 4 cm apart. Prove the bao in the oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Once the bao have risen, Steam at 100˚C for 15 minutes.

To serve

  1. Remove the duck from the bones. Serve with steamed bao buns, hoisin sauce and fresh vegetables.

Hints and tips

  • If the buns have been frozen, re-heat on a perforated steam tray lined with baking paper and Steam at 100˚C for 1 minute.
  • Multiple variations of filling can be used for this recipe such as pulled pork, chicken or lamb.
  • Eight spice powder can be stored for up to 3 months in an airtight container.


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