Fable Char Siu Baos by Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal’s Fable spin on these Cantonese filled bun baos bow to no one!

23 Nov, 2021 | Recipes | 0 comments

Preparation Time: 45 minutes, plus 1-2 hours to prove dough
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 20 baos
Savoury Fable is the perfect foil for the big, rich, punchy flavours and aromas of soy, hoisin, mirin, ginger and 5-spice, creating a tasty filling with plenty of texture for these delightfully addictive steamed buns.



  • ½ tbsp white caster sugar
  • ½ tbsp dried yeast
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2g salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Bao filling:

  • 75g soy sauce
  • 40g hoisin sauce 
  • 25g maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp mirin 
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 3g fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 150g Fable, torn into smaller pieces


  1. For the dough, fill a small bowl with 150g tepid water (10-14°C). Stir in the sugar, followed by the yeast and set aside for 10-15 minutes until the mixture bubbles and froths on the surface.
  2. Place the flour into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed until it starts to come together as a dough. Add the salt and mix well before slowly adding the oil. Continue to mix until a soft, elastic dough is formed. Place the dough into a bowl lightly greased with oil and set aside in a warm environment for 1-2 hours, covered lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled.
  3. To make the filling, combine the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, honey, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and Chinese 5-spice powder. Combine well before adding the Fable, mixing well to evenly combine.
  4. Once the dough has proved, divide into 20 even-sized portions. Roll each portion into a small ball, then gently roll into a circle, approx. 8cm diameter. Place 10g of the Fable filling into the centre of each circle of dough and fold into a little bun, pinching closed at the top. Place the buns into a deep tray lined, each on its own small square of parchment paper. Wrap the tray with cling film and set aside to proof for another 20 minutes.
  5. Set up a steamer and very lightly brush the surface of each bun with warm water. Place them (still on their parchment paper) into the steamer tray and steam for 10 minutes until puffed up and cooked through.


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