Spiced pork with miso and apple (for steamed bao)

Bao filling: Spiced pork with miso and apple.
Bao filling: Spiced pork with miso and apple. Photo: William Meppem

This recipe is my take on bao or steamed bun filling. It's easy to make, and can be kept in the fridge for a make-ahead dinner.


about 1.6kg pork shoulder, without the rind

*50g red miso paste

*10g smoked hot paprika

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 medium tart apple, such as granny smith

1 small onion, peeled

one 3cm piece of root ginger

3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

25g honey 

1 tsp five-spice powder

salt, to taste

shredded spring onion, cucumber and hoisin sauce to serve with the bao

* If you can't find the miso paste, use 75 grams of hoisin sauce, and regular hot paprika can substitute for the smoked kind. Or, if you can find gochujang (the Korean fermented hot pepper sauce) you can replace the paprika with about 50 grams of that.


Cut the pork into five or six large pieces, and place them in a large ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.

Mix the miso paste, paprika and sesame oil in a bowl.

Coarsely grate the apple (I leave the peel on, and discard the core), onion, ginger (again, unpeeled) then add with the garlic to the sauce. Mix well, spoon on the meat and coat it well, then bake at 180°C/160°C fan with the lid on for about 1½ hours until starting to become tender.

Then stir in the honey, five-spice powder and salt and bake uncovered for about an hour more or until the sauce is thick and the meat starting to fall apart (if your dish is metal, like a Le Creuset, you can reduce on the stovetop, turning the meat in the sauce).

Serve the meat on a plate with the sauce in a bowl, and the steamed bao, spring onion, cucumber and hoisin on the side, and let everyone help themselves to slices of the meat and accompaniments.

Serving suggestion: Serve with Dan Lepard's steamed fresh bao (steamed buns) - pictured above.


Clarification: The original version of this recipe was missing some cooking details. These have now been added to the recipe.