Gua Bao with Eggplant Kasundi, Mayonnaise, Red Onion Pickle, Peanuts, Microgreens and Coriander

  • Gua Bao with Eggplant Kasundi, Mayonnaise, Red Onion Pickle, Peanuts, Microgreens and Coriander

Gua Bao with Eggplant Kasundi, Mayonnaise, Red Onion Pickle, Peanuts, Microgreens and Coriander


Photo Credit:  Murray Lloyd

Gua Boa (boa buns) are available at many supermarkets.

Makes 9 serves


9x Steamed Buns (bao) 

6 tablespoons Mayonnaise

180g Eggplant Kasundi, at room temperature

3 – 4 tablespoons drained Red Onion Pickle

1/2 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

3 tablespoons skin off, finely chopped peanuts

2 handfuls microgreens

1 tablespoon coriander leaves




Reheat buns by steaming in oven, or in Chinese –style oven top steamer.

Remove buns from steamer and spread inside of buns with Mayonnaise.

Place on centre (the fold) of the bun a line of Eggplant Kasundi about 1.5cm to 2cm wide.

Sprinkle with Red Onion Pickle, chilli, peanuts, microgreens and coriander. Close the bun and serve as soon as possible.



Steamed Bun (Bao) Dough

Makes approximately 770g (enough for 9- 12 buns)



250ml warm milk or water, 1st measure

1 ½ teaspoons castor sugar

1 ¾ teaspoon instant yeast, Edmonds granules

400g flour, sifted

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons Canola oil, plus additional

75ml warm milk or water, 2nd measure

extra flour for dusting




Place 1st measure water, sugar and yeast into a bowl, stir and set aside

for 10-15 minutes or until frothy.

Add flour, baking powder, oil and 2nd measure water and mix to a sticky dough.

Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead to form a light, sticky dough.

Place into a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until dough has doubled in volume.

Use immediately to make Steamed Buns.


To form steamed buns

Line one or two low-sided baking tray/s with baking paper and lightly grease the paper with baking spray.

Break dough into even-sized pieces (approximately 60g) and form into balls. While you are working place dough balls under a tea towel to prevent them from drying out.

Lightly flour a work surface. With the palm of your hand, flatten one ball, roll to an oval shape and cover with a second tea towel.

Continue with remaining balls of dough until they are all rolled. Lightly grease upper of ovals with additional oil.

Fold the length of the oval in half. Place each folded oval back onto lightly greased and paper lined tray.

Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm environment for them to rest, for 10-15 minutes or until they have risen just a little.


To steam

Place water in the base of a steamer and bring to the boil. Line the steamer basket/s with baking paper which you have punctured at regular intervals with a knife.

Using baking spray lightly grease the paper. Place steamer basket on top of the steamer and place gua bao, onto the greased punctured paper, ensuring gua bao are not touching each other.

Cover steamer basket with the lid and steam for 8 minutes or until gua bao are firm but bouncy to touch. Remove gua bao from steamer, place on a tray and leave to rest for 2-3 minutes until they are cool enough to handle.

Serve hot or warm.

If you wish gua bao can be cooled, refrigerated overnight, then reheat the following day. Alternatively they can be frozen for up to 3 months, thawed and then reheated.


To reheat (2 methods)

Place gua bao onto greased and punctured baking paper set over a cake rack inserted into a roasting tray. Drizzle boiling water into the roasting tray but not so that it touches the gua bao.

Cover the tray with foil and place into a 150c oven for 15 -20 minutes or until gua bao are hot.


Repeat the method used for cooking the gua bao, but they will take a shorter time to reheat than they did to reheat.


Al Brown’s Eggplant Kasundi

Makes 1kg



1/3 cup Sunflower oil (1st measure)

1 + 1/3 cups Canola oil

220g (1 ¼) onions, cut into small dice

85g (1/2 cup) finely diced fresh ginger ,1st measure

12 cloves garlic, chopped,1st measure

3 tablespoons cumin seeds, 1st measure

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

85g (1/2 cup) fresh ginger, peeled & roughly chopped

65g (1/2 cup) fresh garlic ,roughly chopped

2 tablespoon ground turmeric

3 tablespoons cumin seeds , 2nd measure

65ml (1/4 cup) malt vinegar, 1st measure

350g (1 ¾ cups) sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1kg (3-4) large eggplants, cut into 1cm dice

60g (3-4) fresh chillies , roughly chopped, seeds removed if you wish




Place a medium to large saucepan on moderate to low heat, add first measure of

oil and heat until hot. Add onions.

Cook for 10-15 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add first measure ginger and garlic.

Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.

In a small fry pan place cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds and toast until aromatic and beginning to pop. Cool.

Transfer to a spice grinder, or in a mortar with a pestle, grind to a powder.

Place second measure of ginger, garlic and cumin into a food processor fitted with a metal blade.  Add turmeric and 1st measure of vinegar and process to a paste.

Once onion, ginger and garlic are golden, add dry-roasted ground spices along

with the wet spice paste. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.

Add second measure vinegar, sugar and salt and mix thoroughly to combine.

Add eggplant and chillies and stir to combine. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring regularly and add oil in increments as Kasundi cooks down.

Kasundi is ready when the eggplant is soft and a jam-like consistency is reached.

Poor into hot, sterilised jars and cool. 

Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.



Red Onion Pickle

Makes 340g



280g (2) red onions (quartered, layers pulled apart and cut into 2-3mm thick slices)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

3 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil




Place onions into a medium-sized bowl and cover with iced water. Soak for a minimum of 1 hour.

Drain and thoroughly dry onions. Into a small pot place vinegars, sugar, bay leaves, thyme, coriander seeds and mustard seeds.

Set over a low heat and bring to the boil. Pour over onions and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Drain off liquid.

Add salt, pepper and oil and mix to combine.

Place in an airtight container and refrigerate until required or for up to 4 weeks.