Chinese Beef Roast Bao

Chinese Beef Roast Bao
Chinese Beef Roast Bao

Can we fast forward to the weekend already??? It’s only Tuesday? How can this be?! The last few weeks of real work (I’m an interior designer by day remember?) have been a little crazy and will continue to be crazy for the foreseeable future. I’m working on what will eventually be a really awesome hotel in San Francisco. I need to keep telling myself that it’s going to be coolest thing that my friends and family can actually go to and that the months of intense deadlines and bulldozing through creative blocks will all be worth it! Last week was particularly straining because I was also making a wedding cake and Reuben’s parent’s were in town. LOTS of things going on.

Have you made a wedding cake before? Do you have less than 4 square feet of counter surface and a small freezer? It’s like really hard isn’t?! I definitely pushed my kitchen to it’s limits this past week. I went through 9 pounds of butter, a giant bag of flour, a dozen eggs, and enough sugar and cocoa powder that a cloud of sweet chocolate dust hung in the air. I’ve never made a tiered cake before, let alone a 3 tiered wedding cake to feed 100 people. It was sheer luck that the 3 cake tiers were able to fit into my teeny tiny freezer. It was so tight… I had about 1/4” to spare! I was super nervous the entire time… was the cake going to be moist enough? Will the cake topple over? How am I going to decorate this thing?! Lots of uncertainty. Yet, somehow it got done and made it Oakland in one piece! If you’re a thrill seeker, try transporting a wedding cake across the Bay Bridge. I’m probably not going to make a wedding cake for a looooong time. Probably not until Reuben and I get married hehehe.

We dropped off the cake in Oakland on Saturday morning and I FINALLY felt like I could relax a little bit and fully enjoy the weekend with Reuben’s parents! It felt so glorious. We spent the afternoon at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. It’s so lovely there. You’ll love it if you’re a lover of plants and sunny weather. If you’re not, I feel like you’re probably reading the wrong blog. The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing at home, cleaning, watching football, putting together IKEA furniture, and eating Reuben’s incredible pizzas. I can’t even explain to you how good Reuben’s pizzas are. I wanted to share the recipe here, but it’s just so good that we want to keep it an Alt-Cho family secrete recipe and save it for when we open up a brewery/pizza shop/dumpling shop/bakery. It sounds great, right?!

Writing this makes me realize how busy I’ve been the last few weeks and how I haven’t really been able to call my mom : ( I’ll probably be making a late night stress induced call this week. Momma Cho actually helped me developed this recipe! I’ve teamed up with my mom and with Lee Kum Kee to celebrate their 130th anniversary! It’s sort of a perfect collaboration because my mom has been using Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce since before I was even born! Oyster sauce is her secret ingredient for EVERYTHING. She puts it in vegetables, stir fries, soups, pasta salad, the spaghetti sauce she made through out the 90s and early 00s (lol) , and her famous beef roast! Her beef roast is one of my favorite meals. It’s rich and so so comforting. Like with a lot of her recipes, she takes a classic american pot roast recipe but puts her own asian twist on it with the addition of oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and green onions. So I took my mom’s roast recipe and stuck in between a fluffy bao bun! I love bao-ifying things. They taste great and look like really fun mini sandwiches to share with your friends and family!

I’m sharing the recipe as part of Lee Kum Kee’s 130th anniversary recipe contest! So if you like the recipe or think the bao look super tasty you can vote for it here! YOU can also submit a recipe and have a chance of winning some $$$! Imagine all the dumplings and bun you could buy : )

Chinese Beef Roast Bao

serves 6


3-4lb boneless chuck roast­
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp + ¼ cup Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water
3” piece ginger thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves halved
½ cup chopped green onions (whites and greens) – plus extra for garnish
½ cup Lee Kum Kee dark soy sauce
bao buns - homemade or store bought
Cucumbers – thinly sliced for garnish
Radishes – thinly sliced for garnish


  1. Place chuck roast in a large mixing bowl. Add in white pepper, salt, olive oil, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, and cornstarch. Massage in the marinade, making sure the whole roast is covered. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and allow the meat to marinate for at least an hour.

  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  3. Heat up a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add in 3 tbsp of oil. Once oil is heated, sear the roast on all sides until browned using a sturdy pair of tongs. Each side should only take 2-3 minutes. Once all side are seared, turn off heat.

  4. Add in 2 cups of boiling water, ¼ cup oyster sauce, ginger, garlic, green onions, and dark soy sauce sauce. Give is all a good mix. Cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully transfer the roast onto a cutting board and allow to rest for 30-45 minutes.

  5. While the roast is resting, make your sauce. Pour the roast liquid from the Dutch oven into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add in a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste. Mix together ¼ cup water with 2 tsp cornstarch until dissolved. Add to sauce mixture and whisk until sauce is thickened. Set aside for serving.

  6. Slice the beef roast into slices. Place a few small slices into a bao slider with a few thin slices of cucumbers and radishes. Pour on a bit of sauce, sprinkle some green onions, and enjoy!

Thanks, Lee Kum Kee for sponsoring this post!