Greenhouse’s shredded duck bao


GREENHOUSE at The Cellars-Hohenort has been consistently ranked as one of the country’s Top 10 Restaurants by the prestigious Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards and is the flagship restaurant of The Liz McGrath Collection.

It provides a celebration of local flavours fashioned into an exquisite experience by the genius of the culinary team. It’s a place where local ingredients and great African fables come together in seasonal tasting menus that take guests on a unique culinary experience. It is for this reason the restaurant has won countless awards and is consistently rated as one of the finest dining experiences in Cape Town.

If you’re feeling ambitious in the kitchen, here’s Greenhouse head chef Farrel Hirsch’s Asian-inspired recipe for shredded duck bao. It needs time, love and care to cure the duck, hand-prepare and steam the bao, or buns, and ferment the kimchi. The beautifully tender shredded duck combined with the soft, pillowy dough of the buns and a crunchy bite of Korean-style kimchi will be reward enough for the effort required to prepare this popular dish.

This recipe will make enough buns to serve 6 – 8, so practise now for your post-lockdown dinner party.

How to prepare the duck


4kg duck legs

60g coarse salt

40g sugar

Enough sunflower oil to cover the duck legs


Combine the salt and sugar to make a cure mix, rub this onto the duck and cure for 2 hours. Wash off the cure mix and place the duck legs in a thick-based pot before covering them with oil. The oil should cover the legs entirely. Place on a low heat for 4 hours. The pot does not need to be covered with a lid. Do not stir the pot while the legs are on confit.Cool down and shred the meat off the bone.

How to prepare the steamed buns


2 x packets yeast

8.5 cups “00” flour

12 tbs sugar

6tbs milk powder

2 tbsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup vegetable oil


Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and then knead for 8 – 10 minutes. Allow the dough to prove for 1 hour. Separate into 20g portions. Allow to prove for another 20 minutes. Shape the balls and prove for another 20 minutes. Steam in a steaming oven or steam basket for 8 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.



1kg turnip, julienned or grated

250g carrots, julienned or grated

2 bunches of spring onion, sliced

40g salt

100g Korean chilli powder (you can buy this at an Asian supermarket) 

50g water

20g sesame seeds, toasted

50g garlic

50g ginger

50ml fish sauce


Combine the salt and vegetables and marinate for 4 hours. Mix the chilli, water, sesame seeds and fish sauce into a paste.

Combine the vegetables and chilli paste well. Pack into jars, ensuring there is no air in the jars, and seal. Ferment outside for 4 – 6 days. Refrigerate.

How to assemble the buns


Kewpie mayonnaise

Shredded spring onions

Sprigs of coriander


Warm up the pre-steamed buns in a steamer for 3 minutes. Once warm, slice open and place the kimchi inside the bun, then add shredded duck, followed by mayonnaise, spring onions and coriander.

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