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BBQ Eggplant Bao Buns - Cook & Nelson

BBQ Eggplant Bao Buns

By Kelly Gibney
Serves 4

Eggplant is transformed into the perfect vegetarian filing for bao buns by basting in an epic sauce made with Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbeque sauce, soy, ginger and garlic. Cooking eggplant this way gives it rich, incredible flavour. You could also serve the eggplant with rice and veges or as a filling for burgers or sandwiches.


  • ½ cup Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbeque Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into 1.5 cm slices
  • 10 Bao buns
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

To serve: shredded red and white cabbage, thinly sliced radish and cucumber, Japanese mayo.


  1. Whisk together the Lillie’s Q Smoky Barbeque Sauce, soy, garlic and ginger. (This step could be done one day in advance).
  2. Brush the eggplant slices liberally with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  3. BBQ on high for a minute or so to brown on both sides. Turn temperature down to medium / low and baste eggplant liberally with the bbq sauce mix. Cook with the bbq lid down ideally.  Baste eggplant several times on each side until nice and glossy and very tender. Watch the eggplant carefully and do not allow it to burn.
  4. Steam the bao buns.
  5. Fill each bao bun with shredded cabbage, an eggplant slice or two, cucumber, radish and some Japanese mayo as desired. 
  6. Serve immediately.

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