pao! at Red Door

red doorThis Friday and Saturday we are making the first of, what we hope to be many, guest appearances at Red Door on Berry Street. We will be manning the grill in their gorgeous outdoor space to the rear of the building, serving up pao! favourites to the town crowd.

Red Door is housed within the legendary building which many of us remember as The Dispensary and Lemon Lounge – and if you ask for a red wine, you will not be disappointed. Both Shelly and I can vouch for that!

Dates & Times:

Friday 11th September: 5pm – 9pm

Saturday 12th September: 3pm – 9pm

Check into Facebook & Twitter for menus!


August in pictures

Japanese Meatball Sub
pao! classic kimchi riceballs
pao! by night
pao! detox broth
pao! detox broth with beetroot
3 month anniversary at Miyagi’s
Independent Liverpool’s The Festival in The Great Baltic Warehouse



We will be closing on Mondays. This is a bit of a blow but it is for a very good reason!

Every weekend in September pao! will be popping up at other locations across the city:


5th & 6th – Balic Fleet Residency Barbecue (afternoon and evening)

11th & 12th – Red Door Barbecue on Berry Street (evening)

19th & 20th – Liverpool Food & Drink Festival in Sefton Park (day time)

16th & 27th – Psych Fest at District and Camp & Furnace’s Blade Factory (evening & night)

We hope that this makes up for the Monday closures! We are collaborating with Deliveroo for the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival to raise money for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, so there will be a blog about that  coming up in the near future!

Long time – No blog!

Baltic FleetIt’s been a while since the last blog, so there is loads to talk about.

Top of our list of priorities is where we go next. Our summer at District is up at the end of September and we are weighing up our options. District have been the best, most generous and supportive landlords, so we are a little bit apprehensive about leaving. Then there’s the “what do we do next?” dilemmas: Do we just do events, catering and pop-ups and rely on all you lovely people to follow us around or hire us? Or do we set up something temporary while we wait for the perfect place? If or when we find our perfect place, how do we afford it?

So anyway, last weekend was a belter! We had a stall at Independent Liverpool’s The Festival – little pao! kicking it with the big boys – who woulda thunk it?

We are taking up residence at The Baltic Fleet this weekend and next – manning their barbecue from 12 to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays for two weeks. Let’s hope the weather behaves itself – we want sunny barbecues and balmy nights at LIMF in Sefton Park!

Korean BBQ

First of all we want to thank every single one of you who came down to our first BBQ! Wow! We never expected that many of you to show up and in all honesty, it totally threw us. We are completely taken aback by the level of interest and support!

Many of you very graciously and patiently waited much longer than is acceptable for your food – for that we are truly sorry. Worse still, some of you didn’t get fed at all, and in addition to your refund, we would like to make amends and show you that we take our mistakes seriously and learn from them.

We sincerely hope that our rookie errors don’t put you off coming back to our other BBQ Thursdays in July!

Here is what we learned:

  • Keep it simple – there is only two of us with a few hours help from the legendary Steve every week, we really wanted to showcase Korean flavours, but we took on too much and made the menu far too complicated.
  • Light the BBQ earlier!
  • Numbers like we saw on Thursday need a service plan. We have one now!
  • As climate conscious and aesthetically minded as we are, using our own crockery and bowls became a sticking point – during both service and clean-up. We need a Kitchen Porter and a dishwasher before contend with kitchenware!
  • Number the orders! Everyone should be served in the right order. We ended up with two Sams and three Daves on Thursday…
  • Have a simple and quick kids menu!
  • Lastly, but definitely most importantly: Have more staff on! As a start-up business we need to be very careful with money – but being understaffed to the point where it isn’t posssible to deliver is just silly and counterproductive.

What we did want to share with you on Thursday but didn’t get the opportunity,  was a conversation about some of the Korean ingredients and methods we use at pao!

As a small recompence, here is our recipe for kimchi, our version is vegan:

  • 1 small to medium head napa cabbage (discoloured or loose outer leaves discarded)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 100g plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 20 garlic cloves
  • 20 slices peeled fresh ginger, very finely chopped
  • 48g kochukaru (korean chilli flakes)
  • 4 tablespoons of soy (or tamari if gluten free)
  • 50g spring onions (greens and white cut into 2.5cm)
  • 75g carrots, julienned

If you want to delve deeper into Korean cuisine, this is a good place to start:

We hope to see you again on Thursday the 16th July for our Vietnamese Grill!

And thanks again for your patience and support!

Team Pao!

BBQ Thursdays

pao bbqJoin us for a series of very special BBQs in July! Every Thursday at around 6pm we are cooking up a storm in the yard at District.

Find us on the corner of Flint Street and New Bird Street – we are open every weekday from 11am to 5pm and now we are extending into Thursday evenings. Each week sees a different guest beer, DJ set, the Tour de France on the big screen inside District (yes, it’s the Picket!), food is served until 9pm and the bar will stay open until you are ready to go home!

So come along! It’s a lovely thing to do with your friends and family on a school night!


mushroom poster
I have always loved mushrooms. I eat them whole, sliced, diced, raw, fried, pickled, whatever – never had one I didn’t like. As a kid I’d buy myself a punnet of button mushrooms with my pocket money and just scoff them – which I know is weird for a lot of you, but they really just float my boat and always have.

Now, I know that there are a few of you out there who have some seriously strong negative feelings about mushrooms – I can totally understand why, mushrooms are weird and freaky and you probably hate for the same reasons that I love them. I love the textures, the earthiness – I love the intense flavour of porcini, sweet and mellow chantarelles and the Asian varieties blow my mind with their variety.

The first weird thing about mushrooms is that they are neither plant nor animal, they are their own entire thing, and there is over 3000 types. The stuff we see is the tip of the iceberg, it all goes on under ground and inside plants and trees all year round before they pop out in their full, albeit brief, splendour to get it on every warm and wet autumn.
Wild_Shiitake-Mushroom_Japan (1)

Their freaky weirdness make mushrooms nutritionally unique. Part of the reason is that, like animals, mushrooms are able to convert sunlight into Vitamin D – which could combat rickets, depression and S.A.D. All that rummaging around in the mulchy organic matter means that our friend the fungi is jammed packed with minerals like magnesium, iron and selenium too. Many varieties have antiseptic and other medicinal properties – they are basically a peculiar kind of miracle!

At pao! you will mainly encounter delicate little enoki mushrooms and the king of Asian fungi, the glorious shiitake. The earliest written record of shiitake cultivation is seen in the Records of Long Quan County compiled by He Zhan in AD 1209 during the Southern Song Dynasty. Shiitake mushrooms naturally grow in groups on the decaying wood of deciduous trees particularly shii, chestnut, oak, maple, beech and a few more. Its natural distribution includes warm and moist climates in southeast Asia.

However, one type of high-grade shiitake is called donko in Japanese and dōnggū in Chinese, literally “winter mushroom”. Another high grade of mushroom is called huāgū in Chinese, literally “flower mushroom”, which has a flower-like cracking pattern on the mushroom’s upper surface. Both of these are produced at lower temperatures. Which means that it is very possible to grown even up here in Northern Europe. You can buy shiitake kits online and in some garden centres – I will be investing!



Kimchi, here at Pao we love it and we use it as both a condiment and as an ingredient.

But what is kimchi?

Kimchi, sometimes spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables with a variety of seasonings. Kimchi is a tangy and spicy and is most commonly made with napa cabbage, radish, spring onion or cucumber as a main ingredient. Traditionally, kimchi was made by letting jars of kimchi ingredients ferment underground for months for that je-ne-sais-quoi.

Kimchi is Korea’s national dish and Koreans have kimchi of some variety with almost every meal. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War, American help ensured South Korean troops Kimchi in the field. Kimchi was also sent into space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with Yi So-yeon after a multi-million dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odor without affecting taste.

The Kimchi Field Museum (no I didn’t either, but it is now in my top 5 future travel destinations) in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi. Ingredients can be replaced or added depending on the type of kimchi you’re making. The most common seasonings include brine, scallions, spices, ginger, chopped radish, garlic, saeujeot (shrimp sauce) and aekjeot (fish sauce).

At pao we have developed a vegan version of the deliciousness that is kimchi that tastes almost as good as the fishy one. In fact, not all Korean kimchi uses seafood, and now that kimchi culture has proliferated, seasonal and geographical diversity has widened the scope of kimchi even further.

Apart from being wonderfully piquant, kimchi is a total superfood.  Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top 5 World’s Healthiest Foods and
South Koreans consume 18 kg of it per person every year. Many credit their industrious energy and its impact on their nation’s rapid economic growth, in part to eating the dish.

Kimchi health benefits:

1. Kimchi is high in dietary fiber

2. Kimchi is low in calories.

3. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene.

4. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli peppers, all of which are have their own individual salutary benefits.

6. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium and iron.

6. Kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical species Lactobacillus kimchii.

Kimchi is extremely versatile and is the base ingredient in a variety of dishes – most famously Kimchi Stew, a Pao staple!