Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegetarian Bao (Chinese Buns)

These are one of my husband's favorites. You can only get them in Asian bakery or Asian supermarket, but they are not always available...So I've decided to give them a try myself, how hard could it be, right? Turned out not as hard as I thought... Here is the outcome of my BAO experiment...


2 TBSP of sugar
1 Package of dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP of warm water (100-110'F)
1 tsp of sesame oil
2 3/4 cup of AP flour

Dissolve sugar and yest in 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP of warm water, add 2 TBSP of sugar and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and 2 1/2 cups of AP flour. Kneed the dough adding more flour as needed 1 TBSP at the time. Dough is going to be sticky. Knead for dough 10 minutes till smooth. Spray the surface of the dough with cooking spray, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. After dough rests, cut it in 8 equal pieces and roll it out into circles. Dough should be thinner at the edges and slightly thicker in the center.


2TBSP of vegetable oil
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
12 shittake mushrooms, cut in small pieces
1 squares of soy bean cake or bake tofu, you can find it in Asian market, cut in bite sized pieces
1 tsp on sesame oil
3 TBSP of soy sauce
1 tsp of Worchestershire Sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Note: These buns can be filled with many different savory fillings.

Head oil in a pan and add cabbage,mushrooms and baked tofu and saute till soft, add soy sauce & Worchestershire sauce, and cook till soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add sesame oil at the end of cooking. Cool the filling.

After the filling is cooled, assemble the buns. Take the dough rounds, fill them with 2 TBSP of filling, bring up the sides to cover the filling, twist and pinched to seal. Buns will be very full.

You can steam them immediately or put them in the fridge to rest for couple of hours, making sure that they are not sticking together (they will rise in the fridge so I put some wax paper in between them, so they do not stick and tear)

Steam for 10-18 minutes & ENJOY!!!


  1. These sound delicious! I may have to give them a try sometime soon! (:

  2. Pretty awesome recipe. The filling is perfect for a lettuce wrap, going to try that next since it is healthier and would give it a crunchy texture.