These homemade vegan Bao buns are just so good you will want to make them over and over again. They require a bit of time and preparation but it’s so worth it as they are utterly delicious. They are definitely the perfect sharing food when you have friends and family around and I promise they will satisfy even the most hardcore meat eater! I filled them with Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Hoisin Duck which is so flavoursome and perfect for any Asian inspired dish.
Makes about 18 buns – (they are suitable for freezing)
For the bao buns:
530gr plain white flour
1 1/2 tbsp of caster sugar
1 tsp of fast action dried yeast
50ml of unsweetened soy milk
1 tbsp of olive oil + extra for greasing
1 tbsp of rice vinegar
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
For the filling:
1 pack of Linda Mcccartney’s Vegetarian Hoisin Duck
1 carrot and 1/2 cucumber – finely sliced in thin matchsticks
1 red chilli – sliced
2 spring onions – finely sliced
A bunch of fresh coriander – finely chopped
A generous sprinkle of sesame seeds
A squeeze of lime juice
About 1/2 cup of vegan mayo (optional)
To make the buns:
Mix together the plain flour, caster sugar and ½ tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
Dissolve 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast and a pinch of sugar in 1 tbsp warm water, then add it to the flour with the soy milk, 1 tbsp of oil, rice vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.
Place the dough onto a work surface dusted with some flour and knead for 10-15 mins, or until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size.
Place the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Flatten the dough with your hands, then sprinkle over 1 tsp baking powder and knead for 5 mins.
Roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are about 3cm wide – you should have 18.
In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.
Use a rolling pin roll out each ball, one by one, into an oval shape about 3-4mm thick. Rub the surface of the dough ovals with oil and brush a little oil over a chopstick.
Place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each oval. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick.
Cut 18 squares of baking parchment and put a bun on each. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr 30 mins, or until doubled in size.
Heat a large steamer over a medium-high heat (I have used a traditional bamboo one but any steamer will work) Steam the buns for 8-10 mins until puffed up (you’ll need to do this in batches). Remove them from the steamer and let them cool down for a coupled of minutes.
While you are cooking the buns prepare the Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Duck. Simply add a touch of oil to a large frying pan and once hot add in the duck “meat” and fry for 1 minute. Add in about 50ml of water and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the eating and add in the hoisin sauce. Mix everything together and fill the buns adding a teaspoon of vegan mayo, fresh coriander, chopped spring onions and chilli. You can also add the carrots and cucumbers or having them on the side.