Chinese veggie Bao buns are steamed little breads stuffed with spicy & sweet jackfruit fruit and crunchy veggies.
We are starting a new week of blogging marathon today and my theme for this week is ‘Steamed dishes’. I rarely make steamed dishes except for idlis, of course. So I wanted to try a few different dishes this week. First up is this soft and fluffy Chinese veggie bao buns.I have been planning to make these Chinese bao buns are a very very long time. I even bought a bamboo steamer for that, but never got around to make them. Finally this week, I made them and I’m so glad I did. These are quite easy to make – if you know how to knead dough, then you can make these.Initially I wanted to make the stuffed buns version. But the pleating to enclose the filling looked a little tricky to me. I didn’t think I would be able to make them pretty and also keep the stuffing inside. So I made this sandwich looking Chinese buns that are easy and once done they can be stuffed/ filled with just about anything.
Dough for these buns is very basic – flour, yeast, oil and water. First rise until doubled and then shaped in to rolls and set aside for the second rise. Finally they are steamed instead of baked and that makes these buns soft, fluffy and yummy. The only change I made to traditional dough recipe is to add some whole-wheat flour.As I said, stuffing can be just about anything. Traditionally, they are stuffed with meat and pickled veggies. I made a faux meat filling with jackfruit. Flavored it with hoisin sauce, chili sauce and some maple syrup for that savory-sweet taste.Topped with crunchy cabbage (or broccoli slaw in my case), these little sandwiches are very tasty and very addictive. My picky daughter ate hers with Nutella – go figure 🙂 So just about anything goes in these buns. I can see myself steaming these quite often now because they are easy and there’s no need to heat up the oven. Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 95.
15 oz. can of Jackfruit, rinsed and drained (about 2~3 cups)
2~3Garlic cloves, finely minced
3~4Green Onions, chopped (or use 3tbsp finely chopped onion)
2tspChili garlic sauce (adjust as per taste preference)
As neededCabbage, thinly sliced (I used broccoli slaw)
As neededCarrot, grated
As neededGreen Onions, chopped
As neededEnglish Cucumber, thinly sliced
As neededCilantro, chopped
As neededRoasted Peanuts, chopped
Make the Dough:
Combine all the ingredients for the dough in a mixing bowl. Add ¾cup warm water and mix until a smooth, pliable dough forms. Add more water, if needed. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for 1~2 hours. Dough should be doubled in volume.
Make the filling:
Chop jackfruit into bite size pieces and use a fork to separate the pieces.
Heat oil in a pan, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Stir in the green onions and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the drained jackfruit along with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, chili sauce and salt. Mix well and add ¼cup of water. Bring the mixture to simmer and cook for 4~5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Make Chinese Bao:
Gently deflate the dough and divide the dough into 8 equal piece. Roll each piece into an oval that is ¼" thick. Place a parchment paper in the middle and fold the oval in half. Parchment paper will prevent the dough from sticking to itself while steaming.
Place the rolled out buns on a parchment lined plate. Cover and set aside to rise for 30~40 minutes or until the buns are quite puffy.
In the mean time, get the steamer ready. Line the steamer basket with parchment paper. Make holes in the parchment for the steam to escape.
Arrange the buns on the parchment paper and steam for 10~12 minutes. Let the buns cool for 5~10 minutes before removing them from the steamer.
Place the filling in the Chinese bao, top with grated cabbage, carrot, cucumber, green onions, peanuts and cilantro. Serve right away and Enjoy!!
Skip the wholewheat flour and use all purpose flour instead.