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Vegan Bao Bun

Vegan Bao Buns

Vegan Bao buns are steamed little breads stuffed with spicy & sweet jackfruit fruit and crunchy veggies. They are great for lunch or snack.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs 45 mins
Course: bread, sandwich
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 8 Buns


For the Dough:

  • cups All purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • ¾~1 cup Lukewarm Water

For the Filling:

  • 15 oz. can of Jackfruit, rinsed and drained (about 2~3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1" piece Ginger, grated
  • 2~3 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3~4 Green Onions, chopped (or use 3tbsp finely chopped onion)
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon Chili garlic sauce (adjust as per taste preference)
  • To taste Salt
  • ¼ cup Water

To Serve:

  • As needed Cabbage, thinly sliced (I used broccoli slaw)
  • As needed Carrot, grated
  • As needed Green Onions, chopped
  • As needed English Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • As needed Cilantro, chopped
  • As needed Roasted Peanuts, chopped


Make the Dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add warm water and mix and knead until a smooth, pliable dough forms. This takes about 6~8 minutes with a stand mixer or about 10~12 minutes by hand.
  • Add more water, if needed. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for 1~2 hours. Dough should double in volume.

Make the filling:

  • Drain and rinse jackfruit well. Then jackfruit it 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 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 small 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 prepared buns on a parchment lined plate. Cover and set aside to rise for 30~40 minutes or until the buns are quite puffy.
  • While the bao are resting, get the steamer ready. Depending on how big your steamer basket is, you might have to steam in batches.
  • Pour 1~2 cups of water into the wok or a large saucepan and bring to a simmer on high heat.
  • Line the steamer basket with parchment paper. Make holes in the parchment with a sharp knife for the steam to escape.
  • Arrange the buns on the parchment paper. Do not overcrowd and make sure that they do not touch each other. Cover with the lid and steam for 10~12 minutes.
  • Buns are ready when they are firm to touch and are not sticky. Let the buns cool for 5~10 minutes before removing them from the steamer. Repeat with the remaining dough.

To Serve:

  • Once all the buns are steamed and ready, stuff them with the delicious jackfruit filling. Then top with crunchy shredded cabbage, grated carrot, roasted peanuts and chili sauce. Serve right away. These little sandwiches are very tasty and very addictive.


  • These can be made into whole wheat bao. Use up to 1 cup of whole wheat flour in the recipe.
  • Instant Pot is great to use for proofing the dough. Lightly spray the inner pot with cooking spray and place the dough in it. Cover with a glass lid. Set instant pot on 'Yogurt' mode for 1½~2 hours. Check after 1½ hours and let it rise longer if needed.
  • Make sure to add enough water in the wok while steaming. The bottom rim of the steamer basket must touch the water.
  • Here are a few vegetarian bao filling ideas:
    • Baked tofu
    • Mushroom - use it instead of jackfruit in this recipe
    • Cooked cabbage, carrot, broccoli
    • Baked or cooked cauliflower
  • Leftover buns can be frozen well wrapped in the freezer for up to 2 months. Microwave them until heated through before serving.


Serving: 1Bao | Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 552mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 61IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg
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