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VEGETARIAN BAO BUNS & SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE

Healthy, steamed, fluffy, soft, delicious veggie bao buns. Perfect as a starter or as a light meal. Use a filling of your choice.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizer, Light Meal
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 15 buns

Ingredients
  

FOR THE BAO BUNS:

  • cups plain flour
  • 1 cup milk warm
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • extra oil for greasing
  • extra flour for dusting

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 250 g mushrooms, cut into quarters or slices
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, sliced or paste
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ - ⅓ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 medium cucumber sliced
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • some fresh coriander or parsley leaves

FOR THE SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE:

  • cup water
  • tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp thick tomato puree
  • 1 -2 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 -1½ tbsp vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

Instructions
 

PREPARATION OF BAO BUN DOUGH:

  • Sift flour, salt, and baking powder into a big bowl.
  • Add instant dry active yeast and sugar. Mix well.
  • Mix oil and warm milk.
  • Using the oil milk mixture, make a dough which is not too hard or too soft.
  • Dust the worktop with a bit of flour. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes till it becomes smooth.
  • Shape the dough into a ball. Rub some oil over it.
  • Grease the bowl with some oil.
  • Put the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or a lid.
  • Place the bowl in a warm place. Allow the dough to ferment for 1½ hours or till double in size.

PREPARATION OF BAO BUNS:

  • Line the steamer trayor plate with some parchment paper. Brush a little oil over it.
  • Dust the worktop with some flour.
  • Roll out the dough into a big circle that is about ½ inch in thickness.
  • Uisng a cookie cutter or a lid that is about 3 inches in diameter, cut circles from the dough.
  • Gather up the sides and roll it again. Cut circles. Keep on doing that till all the dough is used up. If the dough cannot be rolled, let it rest for 5 minutes and it will become pliable again.
  • Brush some oil over all the circles.
  • Fold them into half, to resemble a semi circle or half moon.
  • Using your rolling pin, gently roll over the semi circle once to flatten it a bit. Remember, roll gently.
  • Place the rolled semi circles on the prepared steamer tray.
  • Allow the buns to ferment for 30 minutes.
  • Heat water some water in the steamer till it begins to boil.
  • Place the tray or plates with the buns in the steamer.
  • Steam for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the tray or plate from the steamer.
  • Let the buns cool down a bit.
  • Remove from the parchment paper.
  • Slowly pull apart from the folded seam. Each bun should open up easily.
  • Smear some red chilli sauce and sweet and sour sauce on the inside of the bun.
  • Add the filling and salad.
  • Serve with extra sauces on the side.

PREPARATION OF THE MUSHROOM FILLING:

  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and stir fry till you get the aroma.
  • Add ginger and the chopped mushrooms.
  • Stir fry the mushrooms over high heat till they appear a bit soft. You don't want to overcook them.
  • Let the mixture cool for a bit.
  • Add salt, sweet and sour sauce and the chilli sauce. Mix well.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.

PREPARATION OF SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE:

  • Mix ¼ cup of water with cornflour (cornstarch) and leave it on the side till required.
  • Heat the remaining water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add tomato puree, chilli sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and soy sauce.
  • When the water begins to simmer add the cornflour slurry.
  • Keep stirring the sauce all the time till it becomes a bit thick.
  • Take the pan off the heat. The sauce is ready. If it becomes too thick add a little water.
  • For the homemade chilli sauce, check for the link in the ingredient list.

Notes

  • Bao Buns can be served cold. However, you can easily warm them up in the steamer again for just about 5 minutes. 
  • Use any stuffing of your choice. 
  • Use ready made sauces of your choice.
Keyword baozi, fluffy, healthy food, Steamed, steamed chinese buns, vegetarian, yeast dough