Vegan baozi (Chinese buns)
I know I’ve said this before, but this is my all time favorite recipe. And it took me a while to get it right, but not because it is difficult to make, but because of the fact that I really suck at shaping dumplings (or any kind of dough). But it is really simple, and I believe you should not have any problems making these vegan baozi look like they should look.
The best thing about these vegan buns (aside from the fact that they are super delicious) is that you don’t need a steamer to make them. They are pan-fried and pan-steamed. You only need to fry them for about 30 seconds or 1 minute, until they get golden-brown and crispy at the bottom. Then you add some water, lower the heat and put the lid on a pan. This way they will be steamed and ready when all the water is gone from the pan.
These buns are crispy and very delicious. Once I also made a version of vegan baozi with nothing but zucchini skins and carrots (you can find this recipe on my blog). It worked out quite nicely. I prefer to dip them in soy sauce, but you can use a sauce of your choosing, chilli oil and stir fry sauce should go nicely with this one.
Some health benefits
This is obviously not the healthiest meal out there, but there are some healthy ingredients in these buns (literally) that you don’t want to miss out on.
Ever since I was a kid I was told that mushrooms were the”meat” among the plants, since they are a good source of protein. When I first went vegan, I did not have a lot of ideas on how to get some protein in my system, so they were my go to vegetable. Later I learned I had a lot of other options of course, but there are even more benefits that you can get from eating mushrooms.
The fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in mushrooms may contribute to cardiovascular health. They also contain a good portion of vitamin D, which is a bit hard to come by if you don’t eat animal products.
Carrots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They have some great health benefits. For example, they can help your blood pressure and cardiovascular health, your digestive health, improve bone health, and play a role in immune function and healing.
And as most of you probably know, ginger is one of the very few superfoods actually worthy of that term.
A piece of advice
To save your time and avoid the bun shaping mistakes that I made in the begining, I will leave the link to a very helpful pleating tutorial right – here.
When you roll out the dough with a rolling pin, make sure that the middle is a bit thicker and the edge is thin. This will prevent your buns from breaking and it will make pleating easier for you. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get the shape right from the jump. It takes a bit of practice for some people (I’m still learning as well).
I usually steam the buns for about 10-15 minutes, but I check on them towards the end, just to make sure they don’t burn. But don’t do this too often, you want them to be well steamed, and if you lift the lid all the time, the steam is gona escape the pan quickly.
For the dough:
240 g flour
1 tsp of dry yeast
3 tsp of sugar
3 tsp of oil
170 ml of warm soy milk (not hot)
a pinch of salt
For the filling:
8 – 9 mushrooms (soaked in water for several hours, thinly sliced)
2 tsp of thinly sliced ginger
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 carrot, grated
For the sauce:
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of wok sauce
a tsp of sugar
1 tsp of grated ginger
some salt and pepper
a splash of oil
Mix flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a deep bowl. Add oil to the warm milk and pour it into the dry ingredients. Mix until everything is combined and then knead with your hands on a floured surface (add water or flour if it’s to dry or sticky). Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth and leave for about 30 minutes in a warm place to rise.
Mix all the sauce ingredients.
Sautee sliced ginger, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat. Add cabbage and sauce and cook for a few minutes. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute, put everything in a larger bowl, add the carrots and mix well. Divide the dough into smaller balls. Press each ball down on a flat surface with your palm and roll out a circle, about the size of your palm (thicker in the middle, thinner on the edge).
Take the rolled out piece of dough in the palm of your hand. Put 1 tablespoon of filling on a piece of dough and pleat (see a pleating tutorial right – here). Fry the buns on 2 tsp of oil for 30 seconds, or until they turn golden-brown at the bottom. Then add hot water to pan (to cover 1/3 of the buns), cover with a lid, reduce temperature to low or medium and cook until all water has evaporated.
Serve with soy sauce.
If you liked this recipe, make sure you check out my other recipes like:
Feel free to tell me what you think about this in the comments below, or send me the pictures of your own vegan baozi. If you did something differently, I would also like to hear that, I’d love to see the things you come up with.
P.S. for more recipes like this and a bunch of other stuff, follow me on instagram, @margo_drobi.
Also, I recently started a Patreon page, where you can subscribe and help me create more/better content. In return, you will get an exclusive piece of content (recipe) each month. My plan is to increase the amount of that content if I gain a few subscribers. If you are interested and you want to find out more, I will leave the link to my Patreon right – here.