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vegan bao buns



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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Cost: $9.21 /serving


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Step 1

Start by making the dough. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir to incorporate. Add 160ml water and 2 tbsp oil, and use your hands to bring the dough together.

Step 2

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is soft, smooth and bouncy. Add an extra tbsp of water if the dough feels stiff or dry. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size - around 1.5-2 hours.

Step 3

After an hour of rising, start preparing the filling. Combine the spring onions, garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and 1 tbsp sesame oil in a bowl. Add the tofu and stir it gently to coat it in the marinade. Let sit for 20 minutes.

Step 4

Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat, and add the tofu along with 2 tbsp of the marinade (reserving 1 tbsp of it). Let cook, untouched for 6-7 minutes, until crisp on the heat-facing side. Flip the tofu and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes until crispy on both sides. Remove from heat and brush lightly with the reserved marinade.

Step 5

Next, prepare the veg by tossing the red cabbage in lime juice and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Set aside with your sliced cucumber until plating.

Step 6

When the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and press the air out of it. Split the dough into 2 pieces, and roll it into equal sized logs. Split them in half, then cut those in half - creating 8 pieces. Working one at a time, flatten each piece and roll it out to be an oval that’s around 1cm thick, brush with sesame oil and fold.

Step 7

Cut a piece of parchment paper into 8 pieces, and place each bao on a piece of parchment. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rest for 30 more minutes - until puffed.

Step 8

To cook the bao, set a steamer (either bamboo or regular) over a pan of gently simmering water. Steam two bao at a time - with their individual sheets of parchment and with 2cm of distance between them - for 8 minutes.

Step 9

Let cool for a few minutes, then fill the bao with red cabbage, thinly sliced cucumber and 2 slices of tofu. Top it with spring onion tops, crushed peanuts and coriander.

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