One thing that I really miss from my childhood growing up in Asia is street food. I remember so many times where my mom would buy me a rou bao (or pork filled bun) as a snack after music class. And it being so nice and warm and fluffy, and the taste was just absoluteness amazing!
So one day when I was daydreaming of those delicious pork bao zi, I though it must not be that hard to make them vegan and just as delicious! So I got to recipe testing straight away. And now I think I have come up with the perfect filling for a vegan bao zi!
The ingredients are uncommon for bao zi and makes the dish more modern in my opinion. With the sweetness of the sweet potato balancing beautifully with the umami savoriness of the mushrooms and leek. Amazing!
Even though bao zi are a little more work by nature, I think this recipe es absoluteness worth it. To divide up the work I recommend making the filling a day before, so you are only focused on the bun the next day. That definitely relieves a lot of stress.
And if you feel like you can’t fold bao zi, don’t worry. I am a beginner as well. the form doesn’t matter that much. It’s the inside that counts 😉
Now let’s get started!
Makes 18-20 Bao Zi
- rolling pin
- 2.5×2.5 inch cut up squares of baking paper
for the bun:
- 300ml luke warm water
- 500g flour (250g type 405 flour + 250g type 550 flour)
- 20g fresh yeast or 9g dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
for the filling:
- 300g sweet potato
- 2 leeks
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Add the slightly warm water and the yeast to a bowl. Mix to combine. Then add the sugar and mix well. Lastly add the flour little by little and mix until a shaggy dough has formed. Continue working the dough for 5min or so, until a smooth dough has formed. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.
- Peel the sweet potato and slice it into half inch slices. Steam it in a steamer set on top of a pot with and inch of water in it. Once soft, set aside to cool. Once cool, mash up the sweet potato roughly with a fork.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms and thinly slice the white part of the leek. Mince the garlic and ginger and set all aside.
- Heat up a pan on medium high heat. Add some oil and then add the cut up mushrooms and leek. Fry until wilted and water of the vegetables have evaporated. Add a tbsp of soy sauce and fry for another 3min. Set aside and let the mushrooms and leek cool.
- Once the mushrooms, leek and sweet potato have cooled, combine everything with the ginger, garlic, sesame oil and rest of the soy sauce. The filling is now done, set aside.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and kneed on a floured surface to work out the bubbles. When the dough becomes to sticky feel free to add more flour to kneed.
- Cut off a quarter of the dough and set the rest aside under a towel (so the dough doesn’t dry out). Work the dough into a one inch wide sausage and then cut into one inch pieces. Roll the pieces into a ball and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough starting at the centre and rolling outward. The centre should be thicker than the edges. (However the edges shouldn’t be too thin, 1/8th of an inch). Place a spoon full of the filling onto the middle of the rolled out dough. For how to fold the bao zi it is best to watch my video for clearer instructions. But basically you fold the edges until it closes on top (like a pleated skirt). Place the bao zi on top of the baking paper and set it aside while working on the next bao zi. Once the bao zi is folded, let it rise for another 30min-1hour.
- Place the bao zi into the steamer and turn on the stove to steam the bao zi for 15min. Once the 15min are over don’t open the lid of the pot straight away. Tilt it to open a slight crack to let out the steam slowly. After 3min or so, open the pot and enjoy the bao zi hot while steaming the next batch.
Hope you enjoy this recipe 🙂 if you do, let me know by giving it a thumbs up. Any questions? Let me know down below.