#DateNightFun: Tofu Steamed Buns (Bao)

I once had these steamed buns at a streetfood festival. It is a sticky, soft bread filled with ingredients you like. I filled mine with tofu, cabbage and cucumber and topped it with sriracha, fried onions and sprouts.

It is so much fun to make and oh so delicious! Try it out and let me know, if you like it.


* serves 3 people

for the buns:

  • 240 ml lukewarm water
  • 2 tpsb raw sugar
  • 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 370 g whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • sesame oil, for brushing

for the tofu:

  • 2 blocks of fried tofu or firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

for the filling and topping:

  • cabbage, cucumber, spring onions cut up finely
  • sprouts, fried onions, sriracha

  1. First, we are going to make the buns. Put the sugar and yeast in the water and mix. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder) pour in the wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. As soon as you can’t see any flour, add the oil and mix until the dough comes together. Knead it for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  4. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it and let it rest for an hour.
  5. After an hour of resting, knock out the air in the dough and place it on a floured counter.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll it into balls. Let it rest for 1o minutes on the counter.
  7. Flatten it with your palm and roll it out into 12 cm (5 inch) circles. Brush it with sesame oil and fold it in half. Put it on a parchment paper, cut to fit one bun.
  8. Let rest for another 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile prepare the tofu. Stir together all the ingredients for the tofu. Cut the block lengthwise in 3 slices. Cut each slice in half. Put the tofu on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tofu with the paste and put it in the 200° C preheated oven for 20 minutes. It should get dark brown and crispy.
  10. Steam the buns over rapid boiling water for 8 – 10 minutes. I cooked mine in the rice cooker as it comes with a steaming basket. You can also use a bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water.
  11. Now you can fill your buns with the tofu and vegetables, topp it with some fried onions and sprouts and enjoy it!
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