These vegan bao buns include one of our favourite fillings – hoisin jackfruit. Those who haven't tried jackfruit before will be pleasantly surprised by its meaty texture, and if you are serving a group with different dietary requirements this is a great way to satisfy everyone. Jackfruit is a real flavour sponge, so a little hoisin sauce goes a long way, making this dish one that everyone keeps coming back for. And if you are trying to eat more plant-based meals, this is one where you definitely won't miss the meat.
If you haven’t given bao a go before, then remember that they need to be treated like most breads. A little bit of time kneading and a good prove will make sure they are light and fluffy. Steam them in batches and keep warm on a big tray while you finish the filling. When ready, you can just put all the elements on the table and let everyone help themselves, garnishing to their own tastes. Read on to see how to make them, then check out more of our favourite vegan recipes for more meat-free eats.
Thanks to Miele for sharing this recipe with us. It makes the most of their Gourmet Warming Drawer and Steam Oven, but anyone can make them at home.
Hoisin Jackfruit vegan bao buns
For the buns:
- 270g plain flour
- 2 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 150ml lukewarm water
For the hoisin jackfruit filling:
- 1 can of jackfruit (400g)
- 2 small spring onions, sliced diagonally
- ½ red chilli, finely chopped
- 10g fresh ginger, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
Optional (but very yummy) garnishes:
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
- ¼ cucumber, thinly sliced
- ¼ red cabbage, shredded finely
- 10g roasted peanuts, crushed or chopped
- 1 spring onion, sliced diagonally
- A bunch of fresh coriander
Prep the filling:
1. Mix tamari, rice vinegar, housin sauce and maple syrup In a small bowl.
2. Drain and dry the jackfruit. We like to roughly chop or tear ours before cooking. Then heat through in a large frying pan with a little vegetable oil. Add the spring onions, chilli, garlic, ginger and brown sugar, then cook until caramelised.
3. If using a Miele Gourmet Warming Drawer, program to cooking function at 85ºC. Add the jackfruit to the sauce in an oven-proof bowl and mix well. Then put in the drawer and cook for 4 hours. Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker on low for 4 hours.
To make the bao buns:
1. Take a large mixing bowl and combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well with the lukewarm water to form a dough, then knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. Place in a greased bowl covered with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for 1–2 hours, or until doubled in size.
2. When the dough has doubled, knock back the air, then divide into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place on a tray and cover with the damp tea towl for 30 minutes.
3. While the dough balls are proving, cut eight 5x2cm squares of baking paper. Roll each ball into an oval, half a centimetre thick, then lightly oil the top side before folding in half. This helps form a join that can be torn open before filling. Put each on a square of greaseproof paper and back on the tray to prove for another 30 minutes, covered with the tea towel.
4. If using a Miele Steam oven, place on the tray and steam at 100ºC for 10 minutes. If you don’t have a steam oven, you can steam in batches over a pan of simmering water in a steaming basket of covered colander. They will take 8–10 minutes.
5. To serve fill each bao bun with filling and top with your choice of garnish. Crushed peanuts make for a crunchy finish.