I tried making a multitude of bao this weekend – vegan curry beef steamed bao, red bean steamed bao, baked red bean bao and baked vegetable bao.
For all of these buns I used the dough recipe from Mary’s Test Kitchen that I used to make the baked vegan curry beef buns from a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s was out of Impossible burger, which I used last time to make the curry beef filling, and instead I bought Joe’s vegan patty which they created to compete with Beyond and Impossible. I followed the recipe again, using Joe’s product instead of the Impossible burger, but it was kind of nasty and I ended up throwing it out; lesson learned, stick with Impossible burger.
The sweet red bean filling was made using Adzuki beans which I boiled until tender, then mixed in sugar and then mashed. I made the buns as directed in the Mary’s Test Kitchen recipe, and steamed half the buns in a bamboo steamer and baked the rest. The steamed buns came out quite good, but not with the full fluffy bread consistency of dim sum BBQ pork buns that I was hoping for. The bread was denser than I was aiming for and it is likely that I over kneaded it or over proofed.
The last bao I made was a vegetable filled baked bao with a filling made of carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, onions and scallions. For seasoning I mixed half of a BaoLong Sup Chay vegetarian instant soup cube into the moisture released from the vegetables as I sauteed them. These cubes add a savory Vietnamese Pho style broth flavor to the vegetables, which is really excellent. I glazed the buns with mirin and then sprinkled on Sriracha toasted sesame seeds. The resulting veggie filled baked bao were very enjoyable.