Chinese steamed bao

For the dough (adapted from Just Hungry)

  • 400g / 14 oz. all-purpose white flour
  • 1 packet (7g) dry yeast
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil (such as canola, safflower)

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together well. Add the warm water a little at a time, mixing all the time, until it forms a shaggy ball. Add the oil and knead in the bowl until the dough cleans the sides. Place on a board (lightly floured if necessary) and knead until smooth. Form into a ball, place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until risen to about 2 1/2 times its original size, about 1 hour.

Take out the dough and roll into one long sausage. Cut the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with a damp towel to prevent from drying out and let rest for a bit.

Char siu-style TVP Filling (adapted from veglicious)
1 c. textured vegetable protein – we got this from the bulk section of our local health food store
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 green onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. oyster sauce (mushroom-based)
1 tbs. bean paste
1 tbs. honey
4 tbs. water
1/4. tsp. sriracha (optional)
1 tbs. canola oil

Soak the TVP in the warm water for about 15 minutes, or until softened (it’ll depend on the size of your TVP.) Drain and set aside. Mix the sauce ingredients (soy sauce through sriracha) thoroughly and set aside.

Saute the green onions and garlic in the canola oil for a few seconds, then add the TVP. Stir over med-high heat for 1-2 minutes, then add the sauce mixture. Keep stirring and cook for 2-3 minutes more to caramelize a little. Pour into a dish and let cool.

Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom Bao Filling (adapted from asiandumplingtips)

2 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
1/3 cup chopped shallot or red onion
2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, reconstituted, and cut into small dice (1/4 cup) – you can get this at your local Asian grocery store
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives or scallion , green part only
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 or 2 pinches of salt
1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons egg white, lightly beaten
6 ounces coarsely ground or hand-chopped boneless, skinless chicken thigh
2 tablespoons cup coarsely chopped cilantro, leafy tops only
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (we used frozen)

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until they start to caramelize. Add the mushroom, sprinkle in 1 or 2 pinches of salt, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat, stir in the garlic chives. Set aside to cool completely.

2. In a larger bowl, combine together the cooled vegetables, chicken, cilantro, and ginger.  Stir together, making sure the ingredients have commingled well.

3. In a small bowl, combine the 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and egg white. Beat with a fork to blend well. Pour over the chicken and vegetable mixture, and stir, fold, and mash everything together into a cohesive mixture.

4. Cover the filling with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

To assemble:

Flatten each ball of dough so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges. Put about a tablespoon or so of filling in the middle. Gather up the edges and pinch them firmly together to seal, then turn the bun over and place on a square of parchment paper. Alternatively, you can pinch together the edges, give it a little twist, and place the seal face up on the parchment paper to make your buns look like the one in the second photo. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.

Steam in a steamer for 20 minutes. Eat while piping hot with a dollop of sriracha sauce.


3 thoughts on “Chinese steamed bao

  1. ahhhh Shanette you are amazing. The only thing better than drooling over the pictures was making them and eating them with you guys. :) You will have to teach me the secret to your cooking techniques, and I am going to become a fan of your food blog from now on. :)

  2. shanette! saving this recipe + going to make this at some point. when i have time. it looks AMAZING


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