Vegan Wednesdays: Vegan Baozi ( Chinese Bao Buns)

baozi finalBaozi or Bao is the quintessential Chinese street food. Found in almost all eateries and roadside stalls, these are a very popular grab-and-go breakfast item.While each chef has his/her own secret recipe for these flavorful buns, I too have taken great pains to create one of my own! I hope you all can enjoy treating your family to this vegan delicacy, this holiday season. Let’s get started!
 
A quick look at the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the buns-

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4 cups of all purpose flour

2 1/4 tablespoons of instant yeast

1/4 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

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1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 cup of assorted vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, corns-chopped)

1 cup of cottage cheese / paneer (crumbled)

2-3 tablespoons of sauce (I used Schezuan sauce. Alternatives at the end of the post)

1 tablespoon of salt

1/2 tablespoon of pepper

Step 1: Take 4 cups of flour in a wide utensil. To 1/4 cup of warm water, add 2 1/4 tablespoon(or as directed on the packet) instant yeast and stir well. Add this to the flour, along with 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

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Step 2: Knead the dough until it is nice and firm. Cover it with a plastic wrap and allow it to rest in a warm and dry place. I kept it in the oven. (without switching it on, please!)

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Step 3: To prepare the filling, I placed my vegetables in the processor to mash them up a bit. I grated my cabbage and paneer too. Alternately, you can finely chop your vegetables.

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Step 4: Heat the oil in a wok. Add the vegetables and paneer, along with the salt and pepper. Next, add in your favorite sauce and stir well. Make sure not to overcook! Turn off the heat and let the filling cool.

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Step 5: After allowing the dough to rest for around 30 minutes, take it out. It would have doubled in size by now.Keep it on a flat work-board and knead it a couple of times.

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Step 6: Roll it into the shape of a cylinder and cut equal sized pieces with the help of a knife. (Looks like a T-Rex spine 😀 )

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Step 7: With the help of a rolling pin, make a flat circle of each of the pieces. Fill in a tablespoon-full of filling in each circle. Make pleats and secure to form a dumpling.

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(My pleat making skills equaled a pre-schooler’s, but I was content with the final outcome! If you have an easier way to do this, do write in the comments below!^^)

Step 8: You need to prepare the steamer next. I used a stainless steel steaming rack, coated it with some oil to prevent the baos from sticking. Fill a pressure cooker (any large utensil with a heavy base and lid will do!) with about 4 cups of water and put it to boil on high heat along with the lid, to form the steam. When you hear the steam form, pop in the steaming rack and close the lid.

PicMonkey Collage

Step 9: After about 15 minutes, remove the lid to check the baos. Be careful, the steam might be oozing out at this time! Take the toothpick test to find out if your baos are done. Poke a toothpick in one of the buns, and pull it out. If the toothpick has some residue of the dough on it, that means the buns are not done and you need to keep them for 5-8 more minutes. If it comes out clean, turn off the heat and allow the buns to rest for 3-5 minutes.

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Step 10: Et Voila’! Our savory buns are ready and good to go! ^_^ I served these with some chilli garlic sauce. Alternately, you can serve them with soy sauce or Sriracha sauce.

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Alternatives for the cooking sauce.

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s delicacy on Vegan Wednesday! Do let me know if you are looking for any Vegan recipes and I will make sure to include them in the blog.Until next time..

♥ lilmrswifey

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