Each year, I receive emails on dozens (and dozens) of cookbooks. I’ve perused literally hundreds of them, many of which are vegan. And I must say, most of them start to look the same. But when Meera Sodha’s latest cookbook entered my inbox, I was immediately inspired. Which is why I’m excited that she’s letting us share not one, but two sample recipes from . In October, we posted her Creamy Vegan Miso Ramen with Tofu and Asparagus. And today, it’s time for homemade Vegan Mushroom Bao Buns. These handheld eats are great for parties, but are also a fun way to mix things up at dinner time.
Vegan Mushroom Bao Buns for Delicious Taiwanese Street Food at Home
isn’t strictly dairy-free and vegan. In fact, you might need to get a little creative with a couple of the recipes that call for dairy. But the many recipes that are dairy-free and/or vegan (a few do use egg), are worth it.
Here is a small sampling of dairy-free recipes in that have my interest piqued (trust me, there are many more):
- Onigiri Stuffed with Walnut Miso
- Sweet Potato Momos
- Thai Salad with Grapefruit and Cashews
- Rutabaga Laksa
- Caramelized Onion and Chile Ramen
- Eggplant Katsu Curry
- Squash Malai Kari
- Eggplant Pollichattu
- Brussels Sprout Nasi Goreng
- Sweet Potato and Broccolini Bibimbap
- Chile Tofu
- Seeni Sambol Buns
- Chickpea Flour Fries
- Banana Tarte Tatin with Cinnamon, Black Pepper, and Cloves
Each creation shows Meera’s passion for good food, and has a story behind it. Here is what she wrote about these Mushroom Bao Buns.
There is genuine pleasure to be had in things that feel just right: the weight of a pound coin, a bath at the perfect temperature, the feel of a well-worn wooden spoon. To this list, I’d add the bao: this little bun, a staple of Taiwanese street-food stalls, is ergonomically designed for eating—it ﬁts snugly into the nook of a hand; the pillowy dough gives like memory foam; and the semicircular shape slots cleanly into the mouth.
Special Diet Notes: Mushroom Bao Buns
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, tree nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
Homemade Vegan Mushroom Bao Buns
Author: Meera Sodha
Recipe type: Appetiser
- 3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose ﬂour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- Canola oil, for brushing
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- ½ cucumber, halved, deseeded,and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2½ tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1½ pounds oyster and shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Handful of salted peanuts, ground or finely chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt. Add the water little by little and bring the dough together using your hands; you should have a sticky ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a ﬂoured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and bouncy.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place to double in size for 1 to 1½ hours. (Make the Pickled Cucumbers while the dough rises)
- Turn the dough out onto a ﬂoured surface, knead for a minute to knock out the air, then divide into 10 equal pieces.
- Take one piece, ﬂatten it into a ½-inch-thick disk, then brush one half with a little oil. Fold the bun into a half-moon and place it on a small square of parchment paper on a tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Loosely cover the tray with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes more. (Make the Mushroom Filling while the dough rises.)
- To cook the bao, set a steamer over a pan of simmering water. Put the bao, still on their parchment-paper mats, into the steamer in batches, making sure they don’t touch. Cover and steam for 8 minutes.
- Put the vinegar and water into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then pour into a bowl. Add the cucumber, and leave to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil.
- Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and fry for 6 minutes, until soft and browning at the edges. Stir in the sauce to coat, then turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes, until the sauce reduces and darkens.
- Fill each bao with a generous tablespoon of mushrooms, 3 or 4 slices of cucumber and, for a little crunch, some peanuts.
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