Vegetarian Char Siew Bao

MishMash Globe | Char Siew Bao

My first time making bao was definitely an adventure. The second time I tested a different recipe and wow what a difference it makes to the dough! Plus this time I kind of knew when to take it out of the steamer. The first time the bao came out with holes everywhere. Definitely couldn’t bring it for potluck. Below is the adapted recipe from my second attempt.

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 pound gluten cut into small cubes
1 container shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Preparing the filling

  1. In a pot, add oil and sauté garlic until it starts turning a little brown.
  2. Quickly add the onions and sauté until it’s translucent.
  3. Add the chopped gluten, corn and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil.
  5. Add the cornstarch paste and stir until well combined and the sauce is thick.
  6. Take off the stove and let cool. This can be cooked the day before.

2 cups warm water (between 100-110 F)
2 ½ tbsp sugar (added to yeast mixture)
½ cup sugar (added to the flour mixture)
1 pouch dry yeast
5 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tbsp baking powder
6 tbsp shortening

Forming the Dough

  1. In a bowl, add the warm water, yeast, sugar, and mix well. Leave for 10-15 minutes until the top becomes foamy.
  2. In the kitchen aid mixer bowl, add the flour, baking powder, shortening, and the yeast mixture. Mix well with the paddle attachment.
  3. Switch to the dough attachment when the dough has started to come together.
  4. Knead the combined mixture until the texture of the dough becomes smooth.
  5. Cover the top of the bowl loosley with saran wrap. Let the dough rise for at least an hour, or until the dough is about double in size. If the room is a bit cool, this will take a little longer than an hour.
  6. Knead the dough again then cut into individual slices (this will be the amount of dough per bao)

Forming the Bao

  1. Flatten the dough until a round shape is formed using a rolling pin. Make sure you don’t roll the dough too thin. If it’s too thin it may be difficult to handle when steaming.
  2. Put the filling on the middle of the flattened dough and squeeze the ends together.
  3. Turn the steamer on high and when it’s boiling, place the bao into the steamer. Steam on high for at least 15 minutes or until the top of the bao is no longer translucent in color and you can take the bao off the steamer easily.

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