Homemade Vegan Mushroom Bao Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe might look elaborate, but the buns have two rising times, which are hands off, and allow for more than enough time to make the other components. While the bao buns initially rise, make the pickled cucumbers. And during the second rising, make the mushroom filling. Please note that the Prep time listed is hands on time only.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Taiwanese
Serves: 10 bao buns
Homemade Bao Buns
  • 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
Pickled Cucumber
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cucumber, halved, deseeded,and thinly sliced
Mushroom Bao Bun Filling
  • 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
Homemade Bao Buns
  1. 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.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and bouncy.
  3. 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)
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead for a minute to knock out the air, then divide into 10 equal pieces.
  5. 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.
  6. Loosely cover the tray with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes more. (Make the Mushroom Filling while the dough rises.)
  7. 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.
Pickled Cucumber
  1. 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.
Mushroom Bao Bun Filling
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, garlic, and sesame oil.
  2. 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.
To Assemble
  1. Fill each bao with a generous tablespoon of mushrooms, 3 or 4 slices of cucumber and, for a little crunch, some peanuts.
This recipe is slightly adapted from East by Meera Sodha. Copyright © 2020 by Meera Sodha. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/vegan-mushroom-bao-buns-homemade