Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vegetarian Cha-Siu Bao

Baozi, the delectible buns of Dim Sum fame, were for a long time my favorite Asian cuisine. When picking out shrimp of the hum bao was too much for me, I just gave up on eating them all together. What a shame. White fluffy dough, wonderful innards, just an amazing thing to put in ones mouth.

In fact, I started this blog with the intention of learning how to create Cha-Siu Bao, and because we still have not toiveled (kashered) any meat pans, I have decided to make a vegetarian version. Cha-Siu bao could best be translated as BBQ Pork Bun, and are a favorite of many Chinese dim sum enthusiasts. Bao as a food is said to have first been made nearly two thousand years ago, with various forms cropping up in the Northern and Southern regions. This particular bao, which means wrapping or bun, that we are making today hails from Southern China, as it has a sweet flavor and is filled with Cha-Siu, which is Cantonese Cuisine. It gets its fluffiness from the two stages of rising, utilizing both baking powder as well as yeast. Watch the video for instructions- its the first flip usage! Enjoy!

1 3/4 Cups Hot Water
1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Tbsp Yeast
2 Tbsp Shortening
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
6 Cups Flower

1 Small Onion Chopped
1 Bag Morning Star Strips

(Double from this point on because you are doing this sauce twice)
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Rice Wine
1/4 Cup Hoison Sauce
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
Red Food Dye (optional)

(The second time we need that sauce thicker and different)
1 tbsp Minced Ginger
1 tbsp Flour


  1. This looks quite good! I'll definitely have to give it a try in the future.

    One suggestion for a future meal: something that incorporates enokitake mushrooms!

  2. I have never used them before, but they look so fun!
    They have them at a few places in Boston that I have seen. So expensive. What do they taste like?

  3. On their own, it is mostly a texture rather than flavor thing, they are sort of like bean sprouts. I had them pretty often in Sichuan. They were served cold and marinated in a pretty simple sauce - they tasted very similar to the Korean side dish kongnamul (bean sprouts in sesame oil). A few sites have pretty excellent recipes for enokitake:


  4. I love Kongnamul, so much more than kim chi when all of those salads would come out.

  5. I've watched this video twice now, thank you so much for posting such an inventive recipe! signed Peaceful Table