Friends, I’ve been a vegetarian for such a long time at this point that I’ve stopped sharing the exact amount of time because I realized it ages me. So, I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 10, and I’d rather not say how long that is exactly and force you all to do the math. Suffice it to say, it’s been awhile. It’s been so long that I’ve started to realize there are entire groups of foods that I’ve never really encountered. Since today is the Lunar New Year, I’m going to share a vegetarian version of Chinese Bao buns. I hadn’t even heard of Bao until I saw it on another food blog a few weeks ago, and this gets me to my side-rant.
Hey, Google and Facebook, I’m not fucking pregnant. Just because one of the food bloggers I occasionally follow got knocked up doesn’t mean I’m pregernant. So, feel free to stop showing me ads for maternity clothes, ovulation kits, and baby supplies. I get it, you did the math on how old I am and have unilaterally determined that it’s time for me to get on the baby train. But you’re not a part of that decision, creepy-ass targeted-ad people. My IUD and I are perfectly happy together. Her name is Maude. I love you, Maude.
Anyway, I realize vegan barbecue steamed buns might be sending a mixed message about odd cravings after that little rant, but they sounded genuinely intriguing. And it’s the Lunar New Year, so here we are. If you’re worried that something about bao will get you pregante, I recommend oral ingestion only, and maybe go get an IUD just in case?
Vegan Barbecue Bao (with Jackfruit)
For the dough:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp oil
For the jackfruit filling
- Either get premade BBQ jackfruit like I did OR
- Drain one can of jackfruit and cook with barbecue sauce. Use the jackfruit in brine, not the sweet kind.
- Mix all of the dough ingredients together and knead for about 5 minutes until it’s relatively smooth
- Let rise for 30 minutes, or longer if, for example, your yeast has been sitting in the fridge for like two years. The dough should double in size
- Once your dough has risen, knead it again briefly and then cut it into about 8 pieces. Roll into 3-4 inch rounds. Place a few teaspoons of pulled apart BBQ jackfruit in each of the dough section things. Then crimp them together in an attractive manner (maybe, like, watch a youtube or something to make yours actually attractive)
- Steam for 15 minutes. I used a steam basket because I’m not going out to buy a bamboo steamer. My bao stuck to the bottom a little, but it was fine.
Turns out I wasn’t a huge fan of bao. But I still ate it, I mean, it’s not like it was cheesecake.