Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chinese Tempeh Buns

These are a vegan take on pork buns. I really don't associate yeast dough with Chinese cooking, and given my love of all things leavened, I thought it would be fun to try. If you aren't a big fan of tempeh, some shaved seitan. crumbled tofu, or pulsed chickpeas would work as well (I think--I did not try all these variations, but I don't see why they would not work).

- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup warm plain soy milk
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt

- 12 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp each canola and sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 pkg of tempeh, grated
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese five spice
- splash of water
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- soy milk, for brushing

1. Make the dough: Whisk sugar into warm soy milk and water, then whisk in yeast to dissolve. Set aside to proof. Add in enough flour to make a slightly tacky dough. Knead for 3-5 mins, until smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with damp towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
2. While dough is rising, make the filling. Soak mushrooms in hot water until soft. Thinly slice.
3. Heat oils in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms, garlic, and ginger for 3 mins. Increase heat to med-hi, then add grated tempeh and fry 5 mins. Add orange juice and sherry and stir well. Add ketchup, sauces, and five spice and stir well, adding a splash of water if needed. Stir in green onion and remove from heat.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Remove dough from bowl and roll into a log. Divide into 12 sections. Keep covered with a damp towel. Take one section and roll into a 4-5 inch circle (with a rolling pin) on a lightly floured surface. Place 1/12 of the filling in the centre, then gather the edges over the filling, pinching the seams together and giving them a twist. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover with damp towel and let rise for 30 mins.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each bun with soy milk and bake for 18-10 mins, or until golden brown.


shelby said...

These are awesome! I love how the dough looks so smooth and flawless. I will be making these next time I crave chinese =)

DJ Karma said...

I've been wanting to find a good recipe for these (I'm Taiwanese American)... we also steam them too. Can't wait to try!

Vegetation said...

These sound and look fantastic!

DJ said...

These look very tempting - the things you attempt in your kitchen are always so inventive!

Sharon R said...

I love cooking Chinese food & these look oh so luscious.
Congrats to you & Vegan Mom on your good news. I guess you're thinking pink this time!!

Chaos Mom said...

oh! thankyouthankyouthankyou!! i have missed pork buns soo much! i will definately be giving these ones a try! yummy, i can practically taste them already!

Kelly said...

MMmmm. These look delicious. I wonder if you steam these if they will be like the tasty little buns you get for dim sum. I absolutely love those even though half the time I have no idea what the filling is.

Susan G said...

Congrats on the new baby!

I have baguette pans, but have only used them once. They are perforated with very small holes and the dough stuck and was impossible to clean (even though it is a non-stick pan)! Do you have any advice to fix this?

Lovliebutterfly said...

Oooh nice! I love chinese buns and like to steam them as well! Yum!

Veg-a-Nut said...

Last time I tried making a similar dish I used my steamer with little success. I am going to try your baking method this week! Thanks

Jheremy said...

Ooooh, I saw the meat versions of these (mian bao) all over China when I was an ESL teacher there. I am excited to try these!

rosie said...

these would be great steamed. i make a version with a sweetened dough and adzuki bean paste inside for breakfast.

Blue Heron Zen Buddhist Centre said...

A few of us will be celebrating Tet (Vietnamese New Year) at the end of this month, with a vegan potluck. I'll be making these. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

These look awesome but I can't find Vegan Oyster sauce. Where do you get it?

Vegan Dad said...

I find it in the Asian section of the grocery store. You could substitute another kind of Asian vegetarian sauce.

Vegan Dad said...

Susan G,

I wasn't sure whether or not to bake the baguettes in the forms or not. I have the same forms you do--non-stick metal with holes. I like to bake my baguettes straight in a baking stone, so I just used to forms for letting the dough rise. It was a bit tricky getting the dough out, but not impossible. I think next time I will place a floured linen towel in the forms, or maybe dust the forms with flour, and then bake on the stone as per usual.

Dawne said...

Wow! I am a 2nd generation Asian American and recently have started cooking vegan at home and I can't wait to try these! Thanks!

Beatrice said...

I used to eat veg "pork dumplings" at the Kingdom of Vegetarian restaurant in Philadelphia. Denver doesn't have a veggie dim sum place (that I know of), so I've been having to do without - but I'm excited to know that I can make my own!

Nice blog.

jumbleberryjam said...

These are truly brilliant! Made them today and had to stop myself from eating more than 2 at a time (mine were large ... 8 buns rather than 12). Thanks so much!

Ashley said...

These were very yummy! My husband and I loved these but my 2 1/2 year old only ate the bun part, but the next day when we reheated the leftover buns she ate the whole thing. I'll have to try the chickpeas with her.

I couldn't find any vegan oyster sauce. I could only find garlic hoisin sauce and I didn't use the mushrooms since they were pricey and since hubby doesn't like them that much anyways I just left them out but he definelty wants me to make them again!

Kate said...

OMG these look AWESOME. I used to LOVE pork buns, and so far have not found an adequate veg replacement for them. Shall have to try this.

Sondra said...

Ever since becoming a vegan last year, I've often turned to your blog for recipes and recipes ideas (being that your recipes are some of the only vegan recipes that can: satisfy my meat loving, omni hubby, feed my entire family ), and be made on a semi regular basis without breaking the bank.

As a rule, I don't comment on food blogs (As a stay at home, vegan, cook everything from scratch, over ambitious mother, I barely have time to scratch down the recipes before a flurry of activity overwhelms me.) But for this recipe I had pause for a moment to express my gratitude.

My 18 month old twin girls have their eyeteeth coming in, which as a dad yourself, you probably remember sucks.

Suddenly all food (except for bananas, toast, and cereal) is cause for tears and attempted dives from highchairs. Every meal I work so hard on ends up either on the floor and as leftovers in the fridge(that wastefully, never get eaten). The last 3 nights have been super bad, with my daughters absolutely refusing to eat anything, and then becoming overwhelmingly upset out of hunger. The frustration has had me in tears on several occasions, and has created a bit of a rift in the relationship with my daughters.

Today I tried this recipe, not wanting to pick of the remains of rice, quinoa, bulgur, couscous, or whatever else ended up the floor. At least buns would end up in fewer pieces...

NOTHING hit the floor.

My teething, picky twins polished off 3 each! As a result, they were well behaved for the rest of the night, and we were even able to do a craft together with NO tantrums.

Sorry if it sounds like gushing, but I'm not kidding when I say that this recipe SAVED my families unity, and my sanity.

So thank you, thank you!

(On a related note I want to make up a bunch of these and freeze them- how well do you think they'd freeze? and what suggestions could you use for substitutes (or fillers) for the mushrooms? Dried shiitakes cost 40$ a pound at my co-op, and as I would like to make this a new family staple recipe.)