Vegan Bao Buns with Pulled Jackfruits

Vegan bao buns are to die for and easy to make. They are filled with succulent jackfruit in a salty-sweet marinade, crunchy veggies, peanuts and herbs.

BUNS (can be made 1 day ahead)
300 g / 2½ cups bao flour OR all purpose flour
2 tsp instant active yeast
1½ tbsp / 20 ml vegetable oil
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp sugar (optional)
560 g / 20 oz tin of green / young jackfruit (this is the brand I used)
2 small spring onions, sliced
4 tsp grated ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3-4 tsp tamari / soy sauce, adjust to taste
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp hoisin sauce (plus extra to serve)
2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup
2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying (I used peanut oil)
1 heaped tsp Chinese five spice
sliced fresh chilli or chilli sauce
½ English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
½ daikon or 1 turnip, cut into matchsticks
red cabbage, shredded finely
roasted (unsalted) peanuts, crushed or chopped
spring onion, sliced finely
fresh coriander

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt. Add about 120 ml / ½ cup of warm (that’s important) water and 1½ tbsp of oil. Once combined roughly with a wooden spoon, start combining the dough with your hands. It will need a bit more water but it is very important to add the water in gradually, tablespoon by tablespoon. In my experience it takes another 2-3 tablespoons of water to achieve a dough that is not too dry or not too sticky. Knead it for 10 minutes with your hands until elastic and smooth. Form the dough into a ball and rub a small amount of oil on the dough’s surface to prevent drying. Place in a clean bowl covered with a kitchen towel and place it somewhere warm (but not too warm, sticking it too close to a fireplace is a bad idea, for example) for 1-2 hrs or until it doubles in size.

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