Serves a Crowd

Vegetable Steamed Buns 素菜包

February 27, 2017
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Makes 6
Author Notes

A wholesome vegan counterpart to the infamous steamed pork bun. Think sautéed cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and carrot in a fluffy, nutty buckwheat dough. —Cindy

Test Kitchen Notes

These fluffy, nutty steamed buns were a lot easier to make than I expected (once I started to get the hang of the folding process). Even my less-than-perfect ones tasted delicious, especially when paired with a drizzle of soy sauce and some chili paste. Definitely a fun project to try at home! —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the Dough:
  • 180 grams all purpose flour
  • 60 grams buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 150 milliliters lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • For the filling:
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as canola
  • 1/4 medium sized cabbage, shredded thinly, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, chopped, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 small carrot, diced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • salt, to taste
  1. Combine both flours and salt in a large bowl. Combine water, sugar yeast and the 1/2 tsp flour in a seperate bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients together to form a moist and soft dough. Add a splash of water or a sprinkle of flour as needed if the dough seems too wet or dry.
  2. Knead your dough on a lightly floured bench until smooth and glossy, about four minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film or a damp towel and leave in a warm place to rise for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make your filling. Heat 1 teaspoon of neutral oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil in a medium pan.
  4. Add cabbage and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add a sprinkle of salt.
  5. Add carrot and shiitake mushrooms and stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the oyster sauce and stir, then let filling cool until easy to handle. [Editor's Note: You will probably have a bit of filling leftover after forming the buns, which would be excellent scrambled into eggs, tossed with noodles, or added to fried rice.]
  6. Cut out a piece of parchment paper to fit inside a 12-inch steamer basket. (You can use a smaller one as well, you just might have to make the buns in batches).
  7. Divide dough into six balls and form each ball into a sphere, then roll it (using a rolling pin or your hands) into a wrapper about 5 inches in diameter. Rotate the dough by 90 degrees every once so often when you roll. (Tip: if your dough is too moist, it will not shape well, so use a dusting of flour if necessary!)
  8. Using this helpful video ( as a guide, place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of wrapper, and fold sides of wrapper like a fan, to overlap each other. Place your finished, shaped buns on the parchment paper, leaving an inch of space between them.
  9. Steam the buns over lightly simmering water for 12 minutes. Do Not Open The Lid throughout the steaming process!
  10. After 12 minutes has passed, turn off the stove and let the buns sit for 5 minutes in the pot. Tilt your lid slightly on an angle make a small gap. Let buns sit for another 2 to 3 minutes. This process ensures your buns will be smooth and wrinkle-free.
  11. Remove and serve! I eat mine with some homemade pickled daikon and a marinated cucumber salad.
  12. Tip: After steaming, buns can be frozen and restated for a quick, yummy snack/lunch.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KB
  • Christine
  • Rachel

3 Reviews

Christine March 16, 2019
If I were vegetarian and something touted "oyster" in the name, I would do a little research. Although this recipe should offer up a truly vegetarian substitute for that particular ingredient as a note at the beginning. There are vegetarian versions of oyster sauce made from mushrooms, it seems! Mushroom cabbage bao are my favorite!!
KB January 9, 2019
Oyster sauce? Vegan? It is sea food, so it is not even Vegetarian. I'd stick to dark soy sauce. Many vegans & vegetarians (those that are true vegetarians that don't even consume eggs or vegetarians because of religious reasons) may not know oyster sauce is NOT vegan. Hope Food52 corrects the error.
Rachel November 5, 2018
Oyster sauce is made by cooking oysters, and is not vegan or vegetarian. This recipe should not be described or tagged as either, unless it is revised.