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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eggless Chinese Steamed Buns/ Vegetarian Cha Sui Bao

Sara of Belly Rumbles challenged the Daring Kitchen members to try out the famous Chinese Steamed Buns. I used a mixture of tofu and green peas for the filling and it came out beautiful. There are so many videos on Youtube on how to pleat and fold the buns. It is a lovely art and I enjoyed learning the technique. I tried out both steamed and baked versions and both came out delicious. Steamed version is the authentic version and we enjoyed it with tomato ketchup.  my daughter liked the taste of buns but disliked the filling. So she removed the filling and gave it to me and relished the bao. The buns were slightly sweet and tasty.

The Filling:

Green Peas-1/2cup
Red Chilly Powder-3/4tsp
Salt-to taste
Dark Soy Sauce-1/2tsp
Corn Flour-1tsp
Olive Oil-2tbs

1. Cut tofu into small cubes.
2. Heat 1 tbs oil in a non-stick pan and saute tofu until golden. Keep it aside.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add onions and saute till translucent.
4. Add the green peas and salt.
5. Saute on low flame till the green peas are done.
6. Add the red chilly powder and soy sauce.
7. Add the tofu pieces and mix it well.
8. Mix corn flour with water and add it to the tofu mixture.
9. When it starts boiling, switch flame to low and cook until thick.
10. Switch off flame and transfer the filling to a bowl and allow it to cool.

The Dough:
Yeast-2 1/2tsp
Warm Milk-3/4cup
Curd/ Yogurt-1/4cup

1. Scald milk.
2. Mix sugar and when the temperature drops down to warm, add salt, oil and yeast.
3. Cover and proof for 10minutes.
4. In a bowl, add flour, yogurt and the frothy yeast mixture and knead it for 10minutes until soft and elastic. 
5. Oil a bowl and place the dough into it. Rotate the bowl so as to coat the dogh with oil and cover with a cling wrap.
6. Proof for 1hour.
7. Knock down the dough and divide it into 12 equal parts.
8. While working on a ball keep the others covered.
9. Roll it out into a small disc with a thick centre. This is to avoid breaking of the buns while baking or steaming.
10. Place the filling in the middle and pleat and close the buns as shown in the photo tutorial.
11. Repeat with the remaining balls.

Mix all the ingredients

Mix into a rough dough

Knead for 10 minutes to make it soft and elastic

Keep it aside for 1hours

Divide into 12 equal parts 

Roll each portion into a disc with a thick centre

Keep filling in the middle

Start pleating the sides

Bring all the pleats together

Pinch the centre to secure the pleats

Prepare with all the remaining balls

Steamed Version:

1. Line the steaming basket with foil.
2. Place six buns in a steaming basket and cover. Allow it to rise for 20minutes.
3. Heat water in the base cooker and place the basket on top.
4. Steam cook for 12minutes. 
5. Remove the basket from the base and allow it to cool a bit.
6. Carefully remove the buns on to a serving plate and serve hot.

Arrange the buns on a steaming basket lined with foil.

Steam cook after 20 minutes. The buns are double the size

 Baked Version:

1. Place the six buns seam side down on a greased baking tray.
2. Cover and keep it aside for 20minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 200C.
4. Apply a coat of milk on the buns and bake for 12-15minutes or until golden on top.
5. Serve hot with hoisin sauce or ketchup.

Place the buns seam side down on a baking tray

Bake till golden

Serve Hot and Enjoy
Sending this to Yeast Spotting.


  1. Ohh this is truly awesome u hv made these to perfect .. both the version r so yumm hv never eaten steamed ones so shd def try it..

  2. WOW, I loved both versions! The filling too way good!!!! :D

  3. it came out so well......super tempting buns

  4. very delicious buns...looks super delicious

  5. I gotta tell you, you are like GOD of baking to me! :D I just love your step-wise pics + recipes! Big fan! :)
    (Edible Entertainment)
    Ongoing events:
    Jingle All The Way &
    Microwave Easy Cooking

  6. Mmmm - the vegetarian filling looks delicious. I'm definitely going to make these again and go for a steamed veggie version.

  7. Yes I did tofu and chicken steamed buns! Your buns looks so delicious and glad to hear that you liked them so much. Nice that you did both versions also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  8. Gorgeous buns! The pleats look perfect!

  9. Very nice pictures. The filling looks yummy and the buns cooked perfectly. Nice work!

  10. Looks absolutely incredible and prefect..

  11. The pleating technique presents beautifully. Love the vegetarian variation.

  12. wow both so yummy. I could grab some off the screen.

  13. what a recipe Gayathri...saw something similar on masterchef but like your vegetarian version more.

  14. I love your idea of filling the buns with tofu and peas! Looks delicious!

  15. Your buns turned out perfect. Good thing your daughter didn't like the filling, more for you! Sara did a great challenge this month, I loved it.

  16. I'm so glad I found your blog through the Daring Kitchen - I have plenty of friends who are vegetarian and never know what to feed them!

    Your buns look very tasty, even to a meat-eater :)

  17. Great job, both versions look delicious! Love the filling you used!

  18. Stunning buns looks excellent and incredible.


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