These sticky ‘pulled’ mushroom baos have become a favourite at my private dinner events.
For those that haven’t jumped on the BAO BUS yet… Bao buns are a popular Chinese street food, they’re kind of like a Chinese sandwich, often filled with braised meat, or chicken. They’ve become increasingly popular in the west over the last 10 years.. no longer only available in Chinese food outlets but also in hipster food joints, burger bars and food trucks.
They are really made just like any bread recipe, except they are steamed instead of baked. There are also gluten free versions, however I have chosen to use wheat flour, which is the traditional way.
This dish has three main components:
1. The bao buns themselves – click here to go to my homemade bao recipe, in my opinion they are SO much better homemade.
2. The sticky mushrooms.. made with a soya sauce base. I use oyster mushrooms, when cooked properly have a lovely meaty texture.
3. The sauces: Vegan mayo and salsa macha – click here for my salsa macha recipe.
When all these components come together, magic takes place! The sweet umami taste of the meaty mushrooms with the soft texture of the baos, the rich, acidic mayo and the spicy, smokey macha sauce!
Heres the recipe for the sticky mushrooms!
Sticky Tamari Mushrooms
500g oyster mushrooms (picked down to small pieces)
For the sauce
20g/1 tbsp rice vinegar
10g/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1.5 tbsp raw cane sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1. Put all the ingredients in a pot and stir with a whisk. Bring up to the boil and cook for around 3-4 minutes on a medium heat. The sauce should be nice and thick, set aside until its ready to add to your mushrooms.
2. Heat up a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil on a high heat, add some of the mushrooms, but don’t overfill the pan – cook in 2 or 3 batches if you need to.
3. Cook the mushrooms until they are nice and caramelised, a big pinch of salt will draw out the moisture which will make the mushrooms extra meaty.
4. Add the sauce to the frying pan and cook on a medium heat until the sauce is nice and sticky, be careful not to burn it.
5. Heat up your bao buns in a steamer, fill with the mushrooms and top with vegan mayo and salsa macha (or srirache!).. this dish also benefits from some pickled vegetables (pickled onions, cucumbers or sauerkraut are all good choices).
Enjoy and let me know how you get on in the comments!