The first time I had a burger with a Bao bun I almost ordered a second one because it was most certainly one of the best buns I have ever had. I managed to contain myself and just stick with that one burger, promising myself to try this at home.
Steaming a yeast dough instead of baking it is actually something pretty genius. It just leaves you with the softest and juiciest bread you can imagine. I wanna say it’s like biting into a cloud, but lets not get carried away.
For the filling I know had to go with something equally delicious and special. I decided on oven roasted pulled oyster mushrooms along with some marinated kale and caramelized red onions. No patties, because if you have pulled oyster mushrooms what else do you need?
So if you’re looking to seriously step up your burger game this might be worth a try. All you need is either a built in steamer, which is what I used or one of those steam baskets which are available for next to no money in any chinese supermarket.
Pulled Oyster Mushroom Bao Burger (makes 4 burgers)
for the buns:
- 260g all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 pack dry yeast
- 1 tbsp water
- 30 ml soy milk
- 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
for the pulled mushrooms:
- 240g oyster mushrooms
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp maple sirup
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 2 tbsp water
for the marinated kale:
- 2 handful of kale
- 1 tbsp tahini
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 1/2 tsp tamari
for the caramelized onions:
- 2 red onions
- 2 tbsp of sunflower oil
- Start by adding the all the ingredients for the mushroom marinate into a flat ovenproof dish and whisk together, now roughly chop and cover in the marinate. Set aside in the fridge.
- Chop up the kale in bite size pieces, make sure to remove all the stems. Now add into a bowl with the tahini, lemon juice and tamari. Massage the kale until it breaks down and is evenly covered in marinated. Set aside as well.
- Next start preparing the dough. Add all the dry ingredients (except for the yeast and baking powder) into a large bowl and mix well.
- Dissolve the yeast in the tbsp of water. Then mix it together with the remaining wet ingredients.
- Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix until everything comes together. Add more water or flour if needed.
- On a lightly floured surface start kneading the dough for about 10 mins.
- Lightly oil a bowl and place inside, cover with a damp kitchen towel. Now let the dough rise in a warm place (I put it in the oven on 30C) for about 90 mins or until its doubled in size
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and flatten. Sprinkle the baking powder on top and knead for another 5 mins.
- Now divide the dough into 4 even balls and form into uniform buns. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover with a towel. Let the buns rise again for another 90 mins.
- When the buns have doubled in size its time to steam them. If you using a built in steamer, make sure to oil the tray you’re steaming them in. Place in the steamer or steaming basked and let them steam for 20 mins.
- While the buns are steaming, slice the onions and heat up the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and stir every 5 mins until the onions are perfectly caramelized. This will take about 30 mins.
- In the meantime also preheat the oven to 160 C and place the dish with the mushrooms inside and roast for 15 mins. After removing them from the oven place on a cutting board and using a for start pulling them apart.
- When the onions and the buns are finished, cut the buns in half and assemble your burgers. Starting with the kale, then add the mushrooms and finally the onions. I like to serve them with some vegan aioli.