These vegan buns are just like Char Siu Pork Bao (barbecue pork-filled buns) that you find at dim sum. Not only is this an amazing vegan version of the dish, it’s an amazing version of the dish period. The filling for the bao is sweet and tangy, and the dough is pillowy and soft. Jackfruit can be found at any Asian market. Purchase the “canned in brine” rather than the “canned in syrup” for this recipe. Since it is brined, it should be thoroughly rinsed and patted dry before use.
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110°F - 115°F)
5 tablespoons plus 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 (15-oz) can jackfruit in brine, drained
2 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
Garnish: black and white sesame seeds
How to Make It
Combine yeast, water, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Let yeast bloom until slightly foamy, about 5 minutes. Combine flour, cornstarch, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, and baking powder, stirring with a whisk. Add to the yeast mixture with the oil and stir with the dough hook on low until all ingredients are fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Knead gently on a clean work surface until smooth, about 5 turns. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with a damp cloth; let sit in a warm place (about 90°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 1 minute. Add drained jackfruit and cook until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add hoisin sauce, sugar, soy sauce, remaining 11/2 teaspoons sesame oil, and sriracha; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a simmer, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cut a large piece of parchment into 10 (4x4-inch) squares; set aside. Bring 1 inch of water in your steamer basket to a boil.
Roll dough into a long log and cut into 10 equal portions. Flatten each portion into a 4 1/2-inch circle, making sure it is thinner around the edges and thicker in the middle. Add 11/2 tablespoons filling and enclose like a coin purse (4 corners, then remaining 4 corners).
Place each bun on a prepared parchment square and place in the steamer; steam over high until dough is puffed and spongy, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.