Bao, aka steamed buns, are the perfect food. Doughy, light, and airy, and stuffed with a variety of fillings, these Chinese dumpling sandwich hybrids are super fun to make and eat. If you’re looking for bao bun fillings, then your search is over! Here are 10 essential steamed bun bao recipes.
Bao Steamed Bun Fillings
I’ve got 10 new awesome bao (aka steamed buns) recipes up on my Sandwich Expert Page on The Spruce Eats! From beef bulgogi with pickled vegetables to vegetarian steamed buns with hoisin braised mushrooms, this collection has it all! All you have to do is find the steamed buns at your local Asian market and steam them before filling them! To get the recipe for each one, simply click the link below each pictures! Enjoy!
Steamed Bun Fillings
Steamed Buns with Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts + Crispy Pork Belly
Sweet, Spicy and full of flavor, this sriracha glazed brussels sprouts and crispy pork belly recipe will become your new favorite!
Bulgogi Beef Steamed Buns
Next, comes my Korean Bulgogi Beef recipe. Made with a spicy blend of gochujang, ginger, garlic, spices, and soy sauce. It’s marinated, grilled, and stuffed into a light, fluffy bun. Freshly shredded carrot, sprigs of cilantro, slices of pickled burdock (or radish), and pickled cucumbers rounds are added to the sandwich to lighten and freshen it up. And as for the kewpie mayo, well that creamy Japenese goodness is smeared on the inside of the steamed buns to help it all stay together. And trust me, if you’re mouth isn’t watering, go ahead and re-read the first few sentences. See what I mean? Ok, it’s time for you to try this.
Dorito Kimchi Carbonara Steamed Buns
Musubi Steamed Buns with Teriyaki Fried Spam, Pineapple + Nori
Next comes this wild child. Yeah, that’s right – there’s spam on this steamed bun, but wait, don’t get freaked out! This version is an adaptation of Musubi, a traditional Hawaiian sushi snack. It’s typically made by grilling spam and then brushing it with teriyaki sauce. The glazed spam is then placed on top of pressed sushi rice and wrapped in nori to make it handheld. Musubi is sweet and savory and despite spam’s questionable reputation, it’s surprisingly delicious!
Vegetarian Steamed Buns with Hoisin Glazed Mushrooms
Sweet and savory hoisin glazed mushrooms, creamy kewpie mayo, nutty toasted sesame seeds, and bright cilantro come together between two pillowy steamed buns. Traditionally made with pork belly, this version of bao is not only vegetarian-friendly but even meat lovers will dig its umami richness.
Spicy Chicken Katsu Toasted Sesame Bao Steamed Buns
With a kick from sambal, a spicy Asian vinegar-y hot sauce paste, a hint of tartness from quick pickled cucumbers, and a pop of herbal freshness from cilantro, this chicken katsu steamed bun recipe results in one heck of a spicy chicken sandwich.
Spring Roll Inspired Steamed Buns Bao
Imagine combining a fresh spring roll with the richness of a Chinese steamed bun. Well that’s what’s going on in these spring roll inspired steamed buns. First, add sweet a dollop of some spicy chili sauce, a few creamy slices of avocado, crisp strands of carrots and cucumbers rounds. Last, add zippy pickled red onions, spicy jalapenos and umami-rich hoison sauce. But, if you like it hot, add some Sriracha or sambal and get ready to indulge in an almost perfect guilt free treat.
Curry Fried Chicken Steamed Buns
This recipe features crispy curry fried chicken paired rich kewpie mayo and tart pickled red onions. refreshing lime-y cabbage and the bright zip of fresh mint for balance.
Vegetarian Steamed Buns with Sesame-Orange Fried Tofu
Firstly, crispy fried tofu nuggets are tossed in a sweet yet slightly spicy sesame orange sauce. Secondly, you’ll want to add fragrant Thai basil for freshness. In conclusion, this is vegetarian friendly and utterly delicious. Feel free to make it more spicy by adding extra sriracha!
Five Spice Fried Tofu Bao with Avocado and Kimchi Mayo
To create this recipe, you’ll have to make crispy five spice fried tofu nuggets and spicy kimchi mayo. Then, you’ll add avocado and pickled red onions. If you don’t have five spice on hand, you can make it yourself! Just combine ground cinnamon with cloves, toasted fennel seeds, star anise, and toasted Szechuan peppercorns. These bao bun fillings are perfection!
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Kenz aka GCS