Steamed Bao Buns with Tofu & Kimchi.jpg

STEAMED BAO BUNS WITH EGGPLANT, TOFU & KIMCHI
(gluten free)

Classic Chinese steamed buns get fusion twist. Warm fluffy beetroot buns filled with Indonesian style spicy tofu, tender eggplant, authentic Korean kimchi and sweet soy sauce.


SERVES 3-4
Recipe from crazy-cucumber.com
Photography by Crazy Cucumber

INGREDIENTS BAO BUNS
1 cup warm water
1 medium sized beetroot
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
Canola oil for greasing buns
+ Baking paper

INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING & GARNISH
Filling
300g firmed tofu, drained
2 cups warm coconut milk
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
4 lemongrass stalks (white part only) crushed and finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons grated ginger
Chopped green chilli, optional
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Himalayan salt

Garnish
12 slices of eggplant
Oil for frying
1 cup Living Goodness Sum Yum Kimchi
Kecap Manis – Indonesian sweet soy sauce*
Kale leaves

METHOD FOR BAO BUNS
• Combine one peeled and cubed beetroot with one cup of warm water in the blender, mix well, then strain through a fine sieve.
• Place beetroot mix In a saucepan add with yeast, sugar and cooking oil.
• When the ingredients start bubbling, cook for 5-10 minutes.
• Remove from heat and add the flour, baking powder and salt.
• Knead the dough mixture for about 8 minutes, or until you get a smooth, supple dough.
• Place the dough in the oiled glass bowl, cover with damp tea towel and let it rise to at least double the size in a warm place for about 2 hours.
• Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.
• Roll each dough ball into an oval shape using a rolling pin.
•  Brush the surface with cooking oil and fold dough in half.
• Place each bun onto a small square of parchment paper.
• Fill bamboo steamer with approx an inch of water and bring to simmer.
• Place buns into the steamer and let them rest for 30 minutes: they will rise a little.
• Turn heat to high. When you begin seeing steam rise from the steamer, reduce heat to medium and set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn off heat – do not open steamer, let the buns rest for 1 minute.
• Use the buns immediately. Reheat them for a minute or so in the steamer if necessary.

METHOD FOR FILLING
• Gently heat coconut milk and combine with finely chopped herbs and spices.
• Blend ingredients into a paste in a food processor..
• In a shallow dish coat slices of tofu with mixture and marinate for a few hours, or longer.
• Preheat the oven to 200C. 
• Place marinated tofu on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
• Heat a large frying pan over high heat and cook the eggplant without oil flipping over occasionally. Cook until golden brown.
• Turn heat to medium low. and add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, season with salt and black pepper, flip over and cook 3 minutes more. Set aside and keep eggplants warm.

TO SERVE
• Make a slice in each Bao Bun and add warm eggplant, tofu, chopped kale, a spoonful of Korean Kimchi and drizzle some Kecap Manis over top.
• Serve immediately.

* You can make your own gluten free Kecap Manis. Mix together tamari sauce and palm sugar in ratio 1:1. Then boil the mixture until sugar dissolves. Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce made with soybeans and no wheat.