Steamed Bao Buns with Tofu & Kimchi.jpg

(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.

Recipe from
Photography by Crazy Cucumber

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

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

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

• 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.

• 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.

• Make a slice in each Bao Bun and add warm eggplant, tofu, chopped kale, a spoonful of 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.