Jackfruit Bulgogi Bao Buns

Not too tricky
Not too tricky
Not too tricky
Not too tricky
1:30 h

These zippy Korean-inspired Bao Buns are an absolute treat and one well worth the effort. Yes, you can buy Bao buns from the shop, but going that extra mile to make them yourself will make all the difference. The spicy and zingy jackfruit bulgogi is the perfect pairing with the pillowy buns and sure to wow whoever is lucky enough to share them with you!

Start cooking ➞




For the bao buns

<item-todo-done>½ tsp fine sea salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>500g plain flour - plus extra for dusting<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>30g caster sugar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>15g baking powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>50ml unsweetened soy milk<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>250ml warm water<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>25g vegetable oil<item-todo-done>

For the jackfruit bulgogi

<item-todo-done>1 tbsp soy sauce<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 tbsp light brown sugar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 tbsp toasted sesame oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tbsp freshly grated ginger<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ x 400g can(s) of jackfruit<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ pear<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 garlic clove<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tbsp gochujang paste<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1g vegetable oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> Salt & pepper to taste<item-todo-done>

To serve

<item-todo-done>1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> kimchi optional<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 spring onions<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ cucumber<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 carrot<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tbsp sugar<item-todo-done>

Before you start

Oven preheated to 25°C l Kettle boiled l Saucepan with a lid or a steamer pan l Small saucepan l Wok l Kettle boiled l Clean damp cloth l Line a 2-tier bamboo steamer with parchment paper and puncture it with scissors or the end of a chopstick l Small bowl l Medium-sized thick-based frying pan l Box grater l Sieve

Prepare the dough

  • Mix the dry ingredients, including the flour, salt, yeast, sugar and baking powder a bowl to combine
  • Add the wet ingredients, pouring the soy milk and warm water into a jug and stirring to combine, then pouring one-fifth of the mixture into the bowl and folding it into the dry ingredients
  • Repeat until the mixture starts to come together into big, dry clumpy shreds with a moist but not too sticky consistency (you may need a little more liquid)
  • Use your fingers to scoop and your palms to press until the dough comes together

Kneed the dough

  • Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead for 2 minutes to activate the gluten in the flour, pulling, punching and slapping the dough to bring it together and give it elasticity
  • When it’s begun to come together but is still a little grainy, pour over the oil and continue to knead for a further 8 minutes to get a smooth dough
  • Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky

Let it rest

  • When you have a nice smooth ball, dust the dough with a little flour
  • Lightly oil the bowl, put the dough back in and lightly brush the top with more oil
  • Cover with a damp cloth, put the bowl in the warm oven and leave it to rest and rise for 60-90 minutes

Shape the buns

  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and use your hands to shape them into neat little balls
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll one ball into a 10cm disk, leaving a little lip of dough at each end
  • Brush the dough with a little oil, lay a chopstick across the middle and gently fold it over
  • Pull out the chopstick, set the bun to one side and repeat until you have 8 buns ready to steam

Steam the buns

  • Put the wok over medium heat
  • Pour in enough hot water to come 3cm up the sides of the pan
  • Load up the steamer with 4 buns per tier, making sure the bao have enough room to rise
  • Put the steamer on the wok, put the lid on and steam the buns for 8–10 minutes
  • Remove the steamer, uncover and leave the buns to rest for 1 minute
  • Transfer to a plate and they’re ready to serve

Whilst you wait for the buns, prepare the fillings

  • Drain the jackfruit in the sieve and crush between your fingers until it resembles pulled pork
  • Peel, core and coarsely grate the pear
  • Peel and finely grate the garlic and ginger
  • Add the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and gochujang to a bowl and stir to combine
  • Add the jackfruit and pear to the bowl and fold into the marinade
  • Pickle the cucumber by peeling and finely slice the cucumber, cover with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbsp sugar, gently toss to cover and leave to marinate for 10 mins, then drain off the liquid
  • Trim, peel and finely slice the spring onion on an angle and reserve
  • Trim, peel and ribbon the carrot and reserve

Cook the jackfruit and serve

  • Warm the vegetable oil in a frying pan over a high heat
  • Add the marinated jackfruit to the pan and stir for 5 minutes
  • Turn the heat down to low and let the jackfruit cook for a further 4 mins, stirring occasionally
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Transfer the jackfruit, bao buns, sesame seeds, carrots, cucumber and kimchi to serving bowls
  • Take the bowls over to the table, build your bao buns and tuck in!
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