Vegetarian Bao Bun Burger Recipe

Have you heard about Bao Buns? The new food trend from China? Also known as Baozi these buns are a type of steamed buns made with yeast. We have something called “Dampfnudel” here in Germany which is very much alike to the chinese steamed bun. We usually eat them sweet but you can also eat them savory but that’s rather uncommon here. The bun has a slightly chewy consistency to it but is very delicious! As I figured these are very similar things I could just use a Dampfnudel in replacement of a Bao Bun.

You can buy them premade which I honsetly did for this recipe but there’s plenty of Bao Buns recipes out there.  I want to make it again but with homemade buns the next time.

For the record: I had a Bao Bun while being in Berlin for a conference as there is a restaurant which sells them and honestly my homemade version tasted as good so I’m confident that this recipe gets a similar Bun flavor going.

We decided to do a light vegetarian version which is so easy to prepare and tastes terrific! We used red cabbage as the pattie and topped it with pickled carrots and blanched sugar snap peas. To add another layour of flavor we added a homemade peanut sauce and some crunchry roasted peanuts for texture.

Bao Bun Burger

Vegetarian Bao Bun Burger

This recipe makes enough for two servings.

  • 2 Bao Buns (premade or homemade)
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • sugar snap peas
  • raw peanuts
  • rice wine vinegar
  • soy sauce
  • carrots
  • sesame oil
  • sugar
  • salt & pepper

For the pickled carrots you have to slice them first in thin stripes. Place them in an air tight container and add about 4 tablespoons of the vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let them sit in that dressing for about 30min to an hour or over night if you have that time.

Cut two 1 inch thick slices from the red cabbage. Try to hold them together as much as possible as this will make the pattie for your burger. Season it with a little bit of salt and pepper. Heat a non sticking pan with a little bit of sesame oil and borwn the cabbage on both sides so that it gets a nice crust. Remove tha cabbage from the pan and use the rest heat to roast your peanuts.

Blanch the sugar snap peas in hot water for about 1 min or until they start turning bright green. You still want them to keep their crunch!

For the peanut sauce all you have to do is mix 4 tbsp of peanut butter with 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce and add some seasoning. Add some pepper and sugar to taste. Salt will not be neccessary as the soy sauce will add enough saltiness. If the sauce is too thick you can always add a little warm water to adjust the consistency. We like to give the peanut sauce some heat with fresh red chilli ( about 1/5 of a regular size red chilli) but that’s optional.

The Buns have to be steamed. So do that according to the instructions provided on your store bought buns or as how your recipe calls for.

Now it’s time to assemble the burgers. First add a slice of the cabbage to the lower part of the bun. Top it with the pickled carrots and sugar snap peas. Now add a dash of the sauce and sprinkle some roasted peanuts on top. And there you have it! You’re very own homemade vegetarian Bao Bun!

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