Bao with Pulled Jackfruit

Don't be intimidated by the complexity of this recipe, these steamed bao buns are delicious and so much fun to make!
Fluffy pillows filled with a punch of flavour, you'll be surprised how quickly they disappear - so best make a few batches!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Proofing Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 10 buns
Calories 337 kcal


  • Mixing Bowl (x3)
  • Rolling Pin
  • Parchment Paper
  • Pastry Brush
  • Steamer Basket


Steamed buns

  • 3 3/4 cups Plain (All Purpose) Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Instant Dried Yeast equivalent to one packet or 7g
  • 3 Tbsp Non-Dairy Milk
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water +2 Tbsp
  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Vegan Butter very soft
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil


  • 560 g Tin of Green/Young Jackfruit ~20oz
  • 2 Small Spring Onions sliced
  • 4 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3-4 tsp Tamari use low sodium, adjust to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp Brown Sugar or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Oil for frying
  • 1 heaped tsp Chinese Five Spice


  • 1 Small bunch Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) roughly torn
  • 2 Red Chillies sliced into thin strips
  • 4 Spring Onions sliced into thin strips
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Toasted Cashew Nuts chopped


  • Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix together.
  • Add the milk, warm water and butter to a jug and stir together until the butter melts. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture at first with a spoon, and then with your hands. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover (with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size - about 90 minutes - 2 hours).
  • Move on to make the filling: open the can of jackfruit and drain it. Cut the firm, pointy ends off each triangular piece of jackfruit (you can still use them if you wish) and squash each piece of jackfruit gently so that it separates into individual strands and soaks up more of the cooking sauce. Set aside.
  • Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a medium size pan. Fry spring onions until softened. Add chopped garlic and ginger and fry gently until soft and fragrant.
  • Mix in Chinese five spice and fry gently for one minute.
  • Now add the remaining sauce ingredients: tamari / soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Mix them around well, allow sugar to melt. Finally add in jackfruit and mix well to allow it to warm up and soak up the maximum amount of sauce. Set aside.
  • After the dough has proved, tip it out of the bowl onto a floured surface. Knead the dough again and split into 10 balls. Place a piece of baking parchment on your work surface and roll each ball into an oval on top of the parchment, using a rolling pin – approx. 12cm x 8cm.
  • Brush the ovals with the olive oil and fold each oval over, using a chopstick in the middle to fold over to leave a little space in the fold (so the oil is on the inside of the fold). Remove the chopstick.
  • Prepare two oven trays by lining each with a piece of baking parchment. Place the buns on the trays - still on the baking paper - as this will help you to move them later. Cover each tray with cling film and leave to prove for a further hour, until puffed up.
  • Put a large steamer pan on to boil. Working in batches, place the buns in the steamer (you can keep them on the baking paper) and steam for 15 minutes.
  • Once the buns are cooked, open them up and stuff them with sticky jackfruit, coriander, slices of red chillies, and strips of spring onions. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and chopped cashews.
Keyword plant-based

Photos by Amber Asakura

Gabrielle is an evidence-based vegan coach who believes that health transformation begins when you switch to a plant-based diet. Her mission is to help midlife women eat in alignment with who they are and what they value so that they can lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.

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