December Daring Cook’s Challenge

December 14, 2011

vegetarian char sui bao

This was my second Daring Cook’s Challenge. I’m still so excited that I have been able to participate in the group!

We were challenged by Sara from Belly Rumbles to create Char Sui Bao, a Cantonese specialty. They are a bun stuffed with a filling. They can be steamed, fried, or baked. I chose to make the vegetarian option which was a sauté of mushrooms in a delicious Asian sauce.

I thoroughly enjoy ethnic food so this was a delight to make. I rarely have an opportunity to make any because my Husband has a very boring palette… but that’s another story!

I’ll show you how easy these were-

Vegetarian cha sui bao

 First you have to make the dough.

Make sure your eggs are at room temperature! This will help your yeast to thrive.

Yeast loves to be warm.

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together sugar, yeast and water.

Again, yeast likes to be warm– the water must be between 105-110 degrees F.

If you are using active dry yeast, you need to let it actuate. So have it sit out for 5-10 minutes or until nice and foamy.

I used instant so I just mixed the ingredients quickly and moved forward.

Once the yeast has done its thing, add the egg and oil to the mix.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Finally, toss in the flour and salt.

Mix on low until the flour is incorporated and then increase the speed to medium low and knead for about 10 minutes.

The dough should be nice, smooth, and elastic.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Let it rise until double in size, about 1 to 2 hours.

This would be a perfect time to make your filling.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.

I used a kitchen scale because I am OCD like that. But feel free to eye it out.

Cover them and let them sit for about 20 minutes for the gluten to rest.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

To shape the balls, flatten the disc and stretch out the edges so that the center is slightly rounded.

This makes for a more even dough distribution when shaping.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Place about a tablespoon of filling in the center.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Gather the edges and stretch and pinch them together.

Be careful not to get any of the sauce where you are pinching or it will not close.

You’re not going to be able to pinch it closed in an aesthetically pleasing way.

I know, it bothered me too, but there was no way to smooth it out.

Just make sure it’s as securely closed as possible.

There will be a little leakage no matter what, but you don’t want the filling to have a true escape route.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Place on a sheet pan and brush with egg wash.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until beautifully golden like these babies.

Vegetarian cha sui bao

Not too hard to make ethnic food, is it?

For meat-filled/steamed variations of this recipe, visit this link!

Vegetarian Char Sui Bao
  • For the Buns:
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) sugar
  • ½ cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 2 cups (10 oz) flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water
  • For the Mushroom Filling:
  • 1 lb assorted mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 shallots (finely diced)
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  1. For the Buns: Place the sugar and warm water in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add yeast and leave it for about 10 minutes until it becomes all frothy.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a medium bowl.
  3. Add egg and oil to yeast mixture. Stir on low onto combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low, knead in machine for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap misted with cooking spray. Leave to rise until it is double in size, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on warmth of room.
  5. Once dough has doubled in size punch down and divide and shape into 12 balls. Cover again and let rest 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400º F. Use a rolling pin to roll out to approximately 2" in diameter. Then pick the piece of dough up and gently pull the edges to enlarge to about 4" in diameter.
  7. Place a good sized tablespoon of filling on the dough circle. Gather the edges and seal your bun.
  8. Place the bun seal side down on your baking tray that has been lined with parchment. Continue with rest of dough.
  9. Once all buns are complete brush surface with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. For the Mushroom Filling: Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan. Sauté the shallots for one or two minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms to the shallots. Cook until mushrooms have rendered down and most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
  11. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin and sesame oil, cook for another few minutes.
  12. Mix cornstarch and stock together and then add to the mushroom mixture.
  13. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 2-3 minutes.
  14. Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

What a delicious surprise! I have never had Cha Sui Bao before, but I am loving that mushroom filling! 🙂


Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

Previous post:

Next post: