Veggie Bao(Chinese steamed buns)

Bao or Baozi are a type of steamed, filled buns. they can be filled with meat or veggie filling and eaten just like that! The Tibetan equivalent of Bao is Momo, which is more like dumpling. I tried Bao with veggie filling and they turned out really fluffy and yummy! check out other varieties here Wow Bao.
I used to go to Wow Bao in Water tower in Chicago all the time. I would hit the water tower and pick up a variety of Baos and potstickers and head for my shopping in the Water Tower or Michigan Ave!. I miss Chicago!! I used to live 2 blocks from michigan Ave and 4 blocks from Lake Michigan!! Those were the days when I would strut my stuff in heels all day, go shop, or bar hop, or sit by the lake!!
Circles of dough with filling in the center.
Buns on steamer plate, ready to rise.

15 minutes later, rising nicely and getting puffy!

Steamed and ready to pop!
  • 2.5-3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 6 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons quick rise or active yeast(quick rise works better)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil for dough
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil for greasing
  • 2 cups asian vegetables (chopped carrots, water chestnuts, broccoli, peas)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 serano pepper
  • 1 inch ginger grated
  • 2 tablespoons stir-fry sauce or hoisin or sweet and sour sauce
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  1. In a wok, heat the oil and add chopped onion and serano pepper to it.
  2. Cook onion on high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add green bell pepper and ginger and keep stirring. Cook on high heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the asian vegetables and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Stir intermittently. I used frozen Asian veggies, so I microwaved them to get them to almost room temperature before adding them to the wok.
  5. Add in the stir fry sauce and sugar and keep stirring.
  6. Cook on high heat for another 2 minutes with constant stirring.
  7. Take off heat and let cool.
  1. Warm the water to about a 110 degrees F(warm to touch) and add yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar to it. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Add in the rest of the sugar, oil and 1 cup flour and mix well.
  3. Add 1 cup flour at a time and knead into a soft dough.
  4. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Place dough in a well oiled and covered container for an hour or until doubled.
  6. Knead dough on a well floured surface and divide into small balls. I ended up with 10 balls.
  7. Roll each ball to form a rough circle with thick middle and thin edges.
  8. Drop some filling in the middle and gather the dough on top to enclose the filling and pinch the edges close.
  9. Place the buns on a well oiled steamer plate or bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper. I used an idli steamer, used to steam indian rice dumplings.
  10. Let buns rise for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Steam buns in boiling water for 10-12 minutes.
  12. Serve warm !
  13. Variation for the filling sauce: use some soy sauce, agave syrup and orange zest! Made these with different veggies, broccoli, zucchini, peas, garlicy spinach and what not!.
These steamed yeasty buns are headed to this weeks YeastSpotting being hosted by Nick at imafoodblog.
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  1. says

    thanks Parita! The idli stand worked out fine! The only problem was I could only steam one plate at a time! But 10 minutes is not too long!

  2. says

    I’ve always been a little hesitant to make potstickers because of the shaping, but I’m 100% sure I could handle these. Very interesting dish!


  3. says

    I have been craving these for 30 years!

    I used to devour those during college in Sao Paulo (Brazil) – never had them again….

    I will have to make them soon!

    thanks for blogging this!

  4. says

    Thank you Sara, Mimi and Sally for dropping by! Yes these are definitely an easier and tastier alternative to potstickers! I am going to get a Bamboo Steamer this weekend and make more variations!!

  5. says

    This is great. I live in Chicago & love the Veggie Edmame Boa @WowBao. Can’t wait to try these :-). Thank you for posting the recipe.

  6. says

    This is great. I live in Chicago & love the Veggie Edmame Bao in Wow Bao @water tower place. Can’t wait to try this. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  7. Jaclyn says

    Thank you..thank you…these are awesome. I am glad I came across your website….all the recipes are so good and wholesome. Will have to try them one by one. Can I sub any other flour for half of the all purpose flour in this recipe. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

    • says

      you can use a quarter wheat flour. too much wheat flour will make it too dense and the cooking time will change as well. i will have to try them to see how they work out with whole grain flours one of these days

      • Jaclyn says

        Tried them today….my boys loved them, for the filling I used red beans instead. However some were a bit chewy….could it be because of over steaming? or they meant to be like that. Thank you. God bless

  8. Juliana Towers says

    Hi Richa,

    I made this today. I used whole meal spelt flour and my own filling. The spelt bao turned out good. My hubby and I enjoyed it very much :) Thank you again.


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