Fluffy bao buns are balanced with a crispy tofu interior.

| By Rachael Thompson | Recipes

The Lucky Dragon Supper Club's Crispy Tofu Baos

Fluffy bao buns are balanced with a crispy tofu interior.

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favorite home cooks. For this instalment, Steph from The Lucky Dragon Supper Club shares her recipe for crispy tofu baos.

Ingredients

Baos:

  • 13 oz all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 oz white sugar
  • 100ml warm water
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 1.4 oz neutral oil, plus 1 tsp for greasing the dough

Crispy tofu:

  • 11 oz firm tofu
  • ¼ cup potato starch, plus 1 tsp for the sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup neutral oil, plus 1 tbsp for the sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2.5cm ginger, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp sesame oil

Bao Filling:

  • ½ cup kewpie mayo
  • ¼ cup sriracha
  • 1 cucumber, sliced thinly
  • 5-6 radishes, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, finely sliced
  • Sesame seeds

Method

To make the baos:

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, yeast, and sugar.

In a separate bowl mix together oil, water and milk.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients. Using your hands combine the mixture until a rough dough forms.

Empty the dough out on a clean surface and knead for 5 mins or so. If the dough is still very sticky, add one tablespoon of flour and incorporate it into the dough. Once it is smooth, return the dough to the mixing bowl.

Cover and rest for 1.5 hours in a warm room.

By now the dough should have doubled in size (let it sit longer if needed). Transfer the dough onto a surface dusted with flour.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes to remove air built up during the proofing process.

Roll out the dough so that it is 1cm in thickness.

Grease the surface of the dough with 1 tsp of oil so that when you fold the baos, they don’t stick.

Using a cup, bowl or cookie cutter, cut out individual disks.

Remove the excess dough and fold the disks in half to form a bao shape.

Gently flatten the baos with your rolling pin.

Place the baos onto some squares of baking paper. Cover and let proof for another 30 min.

With the remaining dough, re-roll and repeat until you have run out of dough.

To steam the buns, we are using a wok filled with water and a steam rack. You can also use a bamboo steamer here too. Steam the buns for 12 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let it sit for another 3 mins before removing the lid.

To make the crispy tofu:

Using your hands, tear the tofu into rough, bite-size pieces.

In a bowl mix together the potato starch, salt and pepper.

Toss the tofu through the flour mixture until each piece is thoroughly coated.

Dust off any excess before frying.

In a medium skillet, bring the oil to 350F. Shallow fry in batches until each side is crispy (roughly 3-4 mins per side).

Strain the tofu on some paper towel and set aside.

Once you have finished frying the tofu, let the oil in the pan cool and discard.

Mix together soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, water and potato starch into a bowl.

Heat up your skillet on medium-low heat and fry off the garlic and ginger in some oil.

Once it is fragrant, pour in the sauce and gently stir until slightly thickened.

Toss in your fried tofu pieces into the sauce.

Turn off the heat and finish with sesame oil.

Assembling your baos:
Combine kewpie and sriracha for a spicy mayo.

Spoon 1-2 tsp into the bao.

Add 1-2 tofu pieces per bao, adding cucumber, radish, coriander, and green onions as you wish.

Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy.

For more from The Lucky Dragon Supper Club follow her at @thedragonsupperclub

Photography by Alisha Gore. Styling by Audrey Won.

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