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5 from 7 votes
Overhead View of a Steamer Filled with Three Shiitake Mushroom Vegan Bao Buns
Shiitake Mushroom Vegan Bao Buns
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Resting time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins

Fluffy steamed buns are slathered in hoisin sauce and stuffed with tender shiitake mushrooms in sweet and savory garlic sauce, quick pickled veggies and crunchy peanuts to make these scrumptious vegan bao buns!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Asian-Inspired
Keyword: buns, mushrooms
Servings: 10 buns
Calories: 349 kcal
Author: Alissa Saenz
For the Buns
  • 1 packet (1 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
For the Pickled Veggies
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, julienne cut
  • 1 medium carrot julienne cut
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, sliced
For the Mushroom Filling
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or high heat oil of choice)
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced into thin strips
For Serving
  • 10 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Prepare the Dough
  1. Whisk together the water and yeast in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare your dry ingredients.

  2. Stir the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl. 

  3. Stir 1 tablespoon of oil into the yeast and water mixture, then add the mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir to form a soft dough.

  4.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead it for about 7-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

  5. Lightly oil a medium bowl, roll the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with a towel and place it in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

To Make the Pickled Veggies
  1. While the dough rises, mix the water, vinegar, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the veggies and allow the mixture to sit while you make the filling and finish making the buns.

To Make the Mushrooms
  1. Stir the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, sesame oil, sambal oelek, and liquid smoke together in a small bowl.

  2. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.

  3. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer. Cook the mushrooms for about 4 minutes, flip and cook 4 minutes more, until lightly browned.

  4. Add the sauce to the skillet and flip a few times to coat the mushrooms. Allow them to continue cooking until the sauce is thick and forms a sticky coating, about 3 minutes more.

  5. Remove the skillet from heat and transfer the mushrooms to a plate.

To Steam the Buns
  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it in half. Remove half from the bowl and divide it into fifths.

  2. Roll one of the fifths into a ball, then flatten it with your hand.

  3. Use a rolling pin to roll the ball into a 4-5 inch round. Brush the top with oil, fold it in half, and transfer it to a piece of parchment paper (I like to to place the parchment paper in the steamer, so I don't have to move it again later). Make sure not to crowd the dough rounds.

  4. Repeat for the remaining pieces of dough, then remove the other half of the dough from the bowl and repeat. You should have 10 rounds.

  5. Cover the dough rounds and let them rest for 15 minutes. 

  6. Transfer the parchment rounds to the bamboo steamer if they're not already there. They may not all fit — just work in batches of that's the case. 

  7. Layer the tiers in your steamer, place the lid on it, and place it over a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and steam the buns for 8 minutes.

  8. Very carefully remove the lid and remove the buns from the steamer. 

To Serve
  1. Slather the insides of the buns with hoisin sauce, then stuff with mushrooms, pickled veggies, peanuts, scallions and cilantro. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Steamed buns recipe loosely adapted from BBC GoodFood.

Nutrition Facts
Shiitake Mushroom Vegan Bao Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 bun)
Calories 349 Calories from Fat 113
% Daily Value*
Fat 12.6g19%
Saturated Fat 1.3g7%
Sodium 1204mg50%
Potassium 318mg9%
Carbohydrates 51.6g17%
Fiber 3.7g15%
Sugar 12.6g14%
Protein 8.1g16%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.