A new take on a classic steamed bun recipe found in Asian cuisine. Baos are light and fluffy steamed buns. They are slightly sweet, and often the sweetness is balanced out with some savory fillings.

Originating in China, baos are the perfect middle ground between bread and dumplings. They can be eaten on their own, but this recipe filling is absolutely worth the effort.

This buffalo worm enriched bao is stuffed with marinated tofu, fresh pickles, herbs, vegetables and hoisin sauce. It’s completely delicious, and absolutely packed with nutrients!

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Serves: 2/3



  • All-purpose flour: 245 g
  • Buffalo worm flour: 26 g
  • Coconut milk powder: 23 g
  • Baking powder: 3.5 g
  • Dried yeast: 3 g
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Vegetable oil: 26 g
  • Warm water: 150 g


  • Firm tofu: 300 g
  • Sesame oil: 25 g
  • Spring onions: 2 pcs
  • Ginger: 1 pc (4 cm in length)
  • Garlic cloves: 4 pcs
  • Chinese 5 spice powder: 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce: 100 g
  • Rice wine: 50 g
  • Red chillies: 4 pcs
  • Cornstarch: 30 g
  • Oil to fry


  • Red onion: ½ pc 
  • Small carrot: 1 pc
  • Daikon: 100 g
  • Coriander seeds: 2 g 
  • Cumin seeds: 2g
  • Water: 100 g
  • Rice wine: 100 g
  • Sugar: 200 g
  • Rice vinegar: 400 g
  • Salt: 2 g 


  • Hoisin sauce: 50 g
  • Soymilk mayonnaise: 50 g
  • Coriander leaves: 10 g
  • Spring onion: 1 pc
  • Red chilli: 1 pc

Prepare the bao dough by putting all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and adding warm water and oil into the dry mix. Work until the dough reaches a smooth texture.

Let it proof for 2 hours, then roll it down to 2cm thickness and cut into 8cm diameter disks.

Fold them in half and leave them to rest for an additional 20 minutes before steaming in a steam basket for about 6 minutes.

For the filling, cut the tofu into 1,5 cm cubes and set it aside in a bowl.

Then, peel and grate the ginger and chop the garlic.

Slice spring onion and chilli finely and mix all the ingredients for the marinade together (except for the cornstarch) making sure that the sugar dissolves.

Pour everything over the tofu and let it marinate for about 1 hour before removing it from the marinade and drying it out on some kitchen paper.

Then fry in 180°C oil and, once golden, take it out and dry onto kitchen paper.

Meanwhile, pour the marinade into a pot and reduce it down until it turns into a glaze, then add the tofu back in, bring to a boil and set aside.

Prepare the pickles by peeling the red onion, carrot and daikon and reducing them into julienne.

Transfer daikon and carrot together in a bowl, and red onion in a separate bowl (to avoid colour and strong smell dissolving into the pickling liquid).

For the pickling liquid, mix all liquids, sugar, salt and spices together in a pot and bring to boil.

Pour  some over the onion and the rest over daikon and carrot and set aside to cool down (ideally you should do this operation at least the day before you want to eat your baos).

Make the final garnishes julienning chilli and spring onion very finely and pick coriander leaves from the stem.Assemble the cricket baos opening them by hands and filling them up with some tofu mix.Then glaze the tofu with its marinade and add some hoisin sauce and soy milk mayonnaise.Top with the pickles and garnish with coriander leaves and finely sliced chilli and spring onion.

Recipe created by

Loris Caporizzi –
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