There are a number of excellent vegan Dim Sum restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown. One of our favorite items to get when we go is Steamed Buns. If you’ve never had a steamed bun, think of them as large balls of white bread filled with barbecued vegan meat. We use soy curl in ours, hence the name Steamed Soy Curl Buns. These do take a little time to prepare, mainly in letting the dough rise, so plan your time accordingly. These are prefect for a cold day when you don’t want to leave the house.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour + 1:15 for rising
Yield: 10 buns


For the Soy Curls

2 cups Butler Foods Soy Curls
3 cups hot water
2 Tablespoons no-chicken base or bullion
1 Tablespoon 5 Spice powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoons salt
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon agave
2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoon minced garlic

For the Buns:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon of instant yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup of warm water
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of baking powder


For the Soy Curls:

1. In a large bowl combine 3 cups of hot water, no-chicken base, 5 Spice powder, garlic powder, paprika, mustard powder, pepper and salt. Mix until everything is combined. Add the soy curls and set aside for 20 minutes to rehydrate. After 20 minutes drain the soy curls, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking broth.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the green onion, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, agave, ginger, garlic, and reserved soaking liquid. Mix well to thoroughly combine. Add the soy curls and toss to evenly coat in the sauce. Bring to a boil, stir well, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

For the buns:

1. Dissolve instant yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Let it proof/activate for 5 minutes or until bubbly or foamy.

2. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the yeast mix to the dry ingredients, knead to form ball of dough. Place ball of dough into greased bowl, cover and allow dough to rise in a warm location for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, roll out and cut into 10 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces of dough on a baking sheet, cover and let them rest for 15 minutes.

3. When ready, prepare your steamer over high heat. Flatten each dough ball to a 5 inch circle, add about 1/4 cup of the soy curl mixture to the center and pull the sides of the dough around the filling. Place seam side down on a square of parchment paper. Repeat until balls are filled and each is on it’s own square of parchment paper.

4. Place as many as will fit in your steamer without touching or crowding. Keep them on the parchment squares in the steamer. Steam for 15 minutes.

5. Serve with hoisin sauce for dipping.