Bao, also known as Baozi, Mantou, or steamed buns is a meal consisting of a soft, white, warm, slightly sweet bun with a delicious filling of some sort on the inside. Unlike dumplings, bao buns are made with leavened dough and yeast, before they are steamed. Chinese Bao buns have been around for hundreds of years and traditionally consist of combinations of meat and vegetarian fillings. Luckily, there are endless combinations of easy, veganized recipes that are just as tasty!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App  — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy!

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1. Pulled Oyster Mushroom Bao Burger

Pulled Oyster Mushroom Bao Burger

Source: Pulled Oyster Mushroom Bao Burger

If you’re looking to seriously step up your burger game, this Asian fusion Pulled Oyster Mushroom Bao Burger by Melina Kutelas is definitely worth your time. Steaming a yeast dough instead of baking it is actually something pretty genius. It just leaves you with the softest and juiciest bread you can imagine — kind of like biting into a cloud.

2. BBQ Lentil Baozi

BBQ Lentil Baozi

Source: BBQ Lentil Baozi

Like pretty much all things in life, baozi are better made from scratch. This BBQ Lentil Baozi recipe by Kathleen Henry does the trick perfectly in a sweet homemade BBQ sauce, all nestled inside a warm and pillowy soft steamed bun. What’s better than a baozi? Not much.

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3. Dou Sha Bao: Chinese Red Bean Paste Buns

Dou Sha Bao: Chinese Red Bean Paste Buns

Source: Dou Sha Bao: Chinese Red Bean Paste Buns

Red bean paste is a sweet staple of many traditional Chinese desserts and pastries. These Dou Sha Bao: Chinese Red Bean Paste Buns by Daphne Goh are made from wildly healthy Adzuki beans, the paste is nutrient-rich and full of antioxidants, so not only are these buns delicious, they’re healthy too!

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4. Spicy Tofu Steamed Buns

Spicy Tofu Steamed Buns

Source: Spicy Tofu Steamed Buns

These Spicy Tofu Steamed Buns by Niki Webster are inspired by those soft, chewy buns you can order at Chinese restaurants and convenience stores. The tofu filling of these buns is marinated in a spicy, umami sauce so that it fully takes on the flavors and the buns are tender and coconutty.

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5. Chinese Steamed Custard Buns

Chinese Steamed Custard Buns

Source: Chinese Steamed Custard Buns

In Chinese cuisine, bao is a type of steamed bun that includes a variety of fillings. While there are countless different fillings used for these types of buns, these Chinese Steamed Custard Buns by Daphne Goh go for a sweet custard.

6. Teriyaki Mushroom Bao

Teriyaki Mushroom Bao

Source: Teriyaki Mushroom Bao

These mouthwatering Teriyaki Mushroom Bao by Jasmine Briones are stuffed with a savory mixture of mushrooms, kale, red onions, and celery that is wrapped in the pillowy soft dough.

7. Chinese Bao Buns

Chinese Bao Buns

Source: Chinese Bao Buns

These Chinese Bao Buns by Pavani Nandula are steamed little breads stuffed with spicy & sweet jackfruit fruit and crunchy veggies. They are quite easy to make – if you know how to knead dough, then you can make them.

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8. Steamed Chinese Bao With Peanut Butter

Steamed Chinese Bao With Peanut Butter

Source: Steamed Chinese Bao Buns With Peanut Butter

These Steamed Chinese Bao Buns With Peanut Butter by Anna Broster are as incredibly soft and satisfying as they look. These may not be traditional, but they’re really freaking good.

9. Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou)

Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou)

Source: Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou)

Mantou are plain steamed buns with no fillings and are traditionally consumed in Northern China as a staple food in contrast to rice as a staple food in Southern China. They are normally eaten plain and also commonly served as a side dish. This recipe for Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) is by Daphne Goh. 

10. Five Spice Baozi Delicious Steamed Buns

Five Spice Baozi Delicious Steamed Buns

Source: Five Spice Baozi Delicious Steamed Buns

This Five Spice Baozi Delicious Steamed Buns recipe by Nadine Horn and Jorg Mayer will come together with a little love, and patience, and will look stunning on your dinner table!

11. Easy Chinese Steamed Buns

Easy Chinese Steamed Buns

Source: Easy Chinese Steamed Buns

Making dough and using a steamer, you get these amazing Easy Chinese Steamed Buns by Mireille Aikman. Want to know how you can make easy steamed Chinese buns? Let’s get started!

12. Sweet Gochujang Tempeh Bao

Sweet Gochujang Tempeh Bao

Source: Sweet Gochujang Tempeh Bao

Homemade bao are truly a treat. These Sweet Gochujang Tempeh Bao by Francesca Bonadonna are a little bit sweet and so delicious. Filled with a sweet and spicy tempeh and crunchy vegetables, they make a wonderful snack or light lunch!

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!

Raw Cherry Dumplings

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammationheart healthmental wellbeingfitness goalsnutritional needsallergiesgut health, and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acnehormonal imbalancecancerprostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

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