These pan fried vegan dumplings are the ultimate treat! If you've ever been to Chinatown you've undoubtedly seen the stands serving perfectly steamed dumplings (usually with pork.) I've recreated this light and fluffy bun as a pan fried vegan treat. Serve them up with a side of soy sauce mixed with sriracha and a squeeze of lime juice.
Pan fried vegan dumplings are not as hard to make as you might think. The dough is a simple water, flour and yeast mixture that only needs to rise for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, all you need to do is saute the veggie filling. Once the dough has risen, stuff the buns, seal them up and pan fry for a delicious dish that makes a perfect vegan appetizer or light dinner.
Pan fried vegan dumplings ingredients:
Ready to cook? All you'll need is:
- vermicelli noodles: There are two main types of vermicelli, Italian and Asian. Italian vermicelli is made from durum wheat, while Asian vermicelli is made from rice and is naturally gluten free. Choose the thin variety, not the thicker version that is typically used in Pad Thai.
- sesame seeds: You can choose between black or white sesame seeds. I've used white for these bao buns as they have a slightly sweeter, nuttier taste than black sesame seeds.
- soy sauce: Of course! This is what gives your dumplings that salty, umami flavor. I like a dark, rich soy sauce, but any soy sauce that you have on hand will do the trick.
- oil: You'll need two kinds of oil for this recipe, a neutral cooking oil and sesame oil.
- mushrooms: I've used a chestnut mushroom, but porcini mushrooms would work equally well.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is a staple in Chinese cooking. I've used white cabbage as its' water content is lower than pak choy keeping your dumplings from getting soggy.
- sugar: There's a small amount of sugar in these buns to balance the umami of the soy sauce.
- chives: Chives add a hint of freshness and a little zing!
- ginger: a warm spicy, zesty note for your dumplings.
- garlic: Because, well....garlic!!
- carrot: The sweetness of carrots tones down the potent zing of ginger.
- flour: I used an all purpose wheat flour, but if you have cake flour on hand that will work equally well.
- yeast: If you want your dumplings to be fluffy and light, you'll need the rising power of a little yeast.
How to make pan fried veggie bao buns:
These bao buns are easier to make than they look. Let's get started!
First, combine the flour, sugar and yeast together. Then mix in the wet ingredients and stir until a soft dough forms. You can use the dough hook on your mixer for this, or do it by hand.
Then, turn the dough out onto a floured a surface and knead for four to five minutes. Once the dough is soft and pliable, put it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Let's Start to Make the Filling:
Cover your vermicelli noodles with boiling water and soak for 7 minutes. Drain, shake off all the water, and cut into half inch pieces with your kitchen scissors.
Now, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a fry pan. Saute the ginger and garlic with the mushrooms until the mushrooms release their juices. Add the cabbage, grated carrot and chives, and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped vermicelli noodles, soy sauce and sugar and saute until everything is well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Now we're ready to roll out the dough and stuff the bao buns:
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a log. Cut into 10 equal pieces that are approximately 50 grams each.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, and flatten with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 5 inch circle. Try to keep the edges thinner than center.
Place 2 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Pull two opposite sides of the circle up and stick the dough together. Repeat on the other side. Twist the dough at the top, ensuring that the bun is completely sealed.
This video has a great tutorial on dumpling folding..
Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a fry pan (that has a lid). Put the boa buns in the oil creased side down being careful to not overfill the pan. Shallow fry the buns for approximately 30 seconds, flip and repeat on the other side.
Now, put about 1 tablespoon of water per bun into the pan, put the lid on the pan and steam the buns until most of the water is gone.
Pan fried vegan dumplings variations
- Switch the veggies: Use bean sprouts instead of carrots or cabbage. Switch fresh mushrooms for pre-soaked porcinis.
- Make it spicy: Add a chili pepper in with the garlic and ginger for that added kick!
- Add some tofu: Add some marinated tofu for a creamy texture.
- Add different spices: Make it your own by adding Chinese 5 spice or hoison sauce to the filling.
Pan Fried Vegan Dumplings (Bao Buns)🥟
For the Buns
- 210 grams flour (1 ¾ cups)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 160 ml warm water (⅔ cup)
For the Filling:
- 2 blocks asian vermicelli noodles
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon ginger grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 10 mushrooms thinly sliced
- 350 grams cabbage finely chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 7 grams chives finely chopped
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
To Make the Buns
- Mix the flour, yeast and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. You can use a dough hook on your mixer or mix by hand.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and pliable.
- Put the dough into an oild bowl and cover. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.
To Make the Filling
- Cover the vermicelli with boiling water and soak for 7 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
- Chop the vermicelli into half inch pieces with kitchen scissors and set aside.
- Heat the sesame oil in a non stick fry pan and saute the ginger, garlic and mushrooms until the mushrooms have released their juices.
- Add the chopped cabbage, grated carrot and chives and saute for a further two minutes.
- the chopped vermicelli noddles, soy sauce and sugar to the mixture and mix until everything is well combined. Set aside
Assembling the Bao Buns
- Remove the dough from the bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a log and divide the log into ten equal size pieces that are approximately 50 grams each.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll the ball into a 5 inch circle, rotating the dough as you roll. Try to make the edges thinner than the center.
- Place 2 heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each circle of dough ,pull two oposite sides of the circle together and stick together. Repeat on the other side, twiting and flattenting the dough at the top ensuring that the bun is completely sealed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a lidded fry pan and add the bao buns to the pan crease side down. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. You will need to work in batches. Fry for 30 seconds or until the bottom is golden, flip and repeat on the other side.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water per bun to the pan and cover the pan with a lid. Steam the buns until the water has evaporated.
- Remove the buns from the pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. Serve with soy sauce mixed with sriracha and squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
Need more creative dinner ideas?