The first time I saw these steamed fluffy white balls several years ago in Hong Kong I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now Bao-Zi is a family favourite as a popular lunch box option and afternoon tea with sweet bean and, savoury fillings made of tofu and vegetables. Once made, these can be frozen up to a month and steamed in the microwave for a quick fix. A quick recipe for savoury ones follows below,
For the dough we need,
- Self Raising Flour – 300 grams
- Instant Active Yeast – 2.5 teaspoons
- Lukewarm Water – 150 ml
- Vegetable Oil – 1 tablespoon
For the filling we need,
- Firm Tofu, crumbled – 100 grams
- Cabbage, chopped finely – 4 tablespoons
- Carrot, grated – 4 tablespoons
- Spring Onions, finely chopped – 3 tablespoons
- Ginger – Garlic – Chilli paste – 2 teaspoons
- Salt, to taste
- Vegetable oil – 1 teaspoon
I make the dough first as it needs to rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
For the dough,
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and leave for 5 minutes.
- Sift the flour and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the flour with the yeast mixture and oil until a soft and sticky dough is formed (I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment).
- Cover and set aside. After the dough doubles in size, knead well and make 2″ balls.
- Use dry flour to roll out the little balls flat. Keep covered with a damp towel.
For the filling,
- Heat oil up and add the ginger -garlic – chilli paste till roasted.
- Add the tofu and vegetables. Cook until wilted.
- Mix in the salt and add the spring onions lastly before turning off the heat.
The filling should be cooled before stuffing into the dough wrappers.
- Boil water in a large steamer vessel and use a plate lined with baking paper to steam the Bao-Zi.
- Place approximately 1 big tablespoon of filling in the wrappers and pinch the sides together to seal.
- Carefully place on the prepared plate and cover to steam for 12 -15 minutes in boiling water.
Serve warm with Tomato Garlic relish!