Saucy mushroom bao

Something that is easy to make. Simply multiply the portion to feed a bigger crowd. I like to get a big pack of frozen baos where I can easily have them ready in as short as 5 minutes while I prep the sauce. Dinner can be ready in as little as 15-20 minutes if you have the sauce made ahead or leftover. You can opt to serve this mushroom sauce along with rice as a proper meal. They are great to serve as a main course alone, also easily to be served as a starter for a dinner party.

Mushroom choices: I like to use oyster mushrooms, maitake, shimeiji and shiitake. I would opt-out enoki as they are a bit tricky to bite apart so it can be messy! I dislike button-mushroom as they are less in flavour and they are a bit more slimy compare to the mushrooms that I have listed above.

Tips: When the baos are ready, keep the lid on for 5 minutes until it’s time to serve. If you remove the lid as soon as they are done, the bao’s surface might look a bit wrinkly due to the drastic change of temperature.

Serve 4-6 (depends on if you would serve as an appetizer or main)

  • 12 Frozen bun baos 
  • 100g fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 400g oyster mushrooms 
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tsp sichuan peppercorns (optional)
  • A handful of salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • half a cucumber
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Splash of shaoxing wine or mirin
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • a few shakes of ground white pepper

For slurry:

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Recipe Preparation

Follow package instructions and get the baos ready while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Trim off shiitake mushrooms stems, thinly sliced. Shred oyster mushrooms, set aside.

Peel and trim shallot, thinly sliced. Pound garlic and ginger, set aside.

Toast sichuan peppercorn in a dry frying pan on medium high heat, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute. Ground with mortar and pestle. Set aside for garnish.

Trim spring onion, thinly sliced diagonally.

Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan, add ginger, garlic and shallot. Toss a few times until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3-5 minutes until edges are golden. Add shaoxing wine or mirin, keep stirring and allow the wine to evaporate.

Add dark and light soy sauce into pan, toss to coat. 

In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and water. Stir in slurry together with a few shakes of ground white pepper, stir to coat evenly, the sauce should be thickened and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Serve immediately. 

To serve: Spoon over saucy mushroom into bao, Garnish with crushed peanuts, cucumber, spring onion and a pinch of toasted ground sichuan pepper.

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