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BBq tofu bao

Vegan BBQ Tofu Bao with Guacamole, Mushrooms & Pickled Onion


These pillowy vegan bao buns hug slices of tofu dunked in a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce. Westfalia Guacamole adds creaminess... delish!

  • Yields: 14 buns |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 2:0 hours |
  • Cook Time : 45 mins
Categories: Asian, Light meals, Snacks, Vegan
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500 g white bread flour
10 g instant dried yeast
2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
¼ C (60 ml) white sugar
325 ml unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Westfalia Plain Avocado Oil

You’ll Need

14 x 10×10 cm squares of baking paper
another 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Westfalia Plain Avocado Oil for brushing the buns
bamboo steamer

BBQ Sauce

½ C (125 ml) tomato sauce
¼ C (60 ml) apple cider
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sugar
1 Tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 ml) smoked paprika
½ tsp (2,5 ml) garlic powder
a squeeze of lemon juice

Pickled Red Onion

½ C (125 ml) red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced


2 Tbsp (30 ml) Westfalia Garlic Flavoured Avocado Oil
100 g shimeji or small button mushrooms
salt and black pepper


2 Tbsp (30 ml) Westfalia Garlic Flavoured Avocado Oil
2 blocks extra firm tofu, cut into 1 cm slices
salt and black pepper

To Serve

1 x 200 g tub Westfalia Plain Guacamole (or Westfalia Spicy Guacamole)
1 small cucumber, shaved into ribbons
1 tsp (5 ml) black sesame seeds, toasted
1 tsp (5 ml) white sesame seeds, toasted

Bao Dough Part 1

Add the flour, yeast, baking powder, salt and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Heat the milk in the microwave until lukewarm (35 ºC if you have a digital thermometer). Pour the milk and oil into the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 8 minutes until smooth and supple. (Tip: you can opt to use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.) Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough ball inside and cover with cling wrap or a clean cloth. Let the dough prove for about 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.

BBQ Sauce

Place all the ingredients into a small sauce pot and set it over medium heat. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Pickled Red Onion

Add the red wine vinegar, sugar and salt to a medium-sized bowl and mix to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the red onion slices and set aside to pickle for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to assemble the buns.

Bao Dough Part 2

Turn the risen dough out onto a work surface. Divide the dough into 60 g portions and form into balls. Cover with a clean damp kitchen cloth to keep from drying out. Lightly flour a work surface and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough balls into flat circular shapes that are roughly the same size as the baking paper squares and about 1 cm thick. Lightly brush the top of each dough circle with avocado oil and then fold it over like a taco – this step is important as it allows for you to easily open the steamed buns once cooked. Place each onto a square of baking paper; cover with a damp cloth and repeat until you have rolled and folded all of the buns.

Fill a pot that will fit a large bamboo steamer over it to a quarter full with water and bring to a simmer. Place 2-3 buns, on the baking paper squares, into the bamboo steamer and steam for 12 minutes (we used a double layer steamer with 3 buns on each layer). Repeat until you have steamed all of the buns. (Tip: an electric steamer can be used in place of a bamboo one.)


Preheat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 3-5 minutes until they soften and start to brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.


In the same frying pan, add the avocado oil and the tofu slices and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side until golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To Serve

Open the buns and add a spoonful of guacamole. Brush the tofu slices all over with the BBQ sauce and add to the buns. Add a few cucumber ribbons to each bun, then top with mushrooms and pickled onion. Finish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and serve.