FIVE SPICED CAULIFLOWER BAO WITH HOISIN, VEGETABLES AND STIR FRIED WOMBOK

25 MIN + PREP TIME
China
Vegetarian

INGREDIENTS:

Serving amount:
  • 6 bao
  • 1 tempura flour bag
  • 1 ATLAS Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 hoisin sachet
  • 1 roasted peanuts sachet
  • 1 cauliflower piece
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 wombok piece
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 garlic clove*
  • 1 spring onion bunch*
  • 1 coriander bunch*

Pantry staples: Cooking oil, salt 

Allergens: Wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, sesame, garlic, onion, nuts (peanut)

Specialised equipment: Steamer or microwave, mortar and pestle (optional), absorbent paper, baking paper 

Chef's note: Gua bao is said to have originated from the Fujian province, a coastal region of China. This bao is uniquely different to others as it is made by folding over the dough so it is open and filled with a variety of ingredients. Bao can be stored in the fridge or freezer. 

* Spring onion, coriander and garlic are to be split across other dishes so please read each recipe carefully. 

Method:

1. Prepare the ingredients

Always read the recipe in full before you begin. Wash the vegetables. Peel and cut the carrot into matchstick sized pieces. Cut the cucumber and 1 spring onion* per person into matchstick sized pieces. Finely slice the wombok. Pick some of the coriander leaves*. Thinly slice 1 garlic clove* per 2 people. Break the cauliflower florets into small pieces. Roughly crush the peanuts. 

2. Make the tempura batter 

Place the tempura flour into a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of cold water per person. Gently combine the batter. Do not over mix, it should be a runny consistency which is just thick enough to coat the cauliflower pieces. Some lumps are fine. Set aside in the fridge until required. 

3. Cook the wombok 

Heat a small splash of oil in a frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add the wombok and stir fry for 30 seconds or until slightly softened and a little charred. Add the garlic and some of the Chinese five spice to taste and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Set aside the wombok mixture. 

4. Cook the cauliflower 

In the same frying pan, heat 1cm of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the cauliflower pieces in the tempura batter and gently place into the hot oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side or until crisp and lightly brown. Drain on absorbent paper. You may need to do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Sprinkle with the Chinese five spice and salt. 

5. Steam the bao over a steamer 

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Line a steamer basket with baking paper. Cut some small holes in the baking paper to allow steam through. Place the bao buns on the baking paper, place the lid on the steamer and over the boiling water. Steam for 8 minutes or until soft. 

6. Steam the bao in a microwave 

Alternatively, place the bao buns on a microwave safe plate with a small mug of water next to the plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until warmed through. Be careful as the steam and bao buns will be hot. Keep covered with a tea towel or steamer lid to keep warm. 

7. To serve 

Place all the steamed bao buns, prepared vegetables, crushed peanuts and hoisin sauce on a platter, and let everyone build their own bao buns.