January 23, It’s Easy Being Vegan: Flavorful Tofu Bao Buns


Bao buns are customizable, simple, and pack a lot of mouth-watering flavors. “Bao” directly translates to “bun” in Chinese, which is basically a fluffy sandwich that is constructed of fillings you would typically stuff in dumplings. My tofu bao buns recipe will introduce you to a combination of different textures and a delicious, easy teriyaki sauce that calls for ingredients directly from your kitchen cabinet. 

Tools You Will Need for this Recipe: 

  • One cutting board 
  • One chef’s knife 
  • Medium sized frying pan 
  • Tongs (or chopsticks) 
  • One small mixing bowl 
  • Whisk 
  • Microwave safe plate (or a steamer) 

Where Do I Get Bao Buns? 

The buns are typically found in the frozen international section of a grocery store. I purchase mine from the Asian market, but if you have hard time finding them you can order a pack online or make them from scratch! 

Does this recipe only work for tofu? 

Not only tofu, but also any protein you desire. Make sure you cut your protein into thin strips and fry it long enough for consumption. Tofu cooks faster than meat, so do research on how long it takes to cook your protein if you plan on replacing the tofu. This same principle also applies to all the toppings. You don’t need to strictly follow this recipe when you build your bao bun. Use any vegetable that will work and keep your taste buds happy as you devour every bite. All the ingredients are customizable, this is just how I personally make my bao buns. Heck, you don’t even need to make the sauce if you have your own specialty sauce that you like to put on everything (though, I highly recommend using this sauce since it’s made from scratch). 


What to do with left over toppings? 

When making bao buns, it’s easy to overestimate how much vegetables or protein you can fit inside one sandwich. Even if this recipe is precise with how many fillings you really need, there is still the possibility that you will wind up with leftovers. My favorite thing to do with these leftovers is to bring them all together in a bowl and make a salad! 


Flavorful Tofu Bao Buns 


Author- Lisa Donat 

Prep Time- 20 minutes 

Cook Time- 10 minutes 



  • 3 bao buns (store bought or from scratch) 
  • 1/3 block of extra firm tofu thinly sliced 
  • ¼ cup of cabbage thinly sliced 
  • ¼ cup of carrots julienned (thin matchstick cuts) 
  • 1 Tbsp of ginger julienned 
  • 1 Tbsp garlic minced 
  • 1 Tbsp frying oil of your choice 
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice 
  • 1 Tsp chili sauce 
  • Chopped green onion for garnish 


  1. Steam bao buns for 15 minutes or microwave according to the package’s instructions. 
  2. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and chili sauce in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Pat dry the tofu with a paper towel. Heat up the frying pan to medium heat. Oil the pan and fry the tofu until crispy, then remove from pan. 
  4. Sautee the ginger and garlic on low heat. Then add the sauce mixture into the pan and cook it until the sauce starts to thicken. Turn off the heat and add in tofu to coat it in the sauce. 
  5. Stuff the bao buns with cabbage, carrots, and tofu. Garnish with green onion.