Thursday, September 3, 2009

Homemade Steam Buns!

About a month ago, I stumbled onto an old copy of Sunset Vegetarian Cooking, a thin paperback volume of retro-ish meat-free recipes. It's from 1981, and the photos have that awesome reddish-yellow old-school tint. Though it's not all vegan, most of the lacto-ovo recipes are veganizable. And it was only $1 at the Goodwill!

When I was in the thrift store, flipping through the pages, a mouth-watering photo of some Cashew-Mushroom Steam Buns caught my eye. I always buy the frozen cabbage, mushroom, or red bean-stuffed buns at the Asian market. But they're made with nasty white flour. This recipe called for whole wheat (I would have subbed it anyway!).

Though it took FOREVER to make these last night, I wound up with 12 cute little steamed buns:

Steaming gives the dough a light, airiness that really melts in your mouth. And the filling is better than any I've had in a storebought bun. It's made from raw cashews, mushrooms, ginger, bamboo shoots, soy sauce, onion, and white wine. Here's an inside shot, though I swear it tastes better than it looks:

I wanted to give out the recipe since it's such an old cookbook, but I did a quick search and found that Sunset Vegetarian Cooking is still available on Amazon. Basically though, you make a yeasted dough and let it rise for an hour. Then you divide it into 12 balls. Roll those balls into small rounds and stuff with cashew-mushroom filling. Fold up the sides, twist the tops, and let rise another 30 minutes. Then you just steam them in a steamer basket for 15 minutes. They re-steam from the fridge or freeze wonderfully!

On the side, I made the Savory Greens Stir-fry from the Whole Foods iPhone app:

I'm always looking for new ways to cook kale, and this didn't disappoint with water chesnuts, shitake mushrooms, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, and splashes of shoyu and mirin.

This was my first time cooking a recipe from an iPhone app, and it was very convenient. The ingredients were easy to pull up while grocery shopping, and I was able to read through the recipe at the gym, so I knew what to do as soon as I got home to work on dinner.

19 comments:

The Voracious Vegan said...

Those steam buns look soooo good! I love snacky food like that, you can dip them in a million sauces and just devour them! The filling sounds so great. And the side of kale would be delicious and fresh. Great post!

Crystal said...

The steamed buns look amazing- I just HAVE to make them for my husband, he loves those things!! Sounds like it's pretty easy too, Thanks for the idea! On to the Kale- I have never eaten it until a few years ago and I would saute it with some olive oil, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper (I'm Italian and that how my dad made all of our greens back in the day- and it worked awesomely) But now I eat it raw mostly, and I think I like it just a bit better that way. I chop it up really small with some lemon juice and olive oil... mmm. But your kale looks so yummy- I have to try something new!

jessy said...

oh man, i need to get an iPhone! that's awesome that the iPhone app recipe was tasty. very cool on being able to pull up what you needed for the recipe while you shopped. i love it!

i always forget about mirin & water chestnuts - i need to remember that they're tasty additions to asiam themed yummies. kale rocks! i'm the same way, always looking for another tasty use for it.

hooray for a great thift-score! w00t! i love the cover of the sunset vegetarian cooking, too.

i think the steamed buns look super stellar, and i love that they're filled with cashews 'n mushies. mmmmmmmmmm! i've never had a steamed bun before - i think i'm gonna give them a whirl sometime & make some gluten-free ones. they look light, indeed - and oh-so yummers!

have a fantasical weekend, Bianca!

Kiersten said...

The buns sound like they were a lot of work, but they look totally worth it. They look perfect! They sound delicious too with the cashew-mushroom filling.

That iPhone recipe app is pretty cool.

VeggieGirl said...

AWESOME buns!! Love the water chestnuts and mushroom filling.

miss v said...

i totally love the steam buns... that looks great! i love old cookbooks - i have a super old new farm cookbook and some of the recipes are so retro-vegetarian. i love it!

Vegan Deluxe said...

You should do a southern version of steamed buns with southern flavors for your cookbook. Not sure what that would be, but just a thought :)

Jen said...

you my dear have really been crunkin' it up! what a great retro find, i heart goodwill so much.

Knit-Picky Veganista said...

OH!!! - I have that cookbook in my stash - A True Classic! Whenever I look at the cover, I get all sappy likes it's an old friend come back for another visit. What I like most about Vegetarian Cookbooks is that it's rare to NOT be able to veganize a recipe.
Steamed Buns - yum.

Sal said...

they are so cute and sound delish.

LK Sisters said...

Never had steam buns - looks delicious, something worth trying!

Celine said...

nice buns you've got there, missie.

ohonemorething said...

Awesome recipe! It's hard to find buns or dumplings with interesting fillings.

teenagedvegan said...

Hey, just found your blog! Those rolls look so amazing! Though I'd probably mess them up somehow, I'm definatly gonna try making these one day!

nora said...

yum! i'm sure they were delish. i love how one of your recipes was from an iphone app! what's the world coming too!?

Mihl said...

I have never had any steam buns, it sounds like a great thing to try.

Tiffany said...

Look at your cute buns!

My mom's sent me a ton of old Sunset cookbooks. I kinda doubt that one's in there but I'll look. Great post!

T said...

There used to be a restaurant in ATL that sold vegan BBQ steam buns, and they were, without a doubt, the absolute best thing ever. But they were probably made of something terrible for you, and they stopped carrying them. :(

But anyways, these look like pretty good (and healthier) replacements!

aTxVegn said...

The buns are so pretty and the filling sounds delicious!