Chef Marisa Baggett has hot buns. Hot VEGAN buns.
Baggett recently launched Hunny's Buns, a side venture to her real job as a well-known Memphis sushi chef. She offers several varieties of stuffed steamed buns, most with meaty fillings, but she also offers a pretzel dog bun stuffed with hot dogs and Chinese hot mustard. And she'll stuff 'em with soy dogs if you'd like.
I first read about Baggett's new venture in the Memphis Flyer (where I work), and as soon as I saw "soy dogs available on request," I knew I had to try these. I emailed Baggett to inquire if the buns were vegan, and she said she'd be happy to leave out the eggs and replace the honey with sorghum. She doesn't have a storefront, so she delivers the buns to her customers. Yesterday afternoon, only one day after placing my order, this package arrived at my office.
Inside were six vegan pretzel dog buns! And they were still warm!
I immediately cut one bun into three pieces and shared them with two of my vegetarian co-workers. My editor Susan happened to have a promotional Memphis Grizzlies tall boy can of Coors Light at her desk. So we enjoyed our pretzels with beer.
These buns are out of this world. The bread is soft and doughy, just like a ballpark pretzel. But the bun has a more complex taste than a traditional soft pretzel. It's got a hint of sweetness from the sorghum, and the sesame seeds lend it a nutty flavor. The Chinese mustard soaks into the buns and perfectly compliments the hot dog.
I ate another bun last night before hitting the gym, but thankfully, I have four more buns in the freezer. If you live in Memphis, check out the Hunny's Buns Facebook page for ordering instructions. You can specify vegan preferences in the "special request" box on the order form. She also has a Japanese curry vegetable bun that can be veganized. The buns are six for $12 or 12 buns for $22.
If you don't live in Memphis, you can still check out Marisa's vegan sushi recipes on her website. There's even a recipe for eel-free eel sauce!