Vegan Tonkatsu Bao

Vegan Tonkatsu Bao

Preparation : 120 mins ·Cooking : 30 minsServes 6



cupplant-based milk (soy, almond, oat)
unitVegetable oil
tbspsesame oil
tbspmaple syrup
tbspsoy sauce
tbsprice vinegar
cupchopped fresh cilantro
cupshredded red cabbage
2 1/5
tspactive dry yeast
cupall-purpose flour
poundfavorite vegan chicken substitute (seitan, tofu, tempeh)
tspbaking powder
tbspvegetable oil
cupall-purpose flour
cupwarm water

Nutritional information

Calculated based on standard values with available measurements and may therefore not be accurate

  • Energy9145 kcal
  • Protein183 g
  • Total Lipid (Fat)79 g
  • Saturated Fatty Acids16 g
  • Monounsaturated Fatty Acids24 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids34 g
  • Carbohydrate865 g
  • Sugars1 g
  • Fiber38 g
  • Calcium902 mg
  • Iron44 mg
  • Magnesium400 mg
  • Phosphorus1275 mg
  • Potassium2287 mg
  • Sodium1575 mg
  • Zinc6 mg
  • Copper3 mg
  • Selenium4 µg
  • Vitamin A199 µg
  • Vitamin E2 mg
  • Vitamin C275 mg
  • Vitamin B61 mg
  • Vitamin B120 µg
  • Vitamin K185 µg


Step 1

Bao Buns:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  1. In a bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it's frothy.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, vegetable oil, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and knead until a smooth dough forms.

  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it doubles in size.

  5. Punch down the dough and divide it into small portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

  6. Flatten each ball into a small disk and steam for 15-20 minutes until the buns are puffy and cooked through.

Step 2

For Vegan Fried "Chicken" Tonkatsu:

  • 1 pound of your favorite vegan chicken substitute (seitan, tofu, tempeh)

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1 cup plant-based milk (soy, almond, oat)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Cut the vegan chicken substitute into desired shapes (strips or cutlets).

  2. In one bowl, mix breadcrumbs. In another bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. In a third bowl, pour the plant-based milk.

  3. Dip each piece of vegan chicken first in the flour mixture, then in the milk, and finally in the breadcrumbs, ensuring it's well coated.

  4. Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the coated vegan chicken until golden brown on both sides. Place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Step 3

For Red Cabbage Slaw:

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage

  • 1 carrot, julienned

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, combine shredded red cabbage, julienned carrot, and chopped cilantro.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss until well combined.

Step 4


  1. Slice the steamed bao buns in half and fill each with a piece of vegan fried "chicken" tonkatsu.

  2. Top with a generous portion of red cabbage slaw.

  3. Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious vegan bao buns!

Recipe Story

In the dim-lit realm of culinary creation, where flavor reigns supreme, these vegan bao buns emerge as a revelation, breaking down barriers and defying expectations. Picture this: a symphony of textures and tastes, orchestrated with the finesse of a seasoned maestro. In the world of Anthony Bourdain, known for his adventurous palate and penchant for storytelling, this vegan delight would undoubtedly steal the spotlight.

The journey begins with the ethereal bao buns, soft and pillowy, their creation akin to a magic spell cast by a culinary wizard. As yeast dances with warm water and flour, a dough rises, transforming into clouds of goodness that cradle the forthcoming treasure.

Enter the vegan fried "chicken" tonkatsu – an ingenious twist on a classic comfort, challenging the notion that indulgence must come at the cost of ethics. The maestro takes a bow, presenting a canvas of seitan or tofu, cloaked in a crisp armor of breadcrumbs, golden and tempting. Fried to perfection, these morsels beckon with a siren's call, promising a carnival of flavors with each crunchy bite.

But the saga doesn't end there. The red cabbage slaw, vibrant and vivacious, bursts forth. In Bourdain's world, it's not just a side; it's a supporting character that adds drama to the narrative. Shredded red cabbage and julienned carrot perform a tango, embraced by the bold notes of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. A crescendo of freshness that elevates the dish to a realm beyond the ordinary.

As the maestro plates this masterpiece, the steamed bao buns cradle the vegan tonkatsu, and the red cabbage slaw dances atop like confetti celebrating a culinary triumph. In a Bourdain-esque finale, each bite tells a story – of innovation, compassion, and the unyielding pursuit of pleasure without compromise. For in this culinary tale, veganism isn't a limitation; it's a doorway to a world where flavor knows no boundaries.

Preparation and Cooking Time:

  • Preparation time: 2 hours (including dough rising time)

  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

Photo by Martin Baron on Unsplash