Want an amazing meat free bao recipe? This mushroom bao is so simple and quick to make and I promise you won’t miss the meat!
I always think Asian flavours lend themselves really well to vegetarian food. I think it’s because there’s so many complex layers of flavour and fresh ingredients.
I love bao so much. They’re one of my favourite foods and they work with all kinds of amazing fillings. Any chance I get to order them in restaurants and they’re always my number one choice.
We’ve tried to make the buns from scratch a couple of times and they’ve never quite turned out so for this mushroom bao we use ready made buns that we bought from an Asian supermarket in the frozen section.
The plus side of that is that the whole recipe is so super quick and easy to make.
So you might remember that Will and I decided to give ‘vegetarianism during the week’ a go during January this year.
There are various reasons for this. Partly health reasons, I find we generally eat a little healthier when we’re not eating meat.
Secondly, it’s good for helping us spend a bit less money on food. Meat tends to be pretty expensive and there are some great, super cheap options like lentils and beans which I really enjoy and are great for saving money.
And finally, I’ve been getting really anxious about the environment recently and I know that meat consumption has a huge impact on global warming so we’re both trying to do the little bit we can by cutting down on meat.
I’m actually pretty excited for it. I love meat and some of my favourite dishes are meat focused so I can’t imagine ever becoming fully vegetarian but I’m totally happy with the idea of meat being an occasional treat rather than an everyday thing.
And when you have awesome alternatives like this mushroom bao recipe then it honestly makes going meat free a complete breeze.
Now, I’ve mentioned a couple of times before that I am SO not on board with recipes that pretend vegetables are meat. Portobello mushrooms are not burgers, cauliflower is not steak. Let’s just call them what they actually are, that doesn’t make them taste worse right?
Having said all that, when I ate this mushroom bao which is flavoured with plenty of umami ingredients, I genuinely turned to Will and said ‘Oh my god, it tastes like meat!’. And I meant that in the best possible way.
The mushrooms are just so full of flavour and the perfect texture to sit in those pillowy bao buns. I honestly adored this meal.
To make everything even better we served the mushroom bao with a smacked sesame cucumber salad. I know, smacked cucumber sounds weird and it kind of is. You literally hit your cucumber with a rolling pin before chopping it. But but but it makes it super tender and ensures that it soaks up as much flavour as possible from your dressing.
It’s the perfect side dish to freshen everything up plus the dressing is the perfect thing to mop up with your bao buns. Ah this is just perfection.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS MUSHROOM BAO WITH SESAME CUCUMBER SALAD:
- Soy Sauce – We like this brand
- Sesame Oil – Something we always have on hand, this one is good
- Rice Vinegar – Again, really useful to have on hand, try this one
- Garlic – For ginger and garlic I am not interested in peeling/chopping them so I’m super lazy and buy pastes, we’re into this brand at the moment
- Lime Juice
- Portobello Mushrooms
- Bao Buns – We used ready made bao buns from our local Asian supermarket and steamed them in a bamboo steamer
- Spring Onions (Scallions)
- Sesame Seeds
Keep scrolling to get the full recipe for this mushroom bao with sesame cucumber salad…
WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVER INGREDIENTS YOU’VE GOT FROM MAKING THIS MUSHROOM BAO WITH SESAME CUCUMBER SALAD?
If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for ways to save money and avoid food waste so I want to make sure you’ve get plenty of ideas on how to use up any ingredients that are leftover from my recipes!
This salad is the perfect way to use up leftover cucumber!
I love this simple noodle dish and it uses sesame oil and seeds too
Mushroom Bao with Sesame Cucumber Salad
- Place the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, chilli and lime juice into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pour over the mushrooms and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Smack the cucumber a few times with a rolling pin then chop, place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Mix together all the other ingredients. When the cucumber has been sitting for about 10 minutes then drain and pour over the dressing. Serve with extra chilli slices and sesame seeds sprinkled over.
- Heat a skillet over a high heat until searing hot then add the mushrooms and cook until browned and caramelised. Steam the bao buns according to package instructions. Serve the mushroom filling, bao buns and cucumber with chopped spring onions, chilli and sesame seeds.
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Equipment you need to make this recipe…