Handmade soft, chewy steamed Chinese buns meet pineapple and cucumber salad for a refreshing and appetising treat. Powdered with Chinese five spice and chilli, there’s no doubt these healthy and presentable baos will satisfy both the tastebuds and the stomach.
- 375 g firm tofu
- 2 tsps Chinese five spice
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 2 tbsps whole-egg mayonnaise
- 2 tbsps roasted, salted peanuts, chopped coarsely
- 2 cup (300 g) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ tsp table salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) light coconut milk
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
PINEAPPLE CUCUMBER SALAD
- 250 g pineapple, sliced thinly
- 2 Lebanese cucumber
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 fresh long red chilli, finely sliced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh coriander leaves
Place tofu on a small wire rack over a tray, top with a second tray (or plate); weight with cans of food. Stand 30 mins or until tofu is a firmer texture.
Meanwhile, make bao. Cut eight 12 cm squares from baking paper. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add coconut milk; stir with a fork until just combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently for 1 min or until smooth. Divide dough into eight pieces; roll out each piece into a 15 m long oval. Brush half of each oval lightly with oil; fold in half crossways. Place each bao on a square of baking paper; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Cook bao in two batches in a large steamer over a saucepan of simmering water for 8 mins or until cooked through.
Cut pressed tofu crossways into 8 slices. Dust with five spice and chilli; season with salt. Heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat; cook tofu, in batches, for 2 mins each side or until golden.
Spread bao with mayonnaise; fill with tofu, salad and peanuts.
Make the pineapple and cucumber salad. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl; season with salt.
TIP You can press the tofu up to a day ahead; keep covered in the fridge.