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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

This Bao's for You

Jackfruit Bao

The Chinese Lunar New Year begins Friday, January 31, honoring the Year of the Horse.  The 15-day holiday period includes parades, special meals, gifts to ensure future riches, and symbolic decor  based on both ancient Chinese culture and modern, regional traditions.  To honor my Jewish-Chinese-food-loving
ancestors and my vegan aspirations, I've produced these Jackfruit Bao to kick-off my plant-based CNY party.

Traditional, steamed, pillowy buns filled with bbq p--k are must-haves at dim sum lunches from San Gabriel to Singapore.  At 28+ years as a vegetarian (and going strong), I've discovered a fantastic vegan, even more delicious version.  This recipe is easier to make than I expected, extremely easy, and tast too,  not only suiting my personal eating style perfectly but for anyone else who wants to eat in a healthier way.

Canned Green Jackfruit in water (available at Asian and Indian markets) is the unbelievable replacement for the filling, not to mention that the jackfruit on its own is fat free and a whopping 120 calories for the entire can.   When cooked it produces a shredded meat-like texture and it's neutral flavor absorbs the sauces and seasonings in a beautiful, tasty way. The buns can be purchased already made at an Asian market, but they were really easy to make at home.

Whether you create a banquet, order take-out, see a parade, or exchange gifts for prosperity, I hope you'll find your own way to celebrate Chinese New Year.  Wishing you, your family, and friends a year filled with good fortune and great plant-based food!

I used this bao/steamed bun recipe:  Easy, great video, just cut the sugar in 1/2)

Jackfruit Filling
I used this filling recipe:, cutting it in half down the line, replacing brown sugar for the white sugar, and adapting the other ingredients based on what I had on hand.

Both recipes combine to make 16 Jackfruit Bao.