Nadia Hussain says: 'These do take a little effort to make, and they can get demolished in seconds, but most of the effort is in waiting around. Lots of waiting. But it’s worth it – these buns are soft and light, and with the spicy raw tuna it is quite literally a melt-in-the-mouth experience.'
Bao buns are a popular grab-and-go street food snack originating in China. Nadiya Hussain’s recipe for soft fluffy bao buns stuffed full of spicy raw tuna will soon become a favourite family snack or dinner treat. Former Great British Bake Off winner Nadia has all the tips and tricks needed to create smooth and soft buns. Once you’ve perfected the bao bun recipe, you can fill your buns with whatever takes your fancy. Why not try a hoisin duck filling, or pork and garlic version, or you can even try a vegan filling such as tofu and pickled veg.
- For the buns
- 500g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons fast-action yeast
- 300ml warm water
- For the spicy tuna
- 440g tuna steaks (sashimi grade), finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely diced, with seeds
- 2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds
- A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl and mix together. Make a well in the centre and add the water, then bring the dough together. If you’re using a mixer, knead for 5 minutes on a high speed, and if you’re doing it by hand, knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be lovely and shiny and stretchy. Place back in the bowl and leave to prove for 1 hour, covered, in a warm place until doubled in size.
Meanwhile cut out 10 squares of baking parchment measuring 10cm x 10cm and have two baking trays at the ready.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape and cut it into 10 equal pieces (80g each). Roll each one out to a circle 5mm in thickness and brush all over with oil. Brush a chopstick with oil too, then lay it in the centre, fold over the dough to create a semicircle and pull the stick out. Place on a piece of paper and then on a baking tray. Do this to all 10 pieces of dough, then cover with a piece of greased clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Depending on the size of your steamer, steam as many buns as you can at a time without overcrowding it. They should take 5–6 minutes, until springy to touch.
While the buns are steaming, make the spicy tuna. Put the chopped tuna into a bowl and add the onions, chilli, ginger, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds and chopped coriander. Snap open the steamed buns and fill them with the spicy tuna.
This tasty bao bun recipe is taken from Nadiya’s cookbook Time to Eat, out on 11th July. Nadiya’s Time to Eat TV show is currently airing at 8pm on Mondays on BBC Two.