Panko Sweet Potato Bao
This recipe was made in honour of my dear, dear friends over at Eat Chay. Back when I used to run Blu Top Ice Cream I shared my commercial kitchen with Liz and Joe “Chay” and was lucky enough to experience my fair share of their breathtaking streetfood. Eat Chay originally specialised in plant based Vietnamese food but have since expanded (they’re currently KILLING IT in Shoreditch Box Park) and are now known for loads of other amazing dishes.
One of their best sellers is their bao buns. They have various options of fillings, but my all time fave was their Korean bbq seitan with kimchi and crispy onions. Basically, I miss those dudes. Not only do I not work alongside them any more, but I also don’t live in london either, so I’ve been craving some Eat Chay magic for a while now.
This recipe comes nowhere CLOSE to matching the insane flavour skills of Liz and Joe, but it definitely satisfies a similar part of my brain! The pickled daikon is sharp while the crispy sweet potato is super moreish! If you’ve made any of my Sweet Apple Kimchi, that’s a great additional filling for this recipe. Give it a try! Oh, and if you’re in London, pay Eat Chay a visit!1 small daikon radish (sliced into 2mm discs using a mandolin)
Makes 10 Bao Buns
5 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium sweet potato (peeled and sliced into 20 1/2 cm discs)
3 tbsp cornflour
3 tbsp water
30g panko bread crumbs
4 tbsp vegan mayo
2 tsp sriracha
small bunch of fresh coriander
10 frozen bao buns (find them in any asian supermarket)
To Make the Bao
Place the sliced daikon in a small ziplock bag. In a small measuring jug, mix the vinegar, mirin and salt together until salt is dissolved. Pour the vinegar mix over the daikon, seal the bag and store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200c and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, mix together the corn flour and the water. Pour the panko into a separate bowl. Working with one slice at a time, dip the sweet potato in the cornstarch slurry, flip over and dip again, then roll and coat in the panko. Place each piece of sweet potato onto the prepared baking tray. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, flipping each slice half way through.
In a small bowl mix the mayo and the sriracha.
In the last ten minutes of baking, fill a saucepan with a few centimetres of boiling water and top with a bamboo steamer fitted with perforated greaseproof paper. Steam the bao for 4-6 mins in batches of three or more, depending on how large your steamer is.
Remove the sweet potato from the oven and take the buns out of the steamer. Carefully open up each bun. Spread a teaspoon of sriracha mayo on the bottom layer of each bun, next a few leaves of coriander, followed by two slices of sweet potato, topped with two slices of pickled daikon.