Taiwanese Vegan Gua Bao Burgers

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Taiwanese Vegan Gua Bao Burgers

Gua Bao burgers are a classic street food from Taiwan. It’s a kind of burger from a steamed yeast bun. Due to the steam cooking the buns are extremely soft and fluffy. You simply fold them and fill them to your liking. This recipe for vegan Gua Bao burgers combines fluffy buns, spicy jackfruit and a crunchy red cabbage salad with a creamy wasabi yoghurt sauce and a topping of coriander and peanuts. A true explosion of flavours.

Taiwanese vegan Gua Bao Burger

Original Taiwanese Gua Bao Burgers are unfortunately not vegan. They consist of four components: a steamed bun, braised pork belly, pickled Chinese cabbage and various toppings such as peanuts, cucumber, sprouts and mint. But we wouldn’t be Discover-Vegan if we didn’t find a substitute for the meat. So in this recipe we have replaced the pork belly with spicy jackfruit in teriyaki sauce.

Spicy Jackfruit as Filling for our Vegan Gua Bao Burgers

Have you already tried Jackfruit? It’s a tropical fruit that’s becoming more and more popular among vegans. Its flesh has a fibrous consistency and is perfect as a healthy, tasty meat substitute. You can find them mostly in cans but sometimes fresh in all Asian supermarkets and meanwhile also in big supermarkets and organic markets.

Taiwanese vegan Gua Bao Burger

Okay, I admit: These vegan Gua Bao burgers are NOT an easy dish that can be prepared in no time. The preparation takes several hours, because the yeast dough has to rise for at least one hour. Moreover, the preparation of the burger buns is a bit tricky, as they collapse like a soufflé at the slightest disturbance.

But don’t worry, they taste delicious even when they have collapsed, they just aren’t that fluffy. I myself only managed to get them right on the third attempt. The most important thing is that the dough can rise for a long time. Also, don’t succumb to curiosity and open the lid while steaming. Otherwise the buns will collapse immediately.

Thus, our vegan Gua Bao burgers are best suited for a long, boring Sunday or to really impress your guests.

Vegan Gua Bao Burger

Taiwanese Gua Bao Burger

Gua Bao is a classic street food from Taiwan and an extraordinary taste experience.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Cabbage, Cilantro, Jackfruit
Schwierigkeitsgrad: Challenging
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Burgers
Calories: 475kcal

Ingredients

For the burger buns:

  • 350 g wheat flour
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 175 ml lukewarm water

For the filling:

  • 1 can Jackfruit
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1-2 cm ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 30 g roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro

For the sauce:

  • 100 g vegan yoghurt from soy or lupine
  • 2 Tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ Tsp wasabi paste (use more if you like it spicy)
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom sauce

Instructions

For the burger buns:

  • Crumble the fresh yeast with your hands and mix with sugar and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Let the mixture soak for about 15 minutes.
  • Place this pre-dough in a large bowl with flour, olive oil, salt and lukewarm water. Knead into a soft dough with your hands or a food processor. The dough should be elastic and not sticky. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for at least 45 minutes.

For the sauce:

  • Mix vegan yoghurt with sesame oil, wasabi paste, chopped cilantro, lime juice, pressed or chopped garlic, soy sauce and mushroom sauce.

For the filling:

  • Drain the can with jackfruit and shred the jackfruit into fibers with your hands or a fork. Crush the harder parts with a fork or cut them into slices with a knife.
  • Cut the spring onions into rings. Peel garlic and ginger and chop finely.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger briefly. Add the jackfruit and fry for about 5 minutes. Mix with rice vinegar, maple syrup, soy and hoisin sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the red cabbage and carrot into thin strips. Pluck the cilantro leaves from the stalks and chop the peanuts coarsely. Mix these ingredients with a little salt and stir well.

For the burger buns:

  • Knead the dough again after the resting time and place it on a floured work surface. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Roll them out to a round or oval shape of about 10 to 15 cm size. Cut a piece of baking paper to size and place on one half. Fold the other half on top. Place the dough on another piece of baking paper and leave to rise for another 10 minutes.
    Preparation of the Burger Buns
  • Now fill a large pot with 2 to 3 cm of water and bring to a boil. Place the dough with the baking paper in a bamboo steam basket with some free space between them. Place the basket over the pot and steam for approx. 12-15 minutes with the lid closed. If you do not have a bamboo steam basket, you can also use a steam cooker insert for pot, as you use it for vegetables. Or you can improvise and create your own steam cooker: place an oven rack on a pot and place a second pot upside down over it.
  • Attention: The lid must remain closed during steaming, otherwise the burger buns will collapse and will not become fluffy. After steaming the buns should rest for a few minutes.
    Preparation of the Burger Buns

Preparation of the burgers:

  • Then fold the burger buns apart, spread the yoghurt sauce on the inside and fill the Gua Baos with the prepared jackfruit and salad. Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts.

Notes

The filling of the Gua Baos can of course be varied according to your liking. Marinated tofu, soya steaks or mushrooms are also excellent. The salad could, for example, be varied with white cabbage, onion rings, spinach leaves or other vegetables and herbs. If you cook for guests, you could also arrange all the ingredients on a plate and each guest can then fill his Gua Bao burger himself.

Nutritions

Serving: 1Burger | Calories: 475kcal (24%) | Carbohydrates: 70g (23%) | Protein: 11g (22%) | Fat: 18g (28%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 949mg (41%) | Potassium: 444mg (13%) | Fiber: 4g (17%) | Sugar: 15g (17%) | Vitamin A: 2200IU (44%) | Vitamin C: 28.1mg (34%) | Calcium: 43mg (4%) | Iron: 3.5mg (19%)

If you liked this recipe for Gua Bao burgers from Taiwan you may also like one of these other Asian recipes:

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Vegan Gua Bao Burgers with Jackfruit - Taiwanese Streetfood / Fingerfood

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3 Comments
  1. Is it possible to use regular all purpose f;our instead of wheat? Thank you!

    1. Hello Laura,
      yes of course that is possible. Regular all purpose flour is made out of wheat actually 😉
      Hope you enjoy the Gua Bao Burgers 😊
      Imke

  2. 5 stars
    Tried the recipe for the first time and it worked out great! We didn’t have a bamboo steam basket so we steamed the buns with an oven rack and a pot in top, which worked out really good. We also added some mango to the filling and which fitted pretty good. Thanks for the recipe, I can hardly recommend anyone to try it!

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