Bulgogi Tofu Korean Bao

Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by  Kate Bradley (Kenko Kitchen)  for  Nourish Magazine  July/August 2014.

Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Kate Bradley (Kenko Kitchen) for Nourish Magazine July/August 2014.

After 8 weeks, this is the last of my Korean recipes that I present you with and I saved the best until last! Bulgogi Tofu Korean Bao! These steamed buns, for those who have not consumed a 'bao' before, are absolutely soft, pillowy bites of deliciousness. Paired with the sweet and saltiness of the bulgogi tofu and you have a match made in Korean heaven! These are great to serve up to guests as an entree, party snack or just something to really wow the family or a friend! They are simple to make (I promise) and are so fun to put together! You can mix and match ingredients - adding in more salad or flavours as you see fit!

If you don't like the steamed buns, you can simply just make the Bulgogi Tofu on it's own and serve it with some brown rice and vegetables, or enjoy it with some salad! It is an absolute treat and if you're yet to taste the Bulgogi flavour before I urge you to give this recipe a try!

I hope you have enjoyed this little taste of Korea on Kenkō. I will continue to bring you new recipes from countries around the globe each week and the next country to be featured is Jamaica, so be sure to get stocked up on some pineapple and coconut!

 Serves: 4-5


For the bulgogi tofu
250g tofu block
5 spring onions
1/2 brown onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1” knob ginger (grated)
1/3 cup grated nashi pear
2 tbsp apple sauce
3/4 cup tamari
4 tbsp sesame oil
6 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp chill flakes
1 tsp sriracha
5 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp rice vinegar

For the bao buns
4 1/2 cups good quality bakers flour or white spelt flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white coconut sugar or xylitol
2 tbsp rice bran oil
8g yeast
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tbsp sesame oil

To serve
1/2 cucumber
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp mirin

To begin, chop the tofu into 1/2cm thick pieces and place into a dish. Slice the spring onions into 1cm pieces and place on top. Cut up the brown onion into slices and also place on top.

Place all other remaining bulgogi tofu ingredients into a bowl and then pour over the tofu/spring onion/onion. Place a lit onto the dish and place in the fridge over night or at least 4 hours.

To make the bao, begin by placing the yeast into the warm water in a bowl. Add in 1 cup of the flour and mix in. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for an hour.

Dissolve the sugar and oil into 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir and then let cool.

Add in the remaining flour into the boa mix alongside the cooled sugar water. Knead the bread until smooth and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea town and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled.

Divide into 12-15 balls and knead each ball.

Flatten into a oval, place a chopstick in the middle and fold over. to create your “bun”. Remove chopstick, and place bun onto a small sheet of baking paper and place into the steamer. Let sit in the steamer  to rise further for 10-15 minutes. Brush each bun with sesame oil and then let steam for 10 minutes in a tightly sealed steamer.

To cook the bulgogi tofu simply place into a fry pan and cook for 15 minutes or until nice and caramalized. Remove from heat.

To serve, place some tofu into a fresh boa bun, add in some cucumber, a splash of mirin and sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately.