Trying to work out whether bao buns are vegan friendly can be a bit challenging.
Baked goods like buns often contain many ingredients and some of them may be of animal origin.
To make sure that you’re only consuming food that aligns with your vegan lifestyle and diet, I’ve investigated the ingredients and production processes of bao buns.
Here’s what I found.
Are Bao Buns Vegan?
No. Bao buns are not necessarily a vegan food.
Steamed bao buns are not vegan because their original recipe contains sugar and uses meat as its filling. These buns also get their distinct taste and texture from the addition of animal products, such as dairy milk. So, if you’re vegan, common or traditional bao buns are not for you.
However, with many vegan substitutes for animal-derived products and by-products available on the market, it is possible to find or make vegan bao buns. To do this, you’ll need to find a recipe that uses vegan ingredients or alter a non-vegan recipe to fit your needs.
Are Bao Buns Cruelty Free?
Yes, bao buns are cruelty free.
The production of bao buns does not involve any animal testing or cruelty. Meat and other animal-derived ingredients may be used in the filling of bao buns, but the production of these ingredients does not require any animal testing.
The product also does not use any ingredients that are tested on animals, such as artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
So, if you’re looking for a cruelty-free bun option, bao buns are a good choice. Just be sure to check the recipe or an ingredients list to make sure that it doesn’t contain any animal products.
What Are Bao Buns Made Of?
Here are the common ingredients of bao buns:
- Flour (all purpose flour/cake flour)
- Active dry yeast
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil
- Wheat starch
- Vegetable shortening
- Rice vinegar
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
Let’s break down each ingredient of bao buns:
Flour (all purpose flour/cake flour)
Flour is a common ingredient in most baked goods. It’s made by grinding grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, or barley.
All-purpose flour is the most common type of flour used in baking and it’s made from a blend of different kinds of wheat.
Cake flour is a type of wheat flour that has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour. It’s often used in cakes and other desserts that are delicate and need a lighter texture.
These are vegan-friendly ingredients.
Active dry yeast
Active dry yeast is a type of yeast that is often used in baking. It’s made by drying out live yeast cells to kill them.
Once the yeast is rehydrated in water, it “wakes up” and starts to eat the sugars in the flour, which causes the bao bun dough to rise. This is a vegan-friendly ingredient.
Salt is a common ingredient in most recipes. It’s used to add flavor or as a preservative. Salt is a vegan ingredient.
Sugar is a common ingredient in baking. It’s used to sweeten recipes or add flavor. The majority of sugar is processed using animal bone char to make it whiter. Unless the sugar you used is organic, raw, or unrefined, it is probably not safe for vegan consumption.
Baking powder is a leavening agent that’s used in baking to help dough rise. It’s made of an acid and a base, which react with each other to create carbon dioxide gas. This gas gets trapped in the dough, causing it to expand and rise. Baking powder is a vegan-friendly ingredient.
Vegetable oil is a type of fat that’s made from plants. It’s often used in baking or as a cooking oil. Sesame oil and canola oil are used in many bao bun recipes online. Vegetable oil is a vegan ingredient.
Milk is a common ingredient in baking and it can be used to make dough more tender. Milk is an animal product.
Wheat starch is a type of starch that’s made from wheat. It’s often used in baking as a thickener or to add texture. Wheat starch is a vegan ingredient.
Vegetable shortening is a type of fat that’s made from plants. It’s often used in baking to make dough more tender. Vegetable shortening is a vegan ingredient.
Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar that’s made from rice. It’s often used in Asian cooking as a condiment or to add flavor. Rice vinegar is a vegan ingredient.
Sesame is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. It’s used for flavor or as a garnish. Sesame is a vegan ingredient.
Hoisin sauce is a type of sauce that’s made from soybeans, garlic, and chili peppers. It’s often used in Asian cooking as a condiment or to add flavor. Hoisin sauce is a vegan ingredient.
Soy sauce is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. It’s made from fermented soybeans and it’s used for flavor. Soy sauce is a vegan ingredient.
Why Aren’t Bao Buns Vegan?
Bao buns are a delicious and popular food, but they’re not vegan. Traditional bao buns contain milk and sugar. Milk is, of course, an animal product, and sugar is often processed using animal bone char.
So, if you’re looking for a vegan bao bun recipe, you’ll need to find one that uses plant-based milk and sugar. There are many recipes available online that fit these criteria. With a little bit of searching, you should be able to find one that suits your tastes.
Are Good & Gather Bao Buns Vegan?
No. Good & Gather Bao Buns are not vegan. They contain cooked pork.
This bao bun brand is not vegan.
Are Xi’an Famous Zhu Recipe Pork Buns Vegan?
No. Xi’an Famous Zhu Recipe Pork Buns are not vegan. These bao buns contain pork as their filling.
This bao bun is not vegan.
Are Golden Tiger Butterfly Bao Buns Vegan?
No. Golden Tiger Butterfly Bao Buns are not vegan. These plain and frozen bao buns have sugar that is probably processed with animal bone char.
This bao bun is not vegan.
Are Yutaka Gua Bao Buns Vegan?
No. Yutaka Gua Bao Buns are not vegan. These plain and frozen bao buns contain milk and sugar.
This bun is not a vegan product.
Are M&S Bao Buns Vegan?
No. M&S Bao Buns are not vegan. This plain and frozen bao bun contains sugar.
This bun is not a vegan product.
Vegan Alternatives to Bao Buns
Want to try making vegan bao buns at home? Here are some of my favorite vegan Bao bun recipes on the web:
- Vegan Bao Buns With Pulled Jackfruit by Lazy Cat Kitchen
- Pulled Mushroom Bao Buns by Live Eat Learn
- Shiitake Mushroom Vegan Bao Buns by Connoisseurus Veg
- Vegan Tofu Bao Buns With Pickled Vegetables by Tasty
- Pulled Jackfruit Steamed Bao Buns by Cook’s Hideout
These are delicious vegan bao bun recipes that you can try making at home. All you need is to replace the animal-based ingredients with plant-based alternatives. With a little effort, you can create delicious and healthy vegan bao buns that everyone can enjoy!
Be careful with vegetarian bao buns recipes, they are not 100% vegan recipes for making bao buns. Most of the time, they use eggs as an ingredient. So if you want to make sure that your bao buns are vegan, check the recipe first, or better yet, try making them yourself!
So, there you have it! These popular Chinese steamed buns are not safe for vegan consumption. The bao dough contains milk and refined sugar, both of which are avoided by those following a strict vegan diet. If you really want to enjoy these buns, you’ll have to find a recipe or vegan brand that uses vegan-friendly ingredients and make them yourself at home.
With a few ingredients like parchment paper, plant-based milk, organic sugar, and a bamboo steamer, you can create delicious steaming bao buns that everyone will love! So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!