If you clicked on this recipe, it probably means you love three-ingredient recipes like I do, right? Who doesn’t? Fast and easy are two words rarely seen in the bread-making world, but this recipe for Vegan Steamed Buns “Mantou” Recipe is just that, and then some.
Because let’s be honest, it’s so difficult to make time for homemade bread when all you have is the weekend and the laundry, your plants, your pets and other housework chores are calling your name! That’s why I wanted (and NEEDED) this recipe to be quick and easy.
Thankfully, this recipe conveniently uses just 3 ingredients: tofu, self-rising flour and oil. Just mix, shape and steam. No yeast. No kneading. No proofing.
These pillowy buns have a decadent, chewy bite and lovely density, especially when straight out of the steamer. And unlike the traditional yeasted bread dough, the addition of tofu brings protein and nutrients to the conversation. They’re healthier, but I also love how these buns are so versatile. You can stuff them with a sweet red bean paste or black sesame filling for a quick indulgence, or a savory meat filling or any other protein for a light lunch. You can also just steam them without any filling at all and they become a fantastic side to complement any meal.
Now how’s that for a three-ingredient recipe? Easy, healthy and delicious. Now there’s no reason for not having freshly made steamed buns at the table. Flavor, nutrition and convenience are three words I really like.
More Tofu Recipes (HERE)
Ingredients Used to Make 3-Ingredient Vegan Steamed Buns Without Yeast
**I’ve linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
Tofu – high in protein and nutrient-dense, tofu contains minerals such as calcium, manganese, selenium, zinc, as well as B vitamins. It’s also a “complete protein” because it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids your body needs. A ½ cup serving of firm tofu provides around 8 grams of protein. Definitely a keeper.
Tip: In this post, I used regular firm tofu, but I found that the texture is much better if you use firm silken tofu, like the one from Mori-Nu which you can find in most Asian grocery stores. You can also buy them online, here
If you want to see a recipe where I use silken tofu, refer to this recipe here (Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste filling)
- Self-Rising Flour – you can actually make your own self-rising flour at home! Recipe below:
- 1 cup of self-rising flour = 1 cup of all-purpose flour + 1.5 tsp of baking powder + 1/4 tsp of salt
- Oil – any oil of choice. I used light olive oil – but if you don’t have olive oil, you can use coconut oil, or avocado oil here if you’d like.
How to Make
Steamed Buns Without Yeast
mash the tofu with the flour until smooth.
Mix in oil once the dough comes together. You can use a spoon but it’s faster to mix using your hands.
Divide the dough into 6-8 portions, then steam for 15 minutes
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Sweet Filling, such as this Japanese Styled Sweet Red Bean Paste Filling –> RECIPE HERE
- Savory Filling – This isn’t a traditional filling, but I tried stuffing it with Japchae, a Korean clear noodles dish, since I had some leftovers in the fridge
- Add some color to the buns – matcha powder, food coloring, etc!
- Other than coloring you can also add different flavorings to the dough before cooking. For example, you can add either a teaspoon of coffee extract or espresso powder, cocoa, cinnamon or Cardamom Powder. They’re not typically added in a traditional recipe, but you’re welcome to experiment!
Final Tips for Steamed Buns
- You can use regular tofu, but the texture won’t be the same. Use silken tofu for the best texture. You can see the difference below. The one made with silken tofu has a lighter chew and texture. The crumb is tighter than the one made with the regular tofu.
How to Store
- These steamed buns can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours. For longer storage, I would store the buns in the fridge inside an airtight container. They are good for 3-5 days in the fridge.
More Bread Recipes (HERE)
Easy Vegan Steamed Buns without Yeast
- 12 oz firm tofu, regular or silken*
- 2 cups of self rising flour
- 4 Tbsp light olive oil
- Mix flour and tofu together, then mix in oil when the dough comes together
- Divide dough into 6-8 portions
- Steam the buns for 15 minutes