These healthy vegan oatmeal steamed buns (or baozi) are the perfect way to fuel your day. Made with wholesome old-fashioned oatmeal, they're a nutritious and filling breakfast option that's also vegan-friendly. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy breakfast on the go, or a delicious and healthy meal to enjoy with your family, these steamed buns are sure to satisfy. So why not give them a try today and see for yourself how delicious healthy eating can be?
Why I love this Recipe
- Soft and fluffy
- Easy to make if you have a stand mixer
- No eggs, no milk, no dairy needed!
- higher in fiber, to keep you fuller longer
- lower calorie and lower carb, thanks to the oatmeal replacing some of the flour
- makes the best breakfast and snack
Ingredients Used to Make Vegan Oatmeal Steamed Buns
**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 🙂
- Bread Flour - I used bread flour for this recipe (I use King Arthur Bread Flour most), which I prefer and highly recommend for the best texture and structure. Please read the note on the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Oatmeal - Incorporating oatmeal into these steamed buns is a healthy twist that not only adds a chewy texture but also contributes to the recipe's overall nutrition. Oatmeal is a whole grain powerhouse that is loaded with fiber, protein, and essential vitamins, providing sustained energy and promoting healthy digestion. You can use old-fashioned (rolled) or quick-cooking oats, but I wouldn't recommend using steel cut for this recipe.
- Instant Yeast - you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast (unlike instant yeast) needs to be activated in water, which we don't add until the very end.
- Sugar - I used raw cane sugar, but you can use regular granulated white sugar, or healthier alternatives like coconut, date, or maple sugars which are less processed and more natural. I also sometimes like to use honey powder.
- For yeasted breads, I would not recommend using sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia powder since they can cause the bread to not rise properly. If you prefer a lower sugar recipe, you're welcome to leave out the sugar. The bread might taste slightly plain, but it will not significantly impact the shape or texture of the bread.
- Salt - Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Baking Powder - helps to puff up the dough during the steaming process.
- Olive Oil - I like using light olive oil since it has a neutral flavor, but you can also any cooking oil of your choice like coconut oil, or avocado oil instead
- I used a KitchenAid Stand Mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. You're also welcome to use a bread machine, or knead the dough by hand.
More Oatmeal Recipes (HERE)
What I Used for the Filling
- Sweetened Red Bean Paste (a.k.a. Koshi An): You can find Sweetened Red Bean paste in most Asian grocery stores, and online (Amazon). There are Fine and Coarse kinds (I used coarse).
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Vegan Oatmeal Steamed Buns
Mix 1 cup of oats with 1 cup of water. Heat the mixture for a total of 120 seconds in the microwave, stirring it halfway mark (after 60 seconds) to prevent splattering. Set aside to cool.
Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder) in the bowl of the stand mixer.
Mix in the warm oatmeal mixture and ⅓ water to the dry ingredients
Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute, until all the ingredients are mostly combined.
Add the olive oil next, and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Let rise for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, punch down the dough then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 10-12 pieces.
Prepare filling by rolling prepared red bean paste (or other filling of choice) into 2-3 Tbsp sized balls
Wrap the dough pieces around prepared filling, and place on a piece of parchment square, or a sheet of steamer paper.
Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Transfer the buns to the steaming pan, and steam for 15 minutes
Gently remove from steamer pan with a spatula (tongs are not recommended since they ruin the shape of the buns). Serve when warm. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
- Looking for ways to jazz up your steamed buns? Try adding some color with matcha powder, food coloring, or other natural ingredients. You can also get creative with the dough by adding different flavorings like coffee extract, cocoa powder, or spices like cinnamon and cardamom. Don't be afraid to experiment and create something new!
Different Filling Options for Vegan Oatmeal Steamed Buns
If you want to enjoy these steamed buns with a variety of fillings, there are many fun and delicious filling options to choose from. Here are some ideas!
- Shiro-an (sweetened white bean paste) – on Amazon, here, or here's a Shortcut White Bean Paste Recipe I make when I’ve run out of Shiro An
- Mung Bean paste - sweet and delightfully yellow, homemade mung bean paste is a perfect mochi filling for those who are looking for a healthier bean paste alternative. Here's my 2-Ingredient mung bean paste recipe here
- Savory fillings - like teriyaki salmon (to make, mix 8 oz of cooked and flaked salmon with 3 Tbsp of sweet soy sauce glaze. Can also use canned salmon or tuna.)
How to Store Oatmeal Steamed Buns
- These steamed buns can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge inside an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- For longer storage, place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, re-steam buns in a steamer for about 10 minutes.
NOTE ON SUBSTITUTIONS
- Unfortunately, gluten-free flours cannot be substituted for bread flour in this recipe.
- All-purpose flour can be used instead of bread flour, but will produce softer, less chewy steamed buns.
- Weigh your flour for the best results. 1 cup of bread flour = 120 grams / 4.23 oz. This is recommended since scooping the flour directly from the bag can can pack the flour into the measuring cup, and this means you’ll end up with more flour than what’s called for in the recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can measure the flour by spooning pre-sifted flour into the measuring cup, then using the straight end of the spoon to level the flour across the top to sweep off the excess.
- To make this recipe in the bread machine: add all the dry ingredients into the machine, stir briefly before adding the wet ingredients. The machine can be set for basic. Check the dough for consistency and adjust by adding additional water (or flour) before the end of the first kneading cycle. If you want to add additional nuts or dried fruits, leave them aside, and only them 3 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle.
Healthy Vegan Oatmeal Steamed Buns
- 1 cup old fashioned oats (80g), but quick cooking oats are also ok
- 1 cup water , for soaking the oats
- 3 cups bread flour (360 g), sifted and leveled*
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar , read notes** for substitutes
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ⅓ cup additional water
- 2 Tbsp light olive oil , or melted coconut oil or avocado oil
Steamed Bun Filling
- 1 (500 g) pkg sweetened red bean paste (koshi an)
- Mix 1 cup of oats with 1 cup of water. Heat the mixture for a total of 120 seconds in the microwave, stirring it halfway mark (after 60 seconds) to prevent splattering. Set aside to cool.
- Mix all the dry ingredients (bread flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder) in the bowl of the stand mixer.
- Mix in the warm oatmeal mixture and ⅓ water.
- Start to knead the dough at a low setting (speed 2) for about a minute, until all the ingredients are mostly combined.
- Add the olive oil next, and continue to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a smooth, supple ball.
- Note: Additional 1-2 Tablespoons of almond milk (or additional bread flour) may be necessary depending on the protein content of the flour, as well as the humidity and temperature of the kitchen.
- Remove the finished dough from the mixer bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60-90 minutes***
- When the dough is ready, punch down the dough then remove from bowl. Place on a generously floured surface and divide into 12 equal sized pieces.
- Wrap the dough pieces around the prepared filling, and place them on a piece of parchment square, or a sheet of steamer paper.
- Cover and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil water and prepare the steamer
- Transfer the buns to the steaming pan and steam the buns for 15 minutes
- Note: You can store these steamed buns, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 1 day. For longer storage, you can place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and freeze up to 3 months, then defrost them at room temperature or steam them again for just 10 minutes to enjoy them just like fresh.