Welcome to The Storied Recipe! I host a unique podcast where every guest gives me a recipe that’s significant to their culture, life, and memories. I make, photograph, and share the recipe with you. I invite you to listen to Helen's story as you make her Vegan Bolo Bao buns.
These bolo bao buns are.... amazing. They're light, fluffy, and sweet (if you make them correctly and don't over prove the dough, as I did the second time I made them). But! That's not all! The buns are then encased in a thin layer dough of dough with an almost shortbread-like texture. As the buns cook, the sweet dough surrounding the buns crisp and brown and turn absolutely heavenly.
This recipe was given to me by my podcast guest, Helen Au. she shared a beautiful childhood memory surrounding these buns. I'm honored to share it with you:
Growing up, my dad was the sole financial supporter of our family. My mom preferred to stay at home to take care of my siblings and I, and ensure we won’t get into any trouble. My dad worked at various restaurants in Boston as a chef. Every morning before he heads to work, my mom would prepare a mug of Iced Vietnamese Coffee for him and along with some sort of bread, oftentimes, pineapple buns, steamed buns or some sort of milk bread. I remember asking my mom why she didn’t make pineapple buns at home to save money, but she didn’t know how to and enjoys visiting the Chinese bakeries downtown. So, when I was in middle school, after discovering finally how to work the oven we had at home, I made my first batch of Pineapple Buns after researching countless recipes and key ingredients, in hopes that they would taste good enough that my dad can bring them with him before he heads to work in the morning. I remember spending the entire day in the kitchen measuring the flour repeatedly and waiting for the dough to rise. At the end, when the kitchen timer came off, I couldn’t be more excited. They smelled exactly the same as the pineapple buns we get. However, they were a bit smaller and a tiny bit denser.My mom was so surprised that I was able to make them and was really happy with them even though I was a little bit down that they were not as fluffy as I thought they would be. My mom heated them the next day for my dad to bring to work and even though they did not look the same as his usual ones, he brought them to work every day that week until they were gone. My dad is not huge in expressing his feelings, but I know that he appreciated them. Since then, I made them a few other times for him to bring to work until I went to college. Now that I am vegan, I made a vegan version of these Chinese Pineapple Buns, in remembrance of the buns I made for my dad.
Episodes Related to this Bolo Bao Recipe
Visit the episode post: