Mushroom Bao

This week’s 52 weeks of baking brings a temporary pause to the food-focused celebration of Black History Month. Instead, we head to a Meatless Monday celebration of Chinese New Year with mushroom bao from East by Meera Sodha.

I had been looking forward to cooking from this cookbook for some time. Made in India has made me rethink my ability to cook with Indian flavors, and I love Sodha’s personal style of writing.

I made two other dishes from East prior to tonight. The first was the shiitake pho (p87), which required a lot of sprucing up to give it flavor. The second was the kung pao cauliflower (p235), which also disappointed. It needed more sauce. It needed more oomph.


a bowl of pho
a bowl of kung pao cauliflower

I decided to give East one more try. It just happened to be coincidence that this week’s reddit challenge allowed me to do so.

I had never made bao buns before but have wanted to for some time. You see, bao buns bring me one step closer to achieving Peking duck nirvana. But Sodha’s recipe for vegan mushroom bao was easy enough. The bao steamed nicely. The pickles needed a smidge of salt and sugar. The mushrooms, cooked in a peanut sauce, satisfied the kiddo, who ate two. I just wanted something more.

I know lots of people love this cookbook and would suggest other recipes to try. The braised tofu in particular seems to have a lot of fans. But I think I’ll stick with Made in India. And at some point I’ll make those Peking duck bao.

Are you an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking? Get inspiration here:


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