Vegan Curry Beef Bun Recipe | Mary’s Test Kitchen

Curry Beef Buns (ga lei ngo yuk bao 咖喱牛肉包) were my 2nd fave thing from Chinese bakeries during my pre-vegan days. This veganized version contains all the flavour and texture but is much healthier and, of course, contains no animal products. I guess you could call them Curry Beefless Buns!
For a soy-free version, please see the NOTES below for substitutions.

Deciding to live a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to go without your favourite flavours and textures. With some thought, creativity and a little trial and error, any dish can be made plant-based. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Links mentioned:
Curry Beefless Crumbles:
Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou):

Makes 16 small-regular sized buns

1 batch Curry “Beef” Filling (

1 cup almond milk or your choice of plant milk, war (105°F-115°F)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (one envelope traditional or instant)
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea/white bean brine)
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)

Optional maple wash:
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon water

1 batch Curry “Beef” Filling (

237ml almond milk or your choice of plant milk, war (41°C-46°C)
15cc brown sugar
11cc yeast (one envelope traditional or instant)
45ml aquafaba (chickpea/white bean brine)
5cc sea salt
440g all-purpose flour (plus extra for kneading)

Optional maple wash:
15ml maple syrup
15ml water
sesame seeds

Make the curry beefless filling. You can make this right before making the dough or do it ahead of time and store in the fridge. Please see this link for the directions:

For the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the warm plant milk, yeast and brown sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes. The yeast will bloom, letting you know that it is active. If it does not, your yeast might be dead or the water too hot or too cold. Stir in the aquafaba and salt.

Add a half cup of flour and whisk until completely combined. repeat 1-2 times or until the mixture is too doughy to whisk. Switch to chopsticks or spatula and add more flour in the same manner until the dough has formed enough to knead by hand. I used 3 1/2 cups of flour up to this point.

Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 – 2 minutes. The dough should be fairly soft and slightly sticky. You may need to sprinkle on extra flour so that the dough doesn’t stick too much but avoid adding too much flour. Too much flour will result in a stiff dough and non-fluffy buns.

Place the dough back in the mixing bowl and let rest in a warm, draft-free location until doubled in size (about one hour). When the dough has doubled, scrape it from the bowl, back on to your floured surface and divide into 16 pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball shape. Then, starting from teh dough ball that you make first, flatten it into a disc-like shape. Do not make it too thin.

Hold the dough in your palm and add 3-4 tablespoons of the filling to the middle. Pull up the dough from the sides and pinch at the middle to cover the filling up. Pinch and twist the puckered ends to secure and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet with the puckered side down. Repeat with all the dough balls and space out the buns on the baking sheet so they have room to rise.

Cover the buns with a warm, damp towel and let rise until doubled in size. If the filling you used is warm, it will rise quickly. If is cold, it will rise more slowly. To speed up the process, place the buns in a warm location.

Preheat the oven to 400°F or 205°C.

Mix the maple syrup and water together.

When the buns have doubled in size, carefully brush the maple wash on to the tops of the buns. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top if desired.

Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes. The buns should come out nicely browned. Let cool before serving.

For soy-free: use about 1 1/2 cups lentils instead of TVP and skip the water. Instead of soy sauce and hoisin, go for liquid aminos/tamari and ketchup.

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  1. How about Jamaican Beef Patties? A properly seasoned TVP would work perfectly inside of a vegan pastry crust. I'm half Jamaican, by the way, so you can imagine that I too have a nostalgia for my culture foods from my pre vegan life.

  2. When I was young, my family was stationed in Japan. Our favorite junk food snack while there was pizza-man from 7-11s. I would love to be able to make a vegan version now, it would back a bunch of memories of stuffing my face as a kid. Here's the only resource I could find on them:

    I will try making yours in the meantime and maybe they will make me forget all about pizza-man.

  3. Woah! That maple syrup water trick is awesome!!! I just found your channel from it being mentioned on Hot For Food, and now I'm binge watching all the episodes. It's 2.45am here in Sydney Australia and it's my birthday so I'm too excited to sleep haha!
    I seriously love your channel and recipes though, sub'd instantly!! Xx Sarah

  4. OMG this looks amazing!!! This is a must must must try!!! Oh G I feel hungry now lol… Can you veganize Icy wind cake??? It's my favorite cake but how to make the egg part?? Hope you can help 🙂 All the best! :)

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