Can you imagine something being buttery, without using any butter? And at the same time, being filled with sweet (but not too sweet) goodness?
These vegan, gluten free bean paste buns are amazing, and so addictive! I've been having a hard time not gobbling them one after the other.
And they came about because, a few years ago, I used to live near a Chinese bakery that sold red bean paste buns. After twice-weekly practices with my dance company, I would go into the store and treat myself to a bun.
I've missed red bean paste buns so much since I had to give up gluten, and I've finally managed to re-create them! They're so easy, too. You can use store-bought red bean paste, or make your own according to my recipe. This time, I made mung bean paste since I had split mung beans on hand, but red adzuki beans are most common.
This style of slicing the buns into sections was inspired by this regular, glutinous recipe from Foodie Baker.
I liked the way it looked, but you can do them as simple buns, instead. However, if you slice them, they pull apart easily, and you can see their lovely insides.
See? Lovely, sweet bean insides.
And then you can break them into bites-sized pieces. Like this:
Yeah, I ate the other pieces.
I ate ALL the pieces ;)
The Gluten Free Bun Dough Recipe I used is the same as the one I use for my Miniature Pizza Pies / Fatayer.
It is very quick and easy. Make up the dough and divide it into 16 equal-sized portions.
You'll want to make the bean paste ahead of time. I used split mung beans - you can buy these already skinned and split, vs the whole mung beans I use for my Mung Bean Curry, or my Veggie Sprouts and Cabbage Wraps. They are small and yellow, as oyu can see in the above photos.
Or, to expedite the process, you can buy sweet red bean paste from most Asian markets.
Red Bean Paste or Mung Bean Paste
1/2 cup dried adzuki beans OR split mung beans, rinsed and soaked overnight or 6-8 hrs
1 cup water (plus more as needed to cover beans)
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch of salt and/or butter/oil if desired
1. Rinse beans and soak overnight, or 6-8 hours.
2. In a saucepot, cover beans with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 30min-1hr, until beans are soft and the water is absorbed, adding more water as needed to create to prevent burning. Use an immersion blender to create a smooth paste.
3. Add sugar and optional salt or oil. Keep pot over low heat, stirring until sugar blends with beans. Let paste cool before using.
Now follow the pictorial below to form your buns!
Roll cooled bean paste into 16 balls, approximately 1.5 Tbsp each
Divide dough into 16 equal portions. Keep unused pieces covered with a damp paper towel. They will continue to rise a little bit beneath the towel.
On a surface dusted with tapioca starch, roll dough out into a circle. Place a bean paste ball in the centre, and fold dough up over ball. Roll dough ball between your palms to create a smooth ball.
If slicing dough into sections, flatten ball slightly, and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush with olive oil.
Using a sharp knife, slice down into dough, near to the centre.
Let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, until dough puffs up.
Bake in 375F oven for 18-20 minutes, until edges begin to brown.
These are best served warm, so if you want to reheat them, I suggest popping them in the oven for a few minutes, or microwave them for about 30 seconds.
They also freeze well, and last in the freezer up to one month.
Do you have a favourite stuffed bun recipe?
Do you ever use red bean paste?
Have you checked out my gluten free pasta book Recipes for Unusual Gluten Free Pasta: Pierogis, Dumplings, Desserts and More! ? Get yourself a copy and start making GF won tons, pierogis, dumplings, and orzo today :)