Few things set my creative cooking brain afire more than a food loving pal's birthday party. I get to make them a prezzie that they eat, is yummy, and they don't have to worry about reading it, or wearing it around me, or mentioning how much they're enjoying it. It just quietly digests and becomes part of them. And we all need more Big Mac Steamed Buns lurking in our cellular structures.
I fully realize how innocent this sucker looks from the outside. It could almost be healthy. What could possibly be in there other than chives, mushrooms, maybe some tempeh, and ginger?
And then wham, you hit Special Sauce, shredded cabbage, and cheese, and a miniature burger, beneath the tomato and pickle. And then you know this ain't your average steamed bun.
Ah, the Lettuce Dilemma: there was no way I was sticking any true lettuce, even Romaine, in there - I figured the tomato would wilt enough for gross factor - so I went with a small head of the youngest, tenderest, sweetest cabbage I could find, sliced very, very thin. Worked decently.
Big Mac Steam-Baked Buns
Basic Steamed Bun Dough, a la this recipe (I 2/3rded this recipe, as these buns are larger than average)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
12 miniature burger patties (either cut them from Boca Vegans or try this insanely good mix), brushed with a mustard/EB mix
3 slices of vegan "American" cheese, quartered
3 small half-ripe Roma tomatoes, sliced thin
2 large dill pickles, sliced
3 scallions, white parts only, chopped
3 cups finely shredded young green cabbage (you're going to have leftover slaw- which is AWESOME - as it is deeeeelish on everything)
1 cup Veganaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons sweet relish
Squirt o' mustard
Some assembly required.
Preheat your oven to 350f.
Prep your patties by basting them with the EB/mustard mixture and baking them until they're close, but not quite, finished. Top with vegan cheese. Set aside.
Toss your shredded cabbage with the Veganaise, ketchup, mustard and relish. Mix well. Set aside.
Set a pan of simmering water on the bottom rack of your oven.
Cut your dough into 12 equal pieces. Keep the other pieces covered while you roll a chunk out on a lightly floured surface to a 6 inch diameter. Place first a patty, then a pickle, then tomato, then scallions, then the cabbage mix (about a tablespoon's worth) in the center of the dough. Wet the edges, and pinch it together in 4 places, then gently grab the gather and twist, creating a slightly swirled closure. Dust with sesame seeds (you might need to wet the top slightly to get them to adhere) and set aside on a lightly-oiled baking sheet.
Repeat until you've created all of your monsters.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until they turn golden-brown. Under bake them slightly - you want a soft and chewy interior once you bite through the outer crust.
If you're prepping these an hour or two ahead of time, cover them with a towel and let them sit on the counter until it's party time.