Sticky Paneer Bao. Soft, pillowy, and just melt-in-the-mouth, this sticky paneer bao is a perfect example of how to incorporate Indian flavors and other Asian flavors. They are spicy, sweet, and super delicious. It's amazing how easy this dish is to make, and it is a great appetizer or dinner side.
So I am always intimidated by making bao and had this perception that it's not an easy thing to do. My oldest has asking me to make bao for quite some time however because of something or the other, I avoided it. So, this morning, I thought I would try to make it, and hopefully, it would work. In addition, I thought of combining Indian and other Asian flavors, which led to sticky paneer bao.
I was looking for a foolproof recipe and while searching on the internet I stumbled upon a recipe from seonkyounglongest.com. It was a simple bao recipe. I loved the idea of easy and foolproof, and I'm so glad that I tried that recipe. It was just amazing for a first-timer like me, and it came out super good.
Why Sticky Paneer Filling?
Paneer and a North Indian kitchen have an amazing relationship. You can take us anywhere but paneer will still rule our vegetarian kitchen. Initially, I thought about making tofu filling with a super spicy sticky sauce, but I wanted to experiment with Indian flavors. Hence, I made some changes and instead used paneer.
How to Make the Sticky Paneer Filling-
Just toss the thin, stripes of paneer in a beautifully sweet and spicy sauce made of dark soy sauce, tomato ketchup, Thai red chili sauce, a little bit of brown sugar, and chili flakes. Add some onion slices, green pepper slices, and minced garlic. This is super easy to put together and fun to make. Additionally, you can always tone down the spice level according to your need and taste buds. I think this paneer bao is absolutely delicious.
How to Make Bao-
Combine warm milk, warm water, sugar, oil, and active dry yeast together. Let it bloom in a warm place. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a soft and supple dough. I have used an instant pot to proof the dough. I have done it on the yogurt mode for 2 hours.
Then, roll the dough after proofing into an even thick sheet. If you need to, you can sprinkle some flour on it. Roll it into, ideally, a ¼ inch thickness. After that, cut the dough into your desired size with a cookie cutter or glass. I made around 22 bao from this much dough.
Brush the side of the dough after cutting and fold it in half. Place them lined on a parchment paper or silicon pad for some time to rise and meanwhile, prepare the steam. Steam them in a bamboo or normal steamer for 12-14 minutes.
Lastly, fill them with your choice of filling and enjoy. Here, in my case, my teens enjoyed sticky paneer filling. It was totally yum.
You can try some other Asian recipes to go with it-
Sticky Paneer Bao
- ½ Cup Water (Warm)
- ½ Cup Milk (Warm)
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 2.5 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- ½ Tsp Baking Powder
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- Combine water, milk, sugar, oil, and active dry yeast till they dissolve.
- Let it sit until the yeast is active.
- Combine all the dry ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and make a soft supple dough. You can use a stand mixer or your hands.
- Place the dough in a big mixing bowl or instant pot and proof for 2 hours. You can use more than 2 hours if needed.
- Place the dough on a clean surface. Roll it into ¼ inch thick dough.
- Cut the dough with the help of a cookie cutter or glass into your desired size. Brush the dough circles with oil. Fold them in half and place them on parchment paper for 30 minutes.
- Bring water to a boil on a steamer or pot. Cover and steam them for about 12-14 minutes.
- Fill them with your choice of filling and enjoy.
Sticky Paneer Bao (Filling)
- 2 Cups Paneer Slices
- 1 Cup Onion Slices
- 1 Cup Green Onion, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Thai Red Chili Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Green Onion
- Take a pan. Add oil and heat it.
- Add minced garlic and stir it for 30 seconds.
- Add onion and saute it till it looks transparent.
- Add green pepper and paneer to the pan and saute for 1 minute.
- Combine all the sauces and pour into the pan.
- Mix it well and garnish with scallions.
- Fill them in between the fluffy bao and enjoy.