Bao buns are a delicious, Asian-inspired dish that can be topped with practically anything. They’re perfect for a quick and easy meal, but what about the side dishes? What should you serve with bao buns to round out the meal?
If you’re having a hard time finding good side dish ideas online, don’t worry – you’re not alone! I’ve experienced the same thing, which is why I decided to share this article with a list of sides that I’ve tried over the last few months.
So, without further ado, here are 15 of the best side dishes for bao buns:
Side Dishes For Bao Buns:
- Edamame beans
- Pickled carrot salad
- Cucumber salad
- Dipping sauces
- Pickled cucumber
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Rice noodles
- Fried rice
- Stir-fry vegetables
- Spicy sesame noodles
- Steamed pak choi
- Crushed avocado
- Fried chicken with pickled onion/cucumber
Edamame beans are a great side dish for bao buns. The beans are a perfect complement to the other ingredients in the buns, and they add a delicious taste to the dish.
Their sweet and nutty flavor pairs well with the savory flavors of the meat and vegetables in the buns. Plus, they’re a good source of vitamins and minerals.
To prepare edamame beans, simply boil them in water for two to three minutes. Then, drain them and season with salt to taste.
Additionally, for a burst of flavor, you can coat edamame beans with butter or olive oil. Simply boil the beans as described above, then add butter or olive oil to a pan and heat over medium heat.
Put the beans in the heated pan and cook for three to four minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pickled carrot salad
This is a refreshing and flavorful salad that goes well with bao buns. The pickled carrots add a tart and tangy flavor to the dish, while the fresh herbs provide a bright and herby taste.
To make the salad, you’ll need white vinegar which is used to pickle the carrots. You’ll also need sugar, to sweeten the salad and fresh herbs like cilantro or mint.
When you’re ready to serve, simply drain the carrots and add them to a bowl with fresh herbs. Mix everything and enjoy!
The union of the cucumber salad and bao buns is a match made in heaven. The two dishes complement each other perfectly, and they’re sure to leave you wanting more.
I usually add some diced red onion, and cilantro to a bowl. Then, I dress it with a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, white vinegar, and sugar.
You can also add other vegetables to the salad, like carrots, bell peppers, or potatoes.
If you are adding potatoes, I recommend adding boiled or mashed potatoes to the cucumber salad. They will add a creamy and starchy texture to the dish.
Bao buns are often served with dipping sauces on the side. The most popular sauces are hoisin sauce and soy sauce.
Hoisin sauce is a sweet and savory sauce made with soybeans, garlic, and chili peppers. It’s the perfect dipping sauce for bao buns.
To make your hoisin sauce, simply combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Soy sauce is another way to go, it is a salty and umami-rich sauce made with fermented soybeans.
Dipping sauces are great for bao buns because they can absorb the sauces, giving them a delicious and savory flavor.
Pickled cucumber is a great side dish for bao buns. The pickling process helps to soften the cucumber, making it easier to bite into.
In addition, the pickling liquid adds a slight acidic flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in bao buns.
Pickled cucumbers are also relatively low in calories, making them a healthier option than some other side dishes. Overall, pickled cucumbers are a great option for those looking for a tasty and healthy side dish to enjoy with their bao buns.
Keep in mind that pickled cucumbers will last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Mushrooms are a great side dish for bao buns because they add a delicious umami flavor. Additionally, mushrooms are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
The mushrooms I recommend for this dish are shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have a robust and earthy flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients in bao buns.
To prepare the mushrooms, simply remove the stems and slice the caps into thin pieces. Then, heat a pan over medium heat and add some oil.
Additionally, you can add some garlic, ginger, and green onions to the pan for extra flavor.
Omelets are a great side dish for bao buns because they can be customized to your liking.
When making an omelet, I usually add ham, cheese, and green onions.
The moistness of the omelet pairs well with the dryness of the bao bun, and the flavors complement each other perfectly.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can make a vegetable omelet. To do this, simply add your favorite vegetables to the omelet instead of meat and cheese.
Rice noodles are a type of noodle made from rice flour. They are often used in Asian cuisine, and they have a chewy texture that many people enjoy.
Interestingly, bao buns are also made with rice flour. As a result, rice noodles make an excellent side dish for bao buns.
Rice noodles are also a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. These two dishes together complement each other well, and the noodles will help round out the meal.
Additionally, you can also add other vegetables to the bowl, such as carrots, bell peppers, or cucumbers. However, if you’re looking for a heartier option, you can add protein to the bowl, such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu.
Fried rice is a great side dish for bao buns because it has a variety of flavors and textures that complement the soft, steamed buns.
Fried rice typically includes ingredients like fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions. All these ingredients work together to create a complex and delicious flavor that marries well with the savory buns.
The combination of these two dishes creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
Stir-fry vegetables are a great option for those looking for a healthy side dish to enjoy with their bao buns.
This dish typically includes a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, onions, and broccoli. I also add shrimp or boneless chicken breasts (that have been shredded) to my stir-fry for some extra protein.
The key to making a good stir-fry is to cook the vegetables until they are slightly softened but still crisp. This allows them to retain their flavor and nutrients.
In addition, the sauce should be flavorful, but not too overpowering. I typically use soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice vinegar.
Spicy sesame noodles
I love almost everything with some sesame on it! And if you’re like me, then this side dish is right up your alley.
Spicy sesame noodles are a great side dish for bao buns because they have a variety of flavors and textures at play. The noodles are chewy and the sauce is slightly spicy, thanks to the addition of chili paste.
The dish is also garnished with green onions, cilantro, and peanuts, which add a crunchy element to the dish. Additionally, I include vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers.
The addition of sesame gives the dish a nutty and slightly bitter taste that melds perfectly with the other ingredients in the noodles and bao buns.
Sushi is a great side dish for bao buns because it has a variety of flavors and textures that complement the soft, steamed buns.
Sushi typically includes ingredients like fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and scallions. All these ingredients work together to create a complex and delicious flavor that marries well with the savory buns.
The combination of these two dishes creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Additionally, the fish sauce in the sushi will add a salty element that will bring out the flavors in the bao buns.
Steamed pak choi
Pak choi, also known as Chinese cabbage, is a type of vegetable that is often used in Asian cuisine. It has a slightly sweet and peppery flavor, and it is a good source of vitamins.
The key ingredients in steamed pak choi are cabbage, carrots and mushrooms. I also add ginger, garlic, and scallions to the dish for flavor.
The addition of pak choi gives the meal a crunchy element that complements the soft bao buns. The dish is also healthy and low in calories, making it a great choice for those looking for a light side dish.
The creaminess and slight sweetness of the avocado paired with the bao buns are just mouthwatering goodness.
Plus, it’s a healthy fat that will help you feel full and satisfied after your meal.
I typically add some lime juice, salt, and pepper to the avocado to give it some flavor. You can also add cilantro, diced tomatoes, or onions if you want.
Furthermore, avocado serves as a great dip for bao buns. Simply place some avocado on a plate and use it to dip your buns in. The combination of the two is heavenly. Trust me!
Fried chicken with pickled onion/cucumber
Fried chicken is a savory treat that goes with almost anything. It’s salty, crunchy, and juicy – what more could you want?
Pairing fried chicken with bao buns is a perfect match. The contrast of the crunchy chicken with the soft bun is delightful.
I like to top my fried chicken with pickled onion or cucumber. The acidity from the pickled vegetables cuts through the richness of the fried chicken and creates a balance of flavors.
This is a heavenly combination that you’re sure to love.
Is bao eaten with sauce?
Yes, bao is often eaten with sauce. The most common sauces to use are soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili sauce.
Can you eat bao cold?
Yes, you can eat bao cold. However, they are typically served warm. If you’re using leftovers, simply reheat them in the microwave or steamer.
What is the correct way to eat bao?
There is no correct way to eat bao. However, they are typically eaten with your hands. Simply pick up the bun and take a bite. Enjoy!
As you can see, there are many different side dishes that you can serve with bao buns. These dishes will add variety and flavor to your meal. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!