To make the bao buns
In a glass, mix the yeast, sugar, oil, and warm water. Leave for 5 minutes.
Mix the flour and the salt. Add the water mix to the bowl of flour and mix with a spoon until all the liquid is absorbed, then take it out onto a surface and begin to knead the dough. Knead until it is smooth and elastic (around 5-8 minutes).
Place the kneaded dough back into the clean bowl, cover with ½ teaspoon of oil and cover with a damp cloth to prevent oxidization. Leave it to proof (rise).
When the dough is about 1.5 times (or double) in size, take it out of the bowl and lightly touch the dough with your fingers. It will be nice and puffy.
Divide into 8 equally sized pieces. Use your hands and the table to shape them into balls.
Cover with a damp cloth again and let rise for another 30 minutes.
After the 30 minute rise, they are now ready to roll out. With a little bit of flour (only if necessary) roll the balls out with a rolling pin into ovals. Then rub a bit of oil on the bottom part of the oval and fold it half. The oil prevents the buns from sticking after they are cooked.
Place as many as you can in your steamer (A Chinese bamboo steamer can fit about 3 on each layer), turn up the heat and heat until the water boils. Then turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes (this is the final proof).
Re-start the heat and steam the buns for 10 minutes, beginning the timer from when the water begins to boil.
When the timer is up, take the steamer off the heat and let them cool down before opening. If you open the steamer too quickly, the buns will shrink and be ruined!
Once they are cool, you can transfer them into a tupperware and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them! Simply heat them up by placing them for 1-2 minutes in your steamer.
To make the sticky pulled mushrooms
Heat up a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil on high heat. Add some of the mushrooms, but don’t overfill the pan – cook in 2 or 3 batches if you need to.
Cook the mushrooms until they are nice and caramelized. A big pinch of salt will draw out the moisture which will make the mushrooms extra meaty.
Add the ingredients for the sauce to a bowl and mix with a whisk. Add the sauce to the frying pan with all the cooked oyster mushrooms. After a few minutes, the sauce should be nice and thick, and pulled mushrooms are ready to eat (or add to your bao buns!)
To make the salsa macha
On medium heat, heat up frying pan with 8 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is warm, add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until light brown.
Add the chili flakes, spices, salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
Transfer the mix from the frying pan into a food processor. Add the roasted peanuts and pulse the blender to break the peanuts into smaller pieces.
Add the brown sugar and the 4 tablespoons of toasted sesame oil and process again for around 10 seconds. Make sure not to process for too long, as you want to make sure you still have some peanut pieces intact.
Store in a container and use on your bao buns, and everything!
Heat up your bao buns in a steamer. Fill the buns with the pulled mushrooms and top with vegan mayo and salsa macha (or sriracha!)
Optional: Add in some additional toppings, like pickled vegetables (picked onions, pickled cucumbers and sauerkraut are all great options).