Bapao with tempeh filling (vegan)

bakpao vegetarian

It’s very easy to make bapao. This steamed bun can be filled with a savory or sweet filling. I’ve made bapao with a meat filling earlier. But now it’s time for a tempeh (vegan) content. 😉


Tempeh is great for vegan bapao. It is a traditional soy product originally from Indonesia. It is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form (wiki).

Tempeh easily sucks up soy sauce and because I love jeruk purut (kaffir lime leaves), I add some too, finely chopped.

Bapao with tempeh filling (vegan)

To make the filling you need 15 minutes. This amount is enough for at least 15 medium-sized bapao.

Bakpao vegetarian ingredients


  • 1 block tempeh cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce
  • 4 jeruk purut leaves (kaffir lime) very finely chopped
  • hand full of celery
  • teaspoon of salt

bakpao vegetarian with soy sauce

I fry the onions and garlic with a tablespoon of oil in the pan. I add the tempeh with the salt. After a minute or two stir-frying, I add the finely chopped jeruk purut leaves. When that is mixed in well, I pour over 3 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce (kecap manis).

Bakpao vegetarian filling

I make sure the soy sauce is well absorbed before I add a hand full of celery. I immediately kill the gas. I want to leave my celery fresh and crispy.

Cool down

The filling must be completely cooled down before you fill your bapao otherwise your dough becomes soggy and will open during steaming.

Bapao dough

Now you go to the second step: How to make the bapao dough? Below is a video I explain how to make the dough and how to fold the buns. But there are many ways to fold. In these links below I explain another way too. Enjoy!

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