Vegan Bapao with Jackfruit

I think it is so entertaining to experiment with bapao. I’ve made quite a few different kinds of bapao up till now.

This is my second vegan version (my first one was with tempé). This time I fill my bapao with nangka (jackfruit). I’ve colored the dough with pandan extract. Now it is immediately clear that this bapao has a vegan content.

If you want to see my other bapao versions now, check out these links:

Bapao with Jackfruit recipe

This recipe is enough for 24 bapao and is ready in 2 hours (including rolling and steaming the buns).

Ingredients filling

  • 450 grams of raw jackfruit (from the freezer)
  • 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of salty soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hot soy sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 squeezed garlic cloves
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons of water


  • 400 grams of plain flour
  • 210 ml water (handwarm)
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 13 grams of yeast
  • 8 grams of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • pandan extract

Ingredients for vegan bapao filled with jackfruit (nangka)

The bowl on the right side at the bottom is filled with a tiny bit of flat parsley. It is the first harvest from my garden ;-). So I’ve added it for luck!

Nangka or Jackfruit

Jackfruit or nangka is an amazing fruit. It is gigantic and grows very peculiar attached to the trunk of the tree. The skin looks like dragon skin and there are 100 small fruits inside.

Nangka growing on a truck of a tree

Nangka on a tree on Bali

You probably know nangka from the drink cendol nangka. The yellow fruits in this drink are jackfruit.

I often buy ripe jackfruit (in a can) to use for dessert, but unripe nangka is perfect to use as a meat substitute. It has the same structure as meat (fibers) and easily absorbs herbs and sauces.

Earlier, I’ve made nangka kecap; the equivalent of babi kecap. At the big Home Fair (Huishoudbeurs) this year in the Rai, I showed how to make nangka kecap during my cooking demonstration at the Pasar Colors. Click here to go to the babi kecap recipe and substitute the babi with the jackfruit.

Bapao with Jackfruit

Back to my bapao with jackfruit. I start by making the filling because it needs to cool down before adding it to the buns.

I buy the jackfruit at an Asian food store from the freezer. It looks green-yellow. It does not taste strong, maybe just a bit sour. It is especially the structure that determines a lot of the flavor. It is packed with fibers.

Nangka in fine piece (jackfruit). Filling for vegan bapao.

I chop the nangka into fine pieces.

Vegan bapao filling stir-frying

I squeeze the garlic (even more flavor) and I also chop my large onion.

Then I add everything into a large pan and I stir-fry it with some tablespoons of oil until the ‘meat’ gets some color.

Now I’m seasoning this with three different types of soy sauces. I use

  • hot soy sauce
  • sweet soy sauce
  • salty sweet soy sauce

I use one brand this time: Ketjap ABC. Because I like the sweetness of its ‘kecap manis’. The spicy version is also truly sweet and pretty spicy: perfect combination.

I add about 4 tablespoons of water to the mix, along with salt and pepper.

Because of the is sugar in soy sauce my jackfruit caramelizes well in the pan.

Vegan bapao of jackfruit seasoned with soy sauce Kecap ABC


I now lower the gas and place a lid on the pan. I let this simmer for 5 minutes. Jackfruit must be equally cooked and has to become tender.

Vegan bapao filling of jackfruit (nangka) with spring onion

When the nangka is done, I add the spring onions. I turn off the gas and mix the onions through. now my onions stay crisp.

I transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool down.

Bapao dough with pandan

I make my bapao dough with yeast and baking powder. Because it has to be completely vegan, I replace the butter with sunflower oil.

I also add pandan extract to one-third of the dough (a teaspoon); now it turns beautifully green.

bapao dough colored with pandan

Go to the recipe here for bapao dough for an exact description.

Bapao dough already needed

But it comes down to mixing the ingredients and then kneading well for 5-10 minutes so that the gluten is released. Eventually, the dough becomes beautifully shiny and firm.

Folding bapao

Now you can immediately start making the buns. You do not have to let this dough because the time you need to fill them is the time it has the change to prove.

First I cut the green dough into as many pieces as the uncoloured dough. I do not like big bapao, so try to get 24 out of this amount of dough. Then you have a very nice sized bun.

Two colors bapaodough. Rolled into sausage.

I roll the green part in a sausage and then I roll it flat. Then I place a roll of white dough on it.

I wrap the green dough around it.

Two colors bapao dough: plain and pandan

And then I flatten the whole sausage.

Two colors bapoa dough (pandan and plain) flattened and pushed down

I roll this out in to a circle shape.

Now it looks like this. The color is so nice just like fresh lettuce.

Now I add the cooled down filling and I fold it close. Check out this link how to fold a bapao.

There are many ways to fold bapao, check out my Pinterestboard about it.

15 minutes

I steam my bapao on parchment paper for 15 minutes in a bamboo basket. Don’t they look delicious? 😉

Go to my other bapao recipes here:


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1 Response

  1. nia says:

    i’m so like bapao… its very good taste

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