Steamed Buns With Tempura King Oyster Mushrooms and Agave-Miso Mayonnaise (Vegan) Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Chinese-style steamed buns stuffed with tempura-fried simmered king oyster mushrooms and an agave-miso mayonnaise.

Note: Mirin is a sweet Japanese rice wine that can be found in most supermarkets or Asian grocers. If unavailable, substitute an extra half cup of sake and sugar.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1 cup sake

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup mirin (see note)

  • 2 king oyster mushrooms, about 6 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide

  • 1 quart vegetable, canola, or peanut oil

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup ice-cold club soda

  • Kosher salt

  • 12 Chinese sandwich-style steamed buns (bao)

  • 1 recipe Miso-Agave Mayonnaise

  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce

  • 4 scallions, very thinly sliced on an extreme bias, stored in a bowl of cold water in the fridge

  • 1/2 cup picked fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Combine soy sauce, sake, sugar, mirin, and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add king oyster mushrooms. Place a clean, lint-free paper towel or kitchen towel directly on the surface of the liquid, pressing down until it is completely saturated and keeps the mushrooms partially submerged. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce to maintain a bare simmer. Cook until mushrooms are completely tender (a cake tester or paring knife inserted should meet little resistance as it goes through), about 30 minutes, flipping mushrooms once halfway through cooking.

  2. Remove mushrooms from liquid and dry carefully with paper towels. Return remaining liquid to a gently boil over medium heat and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. When mushrooms are cool enough to handle, slice each into 12 disks about 1/2-inch wide.

  3. Heat oil in a large wok, saucepan, or deep fryer to 350°F and adjust flame to maintain temperature.

  4. Combine cornstarch and flour in a large bowl and stir with chopsticks until roughly combined. Add soda and stir very rapidly with chopsticks while shaking bowl. Do not overmix—there should be plenty of lumps and bubbles. Add sliced mushrooms to bowl and turn to coat. Working one piece at a time, lift mushroom, allow excess batter to drip off, then slowly lower into hot oil. Repeat until all mushrooms are in the oil. Cook mushrooms, agitating oil and turning mushrooms occasionally with a wire mesh spider or long chopsticks until pale golden brown and completely crisp, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt immediately.

  5. Place steamed buns on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high power until hot, about 1 minute. Spread miso mayonnaise in each steamed bun, then add shredded lettuce, two fried mushroom slices, a drizzle of the reduced simmering liquid, sliced scallions, and cilantro leaves. Close sandwiches and serve with extra miso mayonnaise on the side for dipping.

Special Equipment

Wok, Dutch oven, or deep fryer

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
764 Calories
54g Fat
59g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 764
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 1621mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 59g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 38g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 58mg 292%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 593mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)