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Friday, May 27, 2011

Bao chika bao bao

Banh bao.

Although it originates from the basic idea of leavening dough, the stuffed steamed bao is not baked, even though they are often procured from bakeries. Bao comes in myriad varieties and forms, stuffed and unstuffed (the latter is referred to as mantou in Chinese), both savory and sweet. The dough itself can be yeast leavened, or chemically leavened (although I think eggs and mechanical leavening are rarely ever done). Unmarked, most bao look like each other, and the stuffing a mystery and a surprise. Common stuffings include Chinese barbecued pork, or bean paste, or custard. Or even soup, as in the giant versions of xiao long bao (the varieties we have here in Houston resemble dumplings more than buns).

The version pictured above?

It housed a quail egg atop a savory pork patty, flavored with ginger and sesame. From Six Ping Bakery, Houston, TX.

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