Bao is a type of filled bun or bread-like dumpling in Chinese cuisine. There are many variants in fillings (meat or vegetarian) and preparations (usually steamed). In its bun-like aspect it is very similar to the traditional Chinese Mantou.
Mantou has a pretty badass history.
According to Chinese legend, mantou was invented by an army general named Zhuge Liang when he had to lead his army across a dangerous river. The people on the other side ordered Liang to sever the heads of 50 of his men, if he wished to safely cross. Not particularly fond of that idea, Liang created a pretty clever ruse: He prepared large steamed buns and floated them across the river in place of human heads.
6 reasons why you absolutely must eat a bao as soon as possible.
1. Mantou, the bread used for baos, is an impeccable mixture of softness and sweetness.
Mantou is usually made by steaming the yeast instead of baking it. This results in an extremely fluffy and soft texture. One of the key ingredients of the dough is sugar, so when you bite into it, you get a wonderful hint of sweetness.
2. Baos make for a great breakfast.
These sandwiches are a popular Chinese street food because they are portable and, unlike dumplings, which are designed to be eaten with your hands. And since they are served as part of dim sum, a brunch like Chinese meal devoted to small steamed and fried dishes, they are known to be a popular breakfast food.
3. Pork Belly Bao, The Cha Siu Bao – The Chinese version of the pulled pork sandwich.
Often served as dim sum in boxes at Chinese markets, the cha siu bao is a Cantonese version of the popular barbeque sandwich. The fluffy bun is filled with tender, slow-roasted sweet pork which could be marinated in a mixture of hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil.
4. Manapua: A Hawaiian delight.
Manapua is a mix of the two Hawaiian words “mea ono” which means “cake or pastry” and “pua’a” which means “pork,” is essentially the same thing as the Chinese cha siu bao, but has a bigger bun.
5. Black Sesame Chicken Bao: Sesame chicken (also called Chinese sesame seed chicken) is a dish commonly found in Chinese restaurants throughout the United States. The dish is similar to General Tso’s chicken but the taste of the Chinese-based chicken is sweet rather than spicy
6. The Pau: Malaysian adoption of a Bao.
Due to an extensive history of Chinese immigrants in Malaysia, the Malaysians created their own variant of the bao. These buns are usually filled with curries made out of potato, chicken or beef and resemble a curry puff more, than a traditional bao.
Through experimentation and keeping our customers in mind, we have mixed and matched Bao to what feels like pure Chinese made for Indians. The softness, flavor and healthiness are the best-selling points of the Bao.