Who Needs Takeout? 15 Recipes for Chinese Buns
Categories: Food

Who Needs Takeout? 15 Recipes for Chinese Buns

A few months back, we shared how to make a whole spread of dim sum at home. Now we’re focusing things in on one perpetual favorite — the bao. These 15 Chinese buns feature an assortment of tasty fillings from the traditional barbecue pork to an uncommon melange of meat-free delights… and some are even perfect for dessert. Hope you’re ready; it’s about to get steamy in here.

1. Shanghai Soup Dumplings: These may be commonly referred to as “dumplings,” but their real name xiao long bao lets us know what family they really belong to. That’s right, these little soup-filled packets are totally buns. (via Spoon Fork Bacon)

2. Homemade Red Bean Buns: Go ahead and enjoy these buns stuffed with a slightly sweet and buttery homemade bean paste for breakfast or dessert. (via China Sichuan Food)

3. Steamed Black Sesame Custard Bun: Break open these almost-black buns to reveal a golden-hued nugget of coconut custard shining bright within. (via Away of Mind Bakery House)

4. BBQ Lentil Baozi (Vegan): It’s hard not to love this vegan take on the traditional barbecue pork bun. The use of lentils is just brilliant. (via Produce on Parade)

5. Char Siu Bao: And speaking of BBQ pork buns… (via Cherry on My Sundae)

6. Lotus Seed Buns: The shape of these buns totally mirrors that of the lotus seed, providing a nice hint as to the tasty filling tucked inside. (via Serious Eats)

7. Purple Sweet Potato Mantou: If you’re eager to get these filling-free buns into the steamer, feel free to omit the black sesame swirl. It offers a nice visual effect, but the vibrant purple color provided by the ube (purple yam) alone is enough to draw anyone in. (via Vintage Trinkets)

8. Flaky Roast Chicken Buns: It’s hard to tell from the photos, but there are actually two different types of dough — one moistened with water and butter, the other shortening or coconut oil — surrounding a seasoned chicken filling. (via Through the Kitchen Door)

9. Pork Belly Banh Bao: No question, pork belly gets a warm welcome wherever it shows up. We’re loving these buns filled with a little Vietnamese flair. (via Baked by Joanna)

10. Egg Custard Buns: A soft-firm custard is found tucked inside these traditional buns. (via Viet World Kitchen)

11. Tofu and Mushroom Steamed Buns: A mix of well-seasoned tofu, mushrooms and edamame creates a protein-packed, meat-free filling for these buns. The pickled cucumbers and Sriracha-spiked vinegar soy sauce served alongside provide a nice tangy contrast. (via My Second Breakfast)

12. Panfried Pork Steamed Buns: First, these fluffy buns are steamed, then they hit the frying pan, developing an alluring golden brown crust that makes ’em all the more impossible to resist. (via Food52)

13. Honeyed Pork Buns: These baked buns get a quick brush of thinned honey and sprinkle of chives and sesame seeds just after they’re removed from the oven. (via Thirsty for Tea)

14. Pumpkin Mantou: Toasted sesame seeds offer just a touch of nuttiness to these pumpkin buns, and also dresses them up in the Halloween-appropriate color combo of black and orange. (via Anncoo Journal)

15. The Pineapple Buns: Okay, so there’s no actual pineapple to be found in these buns. Instead, their name comes from the way the crust cracks and turns golden in the oven, resembling the skin of a pineapple. Kinda cool, huh? (via Lady and Pups)

Have you ever tried bao, either at a restaurant or at home? Let’s talk all about buns below!