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)
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)
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)
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!