Next Up: Baozi

Chinese steamed buns! They’ve gotten a fair amount of attention in recent years, particularly in my old home town of Chicago where the Wow Boa chain has all but taken over the city. They’re fluffy, delicious, addictive and I think it’s high time I made some at home.

15 thoughts on “Next Up: Baozi”

  1. I’m so excited about this series. I love baozi. Especially fried, b/c I can’t help being a southern girl at heart.

      1. You can. I lived in China for two years and it was my favorite way to buy them. Such yummy street food 🙂

  2. Wow! Bring it on!

    Can’t wait to see what you will divulge of their history as well. When I buy them packaged they’re labeled “char shu bow”. When I ask for “char shu bow” in an ethnic market they look at me like I’m speaking Greek. (…as if my Greek were any better than my Chinese. =o )

    1. As my linguist/translator wife keeps reminding me, Chinese is a tonal language so the way you inflect the word changes its meaning. One word I can pronounce is “low fan.” It means, basically, “whitey.” It’s usually what I hear when I try to say something in Chinese. Sigh.

      – Joe

    2. In Thailand its called ‘Sa-la-pao’ -the P almost sounds like a B. In the Philipines — sounds like ‘show pao’. The cantonese sounds closer to Chow Sao Pao (all 3 words rhyme) hope that helps – my brother uses his google phone translater to “speak” the translation — super funny to see when we go for dim sum! Good luck!

      1. I’ll remember that. Thanks June. We recently adopted a family fresh over from Nepal. They call them “momo” which I like a lot as well. It’s fun to say!

        – Joe

  3. Hi Joe:

    I have been a true fan of your blog since January of this year. I, too, am a self-taught home baker myself. Ever since I stumbled across this blog, I have experienced nothing but one success after another using the recipes, techniques, and details you have shared here. Many thanks to you Joe. I am also a half Chinese and have been making the steamed buns for a long time. However, the so-call recipe I have was passed to me by mouth from my mother. You know a little bit this and a little bit of that and voila came a batch. The result for me was sporadic. Sometime it worked. Other time was a disaster. But my mother swears that it has always worked for her. I am definitely curious to see and learn from your recipe.

    Robert (??)

    1. I am curious as well, Robert! 😉

      I am about to post a recipe that’s not traditional from a Chinese perspective. I think it will work, but never having made these before I’ll have to test it to see! I will appreciate any help you can give me along the way, since as I said, I’m a novice at this!

      Cheers and thank you very much for your very kind comment. Success stories like yours keep me going! 😉

      – Joe

  4. These sound very similar to a dessert we used to get in a Mongolian BBQ we used to visit in Minnesota. Actually I don’t think it was considered dessert by their standards but we saved them to eat at the end like dessert since they were filled with some kind of sugary filling. We used to love getting them there.

    1. What was the name of the place? I’ve probably been there if it’s in the Cities!

      – Joe

      1. Had to look it up it has been so long. It was called Khan’s. I think there were at least 2 of them. The one I went to was in Roseville. You’d get this appetizer of chicken wings and a zippy coleslaw then you’d go through the line and pick put your veggies and meat and noodles or whatever and select your sauce (or sauces) at the end to make it spicy or different flavors and then you’d take it up to the guys at the big drum-type griddles and they’d toss it all on there and toss it around with peanut oil if I remember then if you wanted add some chopped peanuts and whip it onto a plate for you and you’d go back to your seat and find a basket of those steamed rolls waiting. If you tipped the cooks you were supposed to hit the gong and they’d all yell THANK YOU. It was a great place for everyone to get the food they liked or avoid what they didn’t like for a great stir-fry type meal. It always felt odd putting raw meat on your plate with your raw veggies to take to the cooks but when they got done it was all good. Great memories.

        1. I’ve been there many times! All those cushy pillows and such. It is (maybe WAS by now) a really fun spot!

          – Joe

          1. I don’t remember cushy pillows but I remember the TV was always showing sumo wrestling. My friend LOVED to watch that while we were there. I think there are places here in the Portland, OR area called Mongolian BBQ but I have not checked one out since moving. Khan’s had an all you could eat version or one plate. I would watch some people try to get 2 plates of food on that one plate to get a deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *