mantou 饅頭 [chinese steamed buns]
Mantou: homemade Chinese Steamed Buns that have a smooth and puffy surface and are fluffy and soft when you break into them.
What you’re looking at is a steamed white ball of goodness. And the name of it is a mantou, basically a Chinese steamed bun. It’s most often served in Chinese restaurants here in the United States but in Taiwan (and I assume China — never been there lol) you can buy them at bakeries and food stands all over the place. You can also buy them frozen at the Asian marts here in America and steam them at home yourself, but they’re NOTHING compared to homemade ones. Homemade mantous differ from the frozen ones (as do most foods) because a homemade mantou is made with love. Haha, just kidding, but seriously, what is deemed as a “good” mantou is a smooth and puffy surface that is fluffy and soft when you break into it and that is exactly what a homemade mantou will give you.
These little (or large) balls of fluff are so addicting. They don’t have much flavor to them, although, there’s a hint of a sugary sweetness, but you can break one open and stuff it with something savory or eat them on its own as a breakfast roll. I personally like to eat them plain. I like the hint of sugar and the doughy taste. It’s hard to describe why they’re so addicting unless you’ve had one before, but the fluffiness, in my opinion, is what makes them so good. They’re really easy to make too, it just takes a lot of patience to wait for them to rise and rise and steam. Well-worth the wait and it’s so easy to double up the batch so you can make yourself enough for the entire week :) The dough is also refrigerator friendly up to 2 days so you can always come back to making them later if you’re pressed for time.
Thanks, mom for passing this along and showing me how to make them :) you’ll always make the best ones!
Posted on November 30, 2011