Bao: Steamed Buns of Delightful Flavors and Fillings from Asian Cuisine

Bao: Steamed Buns of Delightful Flavors and Fillings from Asian Cuisine


Baozi, commonly known as bao, is not just a steamed-filled bun or bread-like item in various Chinese cuisines. It is a culinary treasure with a history that dates back to the Three Kingdoms period in China (220–280 AD). Legend has it that baozi was first created by the brilliant military strategist Zhuge Liang during this time, adding a flavorful chapter to the rich tapestry of Chinese cuisine.

Bao is a culinary canvas ready to be filled with many ingredients. The possibilities are endless, from succulent meats like pork, chicken, and beef to a medley of vegetables or sweet fillings like custard or red bean paste. The fillings vary widely depending on regional preferences and personal taste, making each bao a unique and delightful experience.

Some popular types of bao dishes include:

Char Siu Bao: Steamed buns filled with savoury and sweet barbecued pork.

Xiaolongbao: These are soup dumplings filled with hot, flavorful broth and meat filling.

Gua Bao: Taiwanese-style bao with braised pork belly, pickled mustard greens, and ground peanuts.

Liu Sha Bao: These are custard-filled buns with a molten and creamy custard centre.

Vegetarian Bao: Bao is filled with various vegetables or tofu as a meat-free option.

Red Bean Bao: Sweet buns filled with red bean paste are a popular dessert option.

Bao dishes are not just food but a source of joy and satisfaction. They are enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or part of a meal in various Asian countries, particularly in China, Taiwan, and Japan. Each bite of these soft and fluffy buns, bursting with flavorful fillings ranging from savoury to sweet, is a delightful treat that leaves you craving more.