These steamed buns, known as Mantou, are a favorite of mine in Taiwan. The soft, fluffy steamed buns are traditionally enjoyed throughout the morning with warm freshly made soy milk or sometimes sliced and filled with savory ingredients at your local curbside breakfast stand. Mantou can be prepared sweet or savory and can also be found in different shapes and sizes. When sliced in half and filled, these Mantou serve as a quick and convenient alternative to the exceedingly popular Gua Bao.
This recipe is the second in our series of Taiwanese recipes that will be available exclusively to our newsletter subscribers. This recipe along with our Taiwanese Steamed Scallion Buns recipe will be available in our July 31st newsletter. More Taiwanese recipes will follow in our August 31st newsletter.
Mantou are always best when served warm from the steamer. Split them in half without cutting them entirely through (like a hot dog bun) and fill with just about anything. Traditionally they are filled with a scallion omelette, a slice of meat or some pork or fish floss.
We filled our Mantou with a vegan scallion omelette and tofu cutlets. You can also use the Mantou buns for any sandwich or burger as an alternative to Western baked buns. As long as you have a steamer, this recipe is very easy to prepare and the dough only requires six basic ingredients.
I love the simplicity and versatility of this dough because it can be used to make sweet or savory Mantou or Baozi. This plain Mantou recipe is the most versatile since the buns can be enjoyed on their own, with warm soy milk or sliced in half and filled like a sandwich. They’re surprisingly indulgent and hard to resist when they’re hot and fluffy straight from the steamer. No need to worry about finishing them all at once though, they’re fantastic leftover as well. Just freeze in a sealed plastic bag and reheat in a steamer.
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