• When it comes to Thai dishes, Pad Thai seems to get most of the attention. That just doesn’t seem fair to us. While we have absolutely nothing against those delicious bowls of excellence, we would like to shift the spotlight onto another Thai taste bud experience: the baozi, or as we colloquially call it, “the bao” (which rhymes with “Wow”).

    We’re all about the Bao on the Bun Intended Food Truck. What we’re talking about is a Thai adapted steamed bun filled with ingredients that vary from meat to vegetables (or both).

    Bao dough is the perfect mixture of softness and sweetness and made from six simple ingredients: flour, instant yeast, baking powder, canola oil, sugar and water. Many have learned the hard way that bao dough is tricky to master, despite the small number of ingredients. The bao dough is akin to Western bread dough, the difference being that the cooking method is wet steam heat. Rolled out and cut into large circles, filled with meat and/or vegetarian fillings, closed at the top and then steamed in a bamboo steamer.

    Bao dough – called “mantou” in Chinese -- has a pretty badass history. According to Chinese legend, the origin of the word "mantou" is attributed to a tale of an impressive general named Zhuge Liang. Zhuge led his army across a particularly troublesome river. Not enamored of the suggestion that he sacrifice 50 of his men and throw their heads into the river as a rite of passage, he decided to make something that replicated a head shape, and fooled everyone by coming up with a steamed bun. Cunning. This ploy apparently ensured the army a safe crossing, and the term stuck.

    The palm-sized Asian comfort foods are rapidly growing in popularity as they are soothing, delicious, soft & sweet yet flexible enough to enable a wide range of filling options like braised pork, chicken or veggies. They are wonderfully enjoyed as is, or can be paired with various types of Thai chili and garlic pastes, oils or infusions, fresh coriander and leeks, sesame oil, and other flavorings to get the amount of spice, heat and flavor you’re after.

    Bao is on the rise, pun intended and Bao is on the truck, Bun Intended. So now that you’re an expert on all things Bao, come visit Bun Intended soon and taste them for yourself. You’ll be a fan.