Baozi refers to a certain kind of Chinese bun stuffed with filling. Generally speaking, interested individuals can recognize baozi by their shape, which is a mound that spirals towards the top because of the way in which they were sealed in preparation for cooking. Otherwise, it is important to note that baozi come in a remarkable range of sizes as well as fillings.

What Stands Out About Baozi?

There is a popular perception that rice is the one true Chinese staple. However, the Chinese themselves have a saying that northerners eat wheat while southerners eat rice, which overstates the state but can nonetheless provide interested individuals with some useful insight into the general diet of these regions.

In any case, baozi are believed to have been developed from mantou, which are Chinese steamed buns that remain a wheat-based staple throughout much of China. Supposedly, baozi were created by the statesman Zhuge Liang for the purpose of appeasing an angry river god in a foreign land without having to perform human sacrifice, which seems to have started up because mantou sounds like a homophonous word that translates to “barbarian’s head.” However, Zhuge Liang is a much storied figure, meaning that this story is rather dubious to say the least.

How Can You Prepare Baozi?

The first few steps in making baozi are pretty much identical no matter what kind of baozi is being made. In short, interested individuals have to form the dough, roll it out, separate it into smaller lumps, and then flatten each lump into rough circles that can be used as bun-skins. Afterwards, making the baozi is as simple as putting the filling in the center of the skin, wrapping the filling in the skin, and then pinching the skin together at the top, which might require the careful application of some water to get the dough to stick together. Generally speaking, baozi are steamed until they have been cooked through and through, but there are plenty of other ways to cook them as well. For instance, pan-frying is a particularly popular method, though it isn’t necessarily the healthiest one that can be found out there.

Variations in preparation

Baozi can have a very wide range of fillings. For example, one person might make meat baozi using a mixture of pork and leeks, while another person might make meat baozi using a mixture of chicken and mushrooms. Likewise, there are a lot of people who like to make sweeter-tasting baozi using everything from red bean paste to fruitier ingredients.