Bao buns, also known as “steamed buns” or “baozi,” are treats of warm, stuffed white dough. The bao is a little sweeter than your average bread bun. 

It complements various flavors of stuffings, from sweet to savory.

During the Three Kingdoms Period, a military strategist named Zhuge Liang saw his soldiers suffering from the plague. This caused him to create a head-shaped food as a symbolic offering to the gods. 

He gave this creation to his soldiers. This new dish was first called mantou. But by the 10th century, the name “baozi” finally stuck with “bao” meaning “wrapping.”

Baos vary in size and style depending on which region they are from. Here are a few baozi you may encounter while eating in China.



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Abigail Heng