There is a story behind the origin of baozi and mantou. During the Three Kingdoms Period (三國時代), a Chinese scholar and military strategist called Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮 or 諸葛孔明) finished a battle and was preparing to go back to the country of Shu when the weather suddenly changed.
This stopped them from passing down the river and the soldiers started to perish. Meng Huo, the leader of Nanzhong, told Zhuge Lian there are too many soldiers losing their lives in the river and everyone is both angry and sad because it looks like they can never go home. So they decided the only solution is to sacrifice 49 human heads and throw them in the river to offer peace with the spirits of the already dead soldiers.
Zhuge Liang was shocked by the idea of sacrificing 49 innocent lives so he came up with the idea of mixing different kinds of meats to make fillings and covering the meat filling with dough to make them into a shape that looked like a human’s head. They then steamed the buns to make the shape solid and started throwing these buns into the river. Mysteriously the river turned peaceful again so they were able to cross the river and go home.
There are different kind of filling inside of Baozi, you can make them with different kinds of meat and poultry.
You can also make them vegetarian or even fill them a sweet bean filling to make then into a nice dessert.
On the other hand, mantou usually don’t have any fillings inside but they can made into different flavours as well. You can use mantou like regular bread. You can slice them in the middle, place a fried egg, bacon or ham or you can even treat it like a Chinese hamburger or sandwich.
Mantou are very popular in Taiwan for breakfast.
Below are some recipes for Mantou and Baozi / Chinese bread and buns. This list f recipes is ever expanding with more recipes so come back and have a look in the future for more delicious recipes.
Edited by Liv Wan
This is a basic Chinese steamed dough recipe. When preparing a specific recipe such as Flower Rolls, the instructions will call for adding baking powder to the dough to give it extra life.
This is a basic recipe for making the steamed bun dough used in Char Siu Bao.
This is a simple recipe for making delicious Char Siu Bao.
Cocktail buns - also known as coconut buns, these have a sweet butter coconut filling.
Dinner Buns With Coconut Milk
This is a delicious dinner bun recipe. Adding coconut milk makes these dinner buns taste even better.
Delicious Chinese flower roll recipe.
A delicious Taiwanese “hamburger” recipe that you should definitely try.