Mántou

I have traveled to China for many years. However, I didn’t know until recently that I had a Chinese name or nick-name that my colleagues always use when referring to me.

I was having lunch with my colleagues during my last trip to Shanghai and it came up during conversation as they talked about what to order.

Steamed Bread, Steamed Buns, Chinese Nickname, Food, Chinese FoodThe Chinese name that they use for me is 饅頭 or Mántou. This translates to steamed buns or steamed bread. I found that this was the name given to me on my first trip to China way back in the late 90’s.

I had been thinking about this last week since it was the Chinese New Year, and decided that I needed to have some Mántou.

Luckily there are several Asian grocery stores near our office so it was easy to pick up some steamed buns.

Bamboo steamer, chinese food, mantou, steamed breadOf course then came the question of how to warm up the buns. I asked a friend of mine how to warm up the buns and she told me that I could wrap them in a wet paper towel and put them in the microwave.  However, this was after I had warmed up the first batch I picked up in my steam powered egg cooker. It worked out OK, but I decided that I needed to be even more traditional in my reheating method.

This week I stopped again at the grocery and bought a bamboo steamer set.

Mantou, Steamed bun, Chinese Bread, Steamer, Bamboo SteamerHere I have one of the buns ready to steam in the bamboo container.

Steamer, Bamboo, steam source, egg cooker, CuisinartOf course if you have a bamboo steamer you also need to have a source of steam. This is traditionally just a stockpot, pan or wok full of water with the bamboo steamer set above it.

However, I decided to still make use of part of my egg cooker. I found that the bamboo steamer fit just perfectly inside the raised edge of the egg tray as it was the same diameter as the metal dome of the egg cooker.

I then just needed to fill the water reservoir and turn on the egg cooker. Instant steam and just the right amount of time to heat up one of the Mántou that I had bought yesterday.

I am also thinking of other things that I can steam in my bamboo steamer 🙂

steamed bread, chinese bread, mantou, steamed bunsThe bun was delicious and I was soon remembering wonderful dinners that I have had in Singapore and Shanghai which included some wonderful steamed buns.

How did I get the nickname? Nobody would be quite honest with me 🙂

Steven

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