I’m in a dough kind of mood. I’ve been craving carbs lately and have also been eager to try and make all sorts of doughs from scratch. A few nights ago, I saw some contestants on Masterchef Australia cook some bao and a lightbulb went off in my head. I had never thought of making bao, and haven’t actually been able to enjoy them very much. If you’ve never heard of bao before, they are basically steamed buns filled with some sort of filling, found all over China. There is a wide variety of bao: ranging from 5-10 inches in diameter, filled with various meat, bean paste and even soup broth (if you’re in Vancouver, the xiaolongbao at Lin’s are award-winning)!
We only go to our big Asian supermarket every couple of months to stock up on essentials, but it’s always quite the outing for us. Not only is the place HUGE, but I tend to slowly make my way through every aisle, trying to decipher what lurks within the cans and bottles of products (because the packaging and signage is usually in Chinese or Japanese etc and unfortunately, I am not fluent in either). The most frustrating thing is when I am looking for something specific, and I know it has to be somewhere amongst all of those aisles, if only I could just find it. That’s what happened with the great search for preserved black beans.
I hardly ever cook with tofu. A lot of people are surprised when they hear that and usually the first question they as is: how do you get your protein? I’m always fairly confused about this. I don’t really think too consciously about including protein in my diet. I kind of just assume if I eat healthily and diversify my diet that I should be fine. Regardless, I have nothing against tofu, I just always go back to our standard stir fry with spicy peanut sauce or miso soup when I buy it, which isn’t overly inspiring.