Steamed Bun of Taro Goodness

After I was done with work today, I went over to Waldbaum’s to buy the weirdest thing ever: three pounds of butter and a package of yeast, and I followed up that stop with a visit to the local Asian supermarket. For what, you may ask, was I in need of so much sweet dairy fat, dormant microorganisms, and non-Western goods?

I actually have no immediate need for such a large quantity of butter, but Waldbaum’s has it on sale this week for buy one get two free. That is an insanely amazing price for butter, so I figured I’d stock up. I enjoy baking, and that generally requires butter for the best-tasting results, so it’ll be useful to have around. I’ve got two of the pounds in the freezer, so they’ll keep for months yet. It’s all about getting good deals on pantry staples. ;]

As for the yeast, my sister’s been wanting yeast for a while now, and she kept forgetting to tell me so whenever I was going food shopping recently. I was thinking about it today, so I got it for her. I’m curious to see what exactly it is she needs microscopic fermenting factories for, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough!

Finally, the Asian grocery store was basically just for killing the 30 minutes I had left after my food shopping until the next bus back to campus would be going by. However, what began as an innocent visit to do a reconnaissance of what the store has as compared to what is contained in my growing knowledge of Asian foodstuffs became a TARO PURCHASING TRIP OF DOOM.

While passing by the refrigerated cases on the right side of the store, I came upon the so-labelled Steamed Taro Buns I’d spotted the last time I was there but forwent buying because I was on a mission to find sweet red bean paste or adzuki beans. This time, on the other hand, I had no such goal in mind, and so the last, lone package of hulking taro buns was quickly removed from it’s chill-house of solitariness into my possession for impending consumption.

The bus took seemingly forever to get to the stop I was waiting at, but that was certainly because I was impatient to steam up these buns and taste the taro-y goodness lurking inside. Almost as soon as I got back to my apartment, I set up a pot to steam them, and put two buns inside–one for me, and one for my sister’s friend Terry. Ten minutes later, we were both very happily devouring soft, moist, steamy buns of taroness.

Steamed Taro BunWhen I say these buns are hulking, I mean they’re hulking. After it was steamed, the thing was easily the size of my fist. I wasn’t complaining, though! I certainly got my money’s worth with six of these insanely large buns for $2.75. 🙂 After removing the paper lining from the bottom of the bun, ready to introduce it to my tummy, I was overwhemingly overjoyed to discover IT WAS ROLLED LIKE A CINNAMON BUN. I could PEEL IT APART INTO A SPIRAL.

So of course I did. ;D

Bun InnardsCombined with the novelty of de-laminating the bun, the deliciousness of the barely-sweet, just-enough-taro-flavor mound of dough in front of me made this the most enjoyable non-cake-bread-eating experience I can remember. Forget about dinner rolls. Move over regular bread. Give me taro buns or give me…no bread! ;P 😀

Once that entire hunk of taro bun delight was being submerged in tummy juices, I decided the steaming of another was in order. That’s how the trip to the Oriental Grocery became a Taro Purchasing Trip of Doom. While one bun was absolutely wonderful, two was…well, one too many, heh. I am so stuffed right now, but at least I am STUFFED WITH DELICIOUSNESS!!

3 thoughts on “Steamed Bun of Taro Goodness”

  1. Hahaha, I find this entry cute. We call them “mantou” (mahn toe) and I presume you got the big ones. There are smaller ones that are bite sized and I think they taste better than the big ones. I’ve been eating them for many years… I don’t remember when was the first time I tasted them. My brother actually dislike them because he ate them so many times during high school. And I never knew that it was taro flavored, maybe I should actually read the package or something… I learned something new. 😆

  2. I’ve never seen bite-sized mantou before…but I think I’d rather eat a large one. Because. I’m a pig. 🙂

    It’s nice how such a simple bread can taste sooo goood. Chinese breads may not delve into the crusty kind that I love so much, but no one else seems to make perfect steamed breads and buns. Too bad it’s one of those things I’d never get to make in my cooking class since it’s not conventional cooking. I told my mum I wanted to make steamed bread but we haven’t gotten around to it yet. Mraah.

    This isn’t very Chinese, but the last time I ate mantou I dipped it in olive oil and pepper. ;D Next up I’ll put butter on it, or honey. OR BOTH! Of course, plain is good too.

  3. Michael: Hmm…maybe I want to try the smaller ones if they taste better. EVEN BETTER THAN FRICKIN’ FANTASTIC, WOO! But I’d certainly have to do without the oh-so-fun-unpeelingness the big ones allow. :hrm:

    And hee, yay for teaching you something new about a food you’ve been eating all your life! 😀

    Robyn: You could always eat many bite-sized ones. ;D I mean, if they taste even better, it probably wouldn’t be difficult at all!

    British puddings are actually steamed breads of a sort. Have you ever had a plum pudding or sticky toffee pudding or the like? I’m really curious to try them, now that I’m learning about all these foods I’ve never had before. They are cooked in pans or dishes, so it’s probably more like a Chinese steamed cake, but I wonder if they’d change your opinion of only the Chinese doing steamed bread-things right. ;]

    OMG I WISH I HAD HONEY. O_o That would definitely be good. I tried it with butter, and I honestly can’t say how I like it better. It’s just sooo good all on its own, but the creaminess of the butter does compliment the subtle flavors in the bun really well. Of course, I used unsalted butter, so salted butter might not go as well. But I know you would only have unsalted, whereas most people buy salted. ;P

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