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Looking for Bao

I am looking for a nice resturant that serves BAO, a chinese type of steamed, filled bun or bread-like item wich variation fillings, typically pork or chicken in the Baltimore or DC area. They are not dumplings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baozi. PLEASE HELP ME as I have no idea where to start looking.


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  1. its not a restaurant, but you can find them at Maxim grocery in Rockville.

    1. Asian Court on US 40 West in Ellicott City has 4-5 different types of bao on their dim sum menu. I have never had them, though. http://www.asiancourt.org/

      1 Reply
      1. re: treetop tom

        Their steamed barbecue pork bao are very good. I think that I've had custard filled bao there as well.

      2. It would be helpful if you told us what city you live in. Bao should be available in all Chinese restaurants that serve dim sum; also in Chinese grocery stores that serve hot food as well as stand alone bakeries like Bread Corner and Maria's, etc.

        4 Replies
        1. re: comestibles

          I live in Baltimore City, so my last resort would be going to H Mart in Ellicott City and look through the freezer section. I was hoping to get a recommendation for a place that serves them fresh, hot and scrumptious. However, THANKS TO TREETOP TOM, I am headed to Asian Court this Friday, I will report back and let everyone know how the HOT ASIAN BUNS are!!! Thanks for all of your help!

          1. re: tsallan1

            Let us know, but to be honest, I'd expect all of the Dim Sum to be better on Saturdays and Sundays when they have cart service.

            1. re: Jason1

              I went last Friday, and the Dim Sum was amazing. Everything I hoped it would be. I realized that instead of looking for Bao places I needed to find a great Dim Sum place. So for all of my fellow Bao lovers, Asian Court is tried and tested to be one of the best Dim Sum locations in the Baltimore Area. Thank you to everyone who help me in my adventure!!

              1. re: tsallan1

                i grew up in the san gab valley and i like the baked ones at oriental east in silver spring. i order up a dozen and glide past the weekend dim sum line to pick up the string tied paper box that reminds me of my childhood. i always toast them up a bit more before i eat them

        2. The Vietnamese version can be found at several places in Eden Center.

          1. heck even Safeway and the Teeter usu. have them in the freezer section (not the best, but when it's rainy or 3 AM or whatever, they fill the need)

            a good Asian market like H Mart will have a million varieties in their freezer. a minute or 2 under a damp paper towel in the microwae revives them fairly well.

            1. I ate them daily in Beijing and ended up having to make my own here -- really time consuming, only makes sense for a big party and high volume street vendors. Like everyone has said, Dim Sum places probably have the sweet bbq kind, but finding a general meat of veggie baozi might be hard. Never tried the frozen type (not sure if some commenters are thinking of jaozi, the typical restaurant dumpling.) I like them small and super soft. Most places that do bbq baozi have rubbery steamed dough, so anticipating the same, I don't even bother with the freezer brands. Not sure if I just like the cheap kind that's been sitting in the steamer, or if tough dough is the ideal. Let us know if Eden Center, the Dim Sums, or the freezer aisle lives up to expectations.

              Actually, you should do a weekend afternoon taste test of all of them.

              People don't know how good baozi is. Jaozi dumplings are popular because they're so durable and faster to make (store bought prepared dough/shells), but soft dough baozi is the bomb.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Russel Shank

                In the refrigerated section of any Chinese grocery store are buns of all types (vegetable, pork, pork and cabbage, etc.) that can be reheated in a steamer or microwave. The usually come 6 or 8 to a pack.

                1. re: dpan

                  How do they compare to fresh made buns? Are they more rubbery?

                  1. re: Russel Shank

                    Certainly they're not going to be as good as the fresh ones, but satisfying nonetheless if you crave them if they're the only ones at hand. I find them pretty good, and definitely not rubbery. If you heat them up properly they're perfectly fine.

                    1. re: dpan

                      the freezer variety I mentioned is generally the diameter of a tennis ball or a bit larger. it can be rubbery if it gets freezer burn and/or is microwaved too fast. really just a stop gap solution.

                      having yet to go to Asia, I'm sure I don't know what I'm missing, but then that would spoil it for me once back here.

                      keep the bar low and you'll always be happy, right?

                2. re: Russel Shank

                  I've found good baos at some vietnamese places that carry banh mi. They're not the same as the ones you'd get at dimsum, much larger, but they're very good, light fluffy dough, more meat ratio. I've found the same as you with freezer ones--even steamed, they're rubbery and not the same. As making your own goes, my aunt does the dough with a mix it's pretty good, not as good as scratch but much less time consuming. I'm talking about the ones made with rice flour.

                3. New Kam Fong has them in Wheaton. Baked Pork and a Sweet bun are the kinds I have seen. They gace us a couple late at night saying they were much better in the morning when fresh. We microwaved them and they were pretty darn good.

                  1. "They are not dumplings."

                    Of course they're dumplings, in every sense of the word. But they are not like ravioli or pasta. They are steamed and very bready. Baozi.

                    I had some in the 600 block of H St, NW, in Chinatown, but I was in a hurry and I got takeout and I don't remember which place. It was on the north side of the street. If you ask around in Chinatown, I'm sure you will find them within a block of Gallery Place Metro.

                    But I wouldn't expect to find a wide variety like you can in the San Gabriel Valley. You might not find anything more than roast pork, which I like better as char sui bao, in a baked bun.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Steve

                      He means dumplings with a capital "D" I'm sure, like the only dumplings you mind in 99.9% of chinese joints - jaotzii

                    2. There is, indeed, a Chinese restaurant called "Bao" on Vermont Ave.

                      1. Great Wall Market in Merrified, Va (off Gallows & Arlington Rd from 495) has some pretty good baotzi. Their "dim sum" food area is pretty train station looking, but the bao is pretty good.