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Name this bun

hungryann Apr 13, 2013 06:04 PM

Does anyone know the chinese name for this fried steamed bun? It is traditionally served with condensed milk. Is it 'you tiao' in chinese or is there a specific name? Also have you encountered it in any chinese restaurant in town?

  1. c
    chilipepper Apr 13, 2013 06:37 PM

    Is it this?
    I used to order fried mantou at Dobe&Andy many moons ago...

    9 Replies
    1. re: chilipepper
      hungryann Apr 13, 2013 07:52 PM

      I don't read Chinese. How do you write it phonetically? How would I ask or it in a restaurant?

      1. re: hungryann
        SnackHappy Apr 16, 2013 06:47 PM

        They're fried mantou, pronounced man-tow.

        1. re: SnackHappy
          ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 07:13 PM

          Those aren't mantou.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            SnackHappy Apr 16, 2013 07:17 PM

            Well what are they then? They're not scallion flower rolls. They are plain and served with condensed milk as a dessert.

            This blogger seems to believe thay are fried mantou.



            Another picture from Joe's Shanghai:


            1. re: SnackHappy
              ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 07:19 PM


              1. re: ipsedixit
                SnackHappy Apr 16, 2013 07:26 PM

                I just told you, they are plain. No scallions in sight. They are not even savoury. Would you eat scallion buns with condensed milk?

                1. re: SnackHappy
                  ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 07:28 PM

                  Yes, I would.

                  You can't see the scallions because of the golden crust.

                  Look, not trying to argue with you. Just telling you what they are.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    SnackHappy Apr 16, 2013 07:32 PM

                    Ok, but I've eaten these many times and they are very much plain.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      SnackHappy Apr 16, 2013 07:50 PM

                      Ok, how about plain flower rolls, then? Are these Taiwanese?


      2. PotatoHouse Apr 13, 2013 09:23 PM


        ...I name the bun Bob.

        Sorry, running joke among me and my oldest friends.

        1. ipsedixit Apr 13, 2013 09:33 PM


          Translated literally: fried scallion flower roll

          Translated phonetically: tza shiang tzong hua juan

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit
            qianning Apr 17, 2013 06:13 AM

            You are correct that sometimes yin si juan, 银丝卷, are called hua juan 花卷. But the sweet version often served with sweetened condensed milk are not made with or served with scallions.

          2. Kris in Beijing Apr 17, 2013 05:41 AM

            Mantou, with condensed milk.
            Lots of pics of just the bread: http://bit.ly/XR3Jlm
            Medium dense Chinese bread. Unsweetened, and also without any savory additions. Steamed. Sometimes fried after being steamed.

            Initially, coming from an American background, you might expect them to be lighter and sweeter than they are because visually they resemble "dinner rolls."

            The weird thing is that in China, grocery store loaves of sliced bread are "lightly dense" and Sweet, almost like a slice of pound cake. IF we bought sandwich slices, we always had to buy "American Salt" flavour loaf bread.

            1. q
              qianning Apr 17, 2013 05:45 AM

              They are a type of fried man-tou (man tou is a steamed bread, it has many regional names and shapes that vary by geographic region in China, but man-tou is the most common name for the basic steamed version). The type of rolled layered man-tou that you picture is usually called 银丝卷, yin si juan in Mandarin pin yin, literally translated "roll of silver silk". It maybe served steamed or fried, and is more delicate and sweeter than most man-tou.

              The fried version you picture, 炸银丝卷, is often served with sweetened condensed milk. It is particularly popular in Taiwanese and southern Chinese restaurants.

              1 Reply
              1. re: qianning
                qianning Apr 17, 2013 06:22 AM

                Here's a good picture of the various forms of the fried sweet version:


                You'll notice that not everyone makes them in the same shape, which is some part of what leads to the confusion in names.

              2. q
                qianning Apr 17, 2013 06:03 AM

                BTW, 油条"you tiao", literally "oil sticks" is a completely different type of fried dough from the one in your picture.

                this link will show you a picture of you tiao:

                The composition, texture, and way of eating you tiao is completely different from yin si juan.

                6 Replies
                1. re: qianning
                  hungryann Apr 17, 2013 06:24 AM

                  I had these in Xian and the local guide called them 'you tiao'. I knew you tiao as the long rolls that are cut in pieces but the guy insisted, maybe he thought I wouldn't know the difference.

                  1. re: hungryann
                    qianning Apr 17, 2013 06:45 AM

                    I worked as a guide in the PRC a long time ago.....there's a real tendency among guides to give an easy answer.....and in fairness, not everybody is an expert in every subject, plus there are plenty of regional variations in terminology. To put that in North American terms, rutabaga=turnip=yellow turnip=swede, depending on where you are from in the States. Still even in Xian the item in your picture shouldn't be a "you tiao", I'm pretty sure about this.

                    This is in Chinese, but it was filmed in Xian, and is about making "you tiao"

                    Anyway, why are you asking about the rolls in your initial picture? Are you trying to find a recipe? or are you identifying photos from your trip? or looking for a restaurant that serves them? If you are looking for these at a restaurant, your best bets are Taiwanese, Shanghainese and Cantonese places, in that order.

                    1. re: qianning
                      hungryann Apr 20, 2013 03:59 PM

                      I understand that the guide just gave me an easy answer and I knew you tiao is something different, that's why I did not push it further with him. I asked here to learn the proper name so that I can order them at Chinese restaurants. Thanks for your help!

                    2. re: hungryann
                      Chemicalkinetics Apr 17, 2013 10:46 AM

                      <I had these in Xian and the local guide called them 'you tiao'. >

                      I don't know what is 'Xian', but it is not you tiao. Do a google search on 'You Tiao' and see what you will find.

                      The most general term would probably be called as "Fried Chinese steamed buns". Chinese are very particular in term of buns. Many Chinese buns are finely classified, whereas they look very similar to non-Chinese.

                      CNN has a photo of this:

                      Deep fried glazed buns with condensed milk


                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        hungryann Apr 20, 2013 04:00 PM

                        Xian is a city in China.

                        1. re: hungryann
                          Chemicalkinetics Apr 20, 2013 04:53 PM

                          Thanks. I was reading it in one word, but know I know you meant Xi'an. Thanks.

                  2. Chemicalkinetics Apr 17, 2013 10:40 AM

                    You got some nice answers here. I would call them "炸花卷" which is not inaccurate to call it "炸馒头".

                    They are not 'You Tiao" which is different. You Tiao is long, crustier, lighter (very puffed up) and has no yeast.


                    The non-fried version is called 花卷, and its English name is Mandarian roll or Chinese Flower roll


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