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Oct 11, 2013 07:07 AM

Where can I buy bao (just the little folded buns) near Collegeville?

I'm dying to re-create some of the little bao "sandwiches" I've had in Japanese restaurants. My favorite so far is a little place in Chadds Ford that makes the best crispy duck and brings it out on a plate with all the fixings and you make them up yourself.

I've checked Wegman's, Whole Foods and every other grocery store around with no luck, even frozen. I'm sure there is a place online, but thought maybe someone has bought them outside of Philly.

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  1. Have you checked Assi or HMart? The other place I would check is Maido which is in Ardmore (they used to be in Narberth,) they are a hybrid grocery and restaurant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cwdonald

      You can definitely buy frozen mantou at Assi and HMart and, not positive, but probably also Kobawoo. It isn't the same shape, but it's the same dough and taste.

    2. Which place in Chadds Ford? Now you've got me interested.

      5 Replies
      1. re: FrancisdeR

        It's in a little shopping center next to a Five guys. Masamoto I think. BYOB and killer food.

        1. re: bugablue13

          Ah. Of course. Masamoto is far and away the best Japanese in the entire county. I never even thought of trying the duck. Thanks for suggesting it.

          1. re: FrancisdeR

            " Masamoto is far and away the best Japanese in the entire county."

            Is this for real? I just peeked at the menu and besides the sushi most of wha they serve isn't even Japanese food (lo mein, pad thai, coconut shrimp, etc)

            1. re: barryg


              It is for real. 28 Zagat rating, it's not just me. Yes, they do the "Asian Cafe" routine, where they have dishes from many Asian cultures. Chef Cai is actually Chinese.

              Myself I stick to the Japanese items (usually do Omakase), except for the steamed pork dumplings which I just love. That's why I hadn't tried the Peking Duck yet.

              I strongly recommend you try it. Then I'd like to hear what you think.


              1. re: FrancisdeR

                Just to temper that: Masamoto is good but it's not 28 Zagat rating good. If I had to assign a number it'd be closer to 22-23.

                Quality sushi, definitely the best in Delco/Chester County (that's saying nothing), but don't set expectations too high. I've had plenty of good meals there. And more than a few bad ones.

                It is BYO, though, which is nice, and if you're in Northern Wilmington or Eastern Chester/Western Delaware County, it's worth a visit.

      2. I thought bao were Chinese, and stuffed dough, not little sandwiches.

        5 Replies
        1. re: barryg

          They are Chinese, but maybe the OP frequents many a Chinese-run Japanese establishment? Or this is another usage for this word of which I am unaware (if so, please enlighten us, OP).

          Generally, bao are buns that usually have some kind of stuffing. But the dough that makes up bao can be steamed and then slit to make up guabao (slit bun) that are little sandwiches. I think it was Eddie Huang that popularized these on the East Coast...

          An enjoyable digression:

          1. re: mookleknuck

            They are not the split ones or the stuffed ones. They look like really fluffy little tacos. Almost the look of a canned biscuit folded in half.

            SO good with crispy duck and cucumbers.

              1. re: mookleknuck

                YES! Wow, honestly never thought of making them. Not making the duck though...

                1. re: bugablue13

                  These are still considered bao. Here's a recipe I haven't used:

                  Good luck! If you decide to give up/not hassle, look for the frozen mantou at the aforementioned grocery stores for a much more convenient solution.