The term “fusion” in the food world has become the ginger buzz-word that no one likes to use or knowledge anymore, instead, choosing words like, “nouveau” or “modern” in its place to rationalize a menu that interweaves two different types of cuisine or to exemplify a chef’s take on a particular food. What I enjoy (and don’t enjoy) the most is seeing Asian-fusion restaurants and menus. I often deem these places as serving food that tries to introduce Asian cuisine to non-Asian palates, easing in uses of Asian cooking ingredients that aren’t too weird or will freak out the masses. I recently checked out Restaurant Hà that represents themselves in the spirit of a “Bia Loi” – a Vietnamese street corner watering hole that serving quick bites – with a South-East Asian inspired menu.
I once wondered what it would be like to cook a bao (a steamed bun) like you would a pan-fried dumpling. I entertained the idea for a while trying to figure out how it would work and followed my instincts and went for it. I didn’t get too far until my mom told me that pan-fried baos are an actual thing and popped all my dreams of being a hybrid dumpling-bao visionary. Chances are unless you’ve traveled to Jiangnan or Shanghai China, you’ve probably never had these pan-fried pork buns here in Montreal – no one makes them here… but now YOU can!