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!
I love dumplings. I don’t know many people who don’t like dumplings – that’s only because I don’t have time for people like that in my life and can’t be bothered to befriend them. I will go where the dumplings are; near or far, if there are delicious bundles of meat wrapped in flour dough and served with sauce, you’ll probably find me there, pulling out a seat for you. I’m a dumpling gypsy – not a gypsy dumpling; I can only imagine those things being made with lots of yak cheese and questionable meat. So roaming the city and following my nose for my next dumpling haunt, you can imagine how surprised I was when my nose led me into a repurposed sports bar in a neighbourhood known for Indian restaurants.
I know people like to stick with what they know, and deviating from the norm is something difficult for most. So if you have a hard time trying dumplings other than the standard ones that fill up your table, take a baby stop and try the scallop dumpling.