Meat and bread: for carnivores, what’s not to like? These two ingredients form the foundation of two Chinese approaches to this classic canon: the snacks known as bao and roujiamo.
Lotus leaf buns, or bao, are fluffy clamshell-shaped steamed breads folded around a variety of fillings. With roots in South China’s Fujian province, this handheld snack is a staple dish in many Asian countries and regions, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Here in Montreal, diners can enjoy bao stuffed with everything from soft-shell crab to kimchi to karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Roujiamo (literally “meat wedged in bread”) is a flat, saucer-sized griddled bread, split and stuffed with tender beef, lamb, or pork. Sometimes referred to as a Chinese hamburger, it hails from the Shaanxi province, but is increasingly found here, thanks in part to Chinese expats who can’t live without it.
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