Photo by Jennifer Fedrizzi Yum!
Just about every country in the East has a food that features pillowy steamed bread stuffed with meat. The Chinese begat the original, bao. The Japanese call theirs nikuman, while the Koreans have wang mandoo and the Filipinos siopao. Even Indonesia--which is as far south as you can go and still call it Asia--has a version. The Vietnamese variant, bánh bao, is not unlike the others--fluffy starch, filling meat, a whole meal in a compact hemisphere you can hold in one hand. But as good as they are, bánh baos aren't that easy to find in OC.