Have you guys had bao before? It’s kind of a catch all term for steamed buns – you know the kind that you see at dim sum in the steamy baskets, or maybe at your favorite Chinese joint, with pork belly tucked in? Bao come in all shapes and sizes but I’m especially fond of the fold over variety. When I see them, all puffy and fluffy, just waiting for fillings to be stuffed in, I get a little giddy thinking about the multitude of possibilities out there.
Steamed buns make the perfect vehicle for a quick breakfast sandwich. If you keep a stash of frozen buns in your freezer, you’re halfway to a quick and easy fun take on a classic bacon and egg bun. I tend to stock up on these little buns when I’m at the Asian grocery store, just because they’re so convenient. Sometimes I take the time to make a huge batch to steam and freeze, but when I do, I find that most of the buns end up in my tummy, rather than the freezer.
I could brunch on these bao all day long: crisp bacon, fluffy scrambled egg, fresh cucumbers, and a touch of sweet and savory hoisin sauce tucked into a fluffy steamed bun. I contemplated going with a sunny side up egg for the runny yolk appeal, but in the end I’m glad I went with the folded over scrambled eggs. They fit inside the buns perfectly, making these guys the perfect package of sweet, savory, crispy, crunchy, and soft.
Hope you have a happy Sunday filled with all the brunch things!
PS – I’m in love with Farmhouse Pottery! All the dishes in this post –minus the mini frying pan, of course– are handcrafted and fired in Vermont with love. They’re definitely pieces that I reach for over and over again; they make everything, even a simple slice of toast, look all the more appetizing :)
Bacon and Egg Bao Recipe
makes 2 buns, scale as needed
- 2 slices of bacon, cut in half
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 steamed buns*
- hoisin sauce, to taste
- 6-8 thin slices of cucumber
- green onions, to garnish
- sriracha, if desired
Pan fry the bacon over medium heat, flipping as necessary, until crisp and to your liking. While the bacon is cooking, cook the egg. Heat a small non-stick frying pan on medium low heat. Add a touch of oil and swirl to coat. Pour in a thin layer of egg and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, much like a crepe. Cook, untouched over low heat until egg sets and releases. Use a rubber spatula to flip and cook for another 10-15 seconds. Remove and fold into a square. Repeat with the remaining bit of egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Warm the buns in the microwave on a plate, covered with a very slightly damp paper towel, for 30 seconds to a minute. Spread hoisin sauce on the bottom of the bun, to taste. Place the folded egg square into the bun. Top with bacon, cucumbers, and green onions. Enjoy warm with sriracha if desired!
Notes: You can easily find steamed buns at most Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated or frozen aisles. If you want to try making your own, I’ve found that this recipe is excellent!