Have you ever had hot pandesal with condensed milk for palaman? What about crackers drizzled with condensed milk? If you love this sweet and salty combination, you will also love mantou buns! This Chinese steamed bun, in its simplest form, is made with four simple ingredients: flour, yeast, water, and salt.
Mantou buns are fist-sized plain buns that are often steamed until it becomes soft and slightly airy–not to be confused with bao, which have a savory or sweet filling inside. Another way mantou is served is to deep fry it until it achieves a golden-brown color.
You can enjoy steamed Mantou as is, but the deep-fried Mantou is usually served with condensed milk. Chinese restaurants often serve this steamed or deep fried, but in Singapore and Malaysia, the mantou buns are dipped in the sauce of chili crab dishes. Not bad for a delicious four-ingredient delicacy, right?
Besides steamed mantou buns and deep-fried mantou buns, there’s also flavored mantou buns! Chinese restaurants and Chinese specialty stores have it in different flavors. House of Mantou Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant in Quezon City, serves cheesy caramel mantou (P118/6 pieces) and choco fudge mantou (P128/6 pieces). They also have ube and monggo-filled mantou (P28/piece) and mantou that come in chocolate, malunggay, squash, ube, and monggo flavors (P30/3 pieces; P58/6 pieces). If you don’t want to go out, House of Mantou Restaurant delivers their plain, ube-filled mantou, mongo-filled mantou, and the flavored mantou.
Ya Chuo, a Chinese specialty store, offers and delivers flavored mantou. This Chinese retail store in Quezon City offers frozen small-sized mantou that comes in ube and brown (brown sugar and coffee!) flavors (P55/9 pieces). They also have a unique and healthier take on mantou buns: they offer wheat mantou (P60/9 pieces)!
We also found KG Pastry’s Chocolate Mantou (P110/8 pieces) in Metro Gaisano Supermarket. They also have frozen plain and pandan, but we have yet to spot them!
What you can do with these flavored mantou buns are to steam them and eat them as is or you can also fry them to give it a bit of a charred taste. A healthier, less oily alternative is to toast the mantou buns as you would with pandesal, which gives it an uneven golden brown color and will have the same density as a steamed mantou bun. Depending on how sweet the flavored mantou is, you can still dip it in condensed milk or use other fillings.
House Of Mantou Restaurant is located at 370 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City. For more information, you can call their number: (02) 414-8153.
For more information, follow Ya Chuo on Facebook.