Gua bao originates in North China, where wheat is a staple crop. Bao or Baozi, are steamed wheat buns, stuffed with various fillings. A gua Bao is a different version of Bao where slices of meat and other condiments are sandwiched between a flat shaped bao.
Lotus leaf bread/Gua Bao is traditionally an accompaniment to rich dishes such as a rice meal or roast and thus the buns support a wide array of fillings. The lotus leaf bao with fillings is called a “he ye bao”.
Bao are thought to have originated in China around the third century. They were supposedly popularised by Zhuge Liang, a legendary military strategist who was known for his tactical prowess. The story goes that when returning home with his army after defeating a king, they came across a river which was impossible to wade through. A local barbarian told him that in the past locals would sacrifice men and throw their heads into the river as an offering to its deity.
Preferring not to put his men through anymore suffering, Zhuge Liang decided to form steamed wheat buns into the shape of human heads, stuff them with meat and throw them into the river instead. The deity obviously found these much more delicious than its usual diet of severed heads, parted the waters and allowed the army to continue the journey. The resulting dish was called mantou (barbarian’s head). In the later years, mantou referred to steamed bread rolls without a filling, while bao (or baozi) became a dish stuffed with various other foods.
Gua Bao is a popular street food in Taiwan. In recent times, bao sandwiches as they are called has taken many followers. It is a very light dinner option and a complete meal with the saucy meat and other fillings.
To end the meal on a sweet note, we have a chilled tapioca pudding with lychee and coconut flakes.
- Pork Gua Bao / INR 480
- Chicken Gua Bao / INR 440
- Mushroom Gua Bao / INR 420
(One portion serves 3 Bao Buns and Asian Vegetable Soup)
- Tapioca Coconut Pudding / INR 160
Serves one. Delivery on Friday, 19 Feb between 6.30 PM and 7.30 PM. Pre-orders only. Delivery charges apply.