As promised, here is the first part of the recipe of my Mom’s awesome baozi. If you know what manapua is, then you have a general idea of what baozi is. When the Chinese first came to Hawaii, they brought along their homemade recipes and like much of Hawaii’s unique food, it morphed into what we now know as manapua today. This is a traditional recipe and so far we haven’t found anyone who knows how to make this in Hawaii or Taiwan. Even my family who still live in China and Taiwan have told us repeatedly that no one makes baozi by hand anymore. In fact, whether you eat it in a restaurant or at home, it’s usually processed.
Why does my Mom know about it you ask? As the main cook for her family from age 10, she learned all the traditional recipes and used them to her advantage when she moved to Hawaii at 26. With no access to the processed baozi in China and Taiwan, she had to rely on her cooking skills whenever she felt like home-cooked food. My Mom’s one disclaimer is that she uses self-rising flour in this recipe (which she thinks is the coolest thing ever!). While extremely common in the U.S., it’s not something you would find in your everyday restaurant in Taiwan.