Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 183

Lotus Nut Paste Bun: Today's post actually contains 2 new items in one, and I'm actually embarrassed to say that I've never eaten a traditional Chinese steamed bun in any form. I've heard nothing but great things about them for the last few years, so when I noticed these frozen versions at the Cobb County Farmers Market last weekend, I decided it was time to finally try. I know that a lot of purists may wonder about me trying frozen versions of anything first, but it's not always easy to find fresh, even in a city as diverse as Atlanta. These also contained something called "lotus nut paste," which I've never had either.Was it made from a lotus, or lotus nuts? Time to find out.

Since I didn't eat much lunch, I figured one of these couldn't hurt as an afternoon snack. The package contained 6 pieces, each a bit bigger than a baseball cut in half. After covering with a wet paper towel and heating in the microwave for 45 seconds, I grabbed a knife and cut it in half. I could immediately detect a smell that reminded me of freshly-kneaded bread dough, which is hard not to love. According to the ingredients, the bun itself was made from water, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and something called "dough improver." The brownish lotus nut paste in the middle was indeed made from lotus nuts, as well as a mix of mung bean, sugar, rapeseed oil and glucose. It smelled good enough, so I was excited to finally try.
I grabbed one of the halves and took a bite, and the steamy chewiness of the bun was actually pretty good. It had a much more spongy texture than bread, and the brief "steaming" in the microwave managed to not dry it out like I expected. The lotus nut paste provided a mildly sweet, grainy filling, and it reminded me a lot of the red bean paste commonly found in many Asian pastries. I know that these types of buns can be filled with almost anything, but this one would maybe be best suited for a side item or light breakfast/dessert.
Even though I enjoyed this frozen bun, I'd really like to know where I can find a good fresh version in Atlanta. I've heard that Chef Liu's on Bu-Hi does a good job with them, so if anyone can confirm that (or suggest other locations), please let me know.


  1. I like Hong Kong Harbour's on Cheshire Bridge, they are a bit on the big side so a whole one can sit pretty heavy, but quite tasty.

  2. Thanks for the rec - I know exactly where HKH is, but I've never been. Will try to check it out.

  3. There is only one thing better than shopping in Hong Kong, and that’s eating. From small noodle joints to upscale French restaurant, you will locate all sorts of restaurant, eating hall and snack stall on earth in Hong Kong. Here I found small amount of Hong-Kong-styled snacks online ( This is definitely a good choice before I have $ for another trip.