It seems you can't turn a street corner in Dublin these days without hearing or seeing something about 'bao'..
These steamed asian buns are creating quite a stir across the city, and they're popping up on menus left, right, and centre!
After featuring Bread and Bones back in our article about the 5 best steamed buns in Dublin they invited us in for a bao masterclass. and of course we were only too happy to oblige!
Now, I had already stumbled across this restaurant by chance a couple of months back and had the pleasure of trying their roast pork belly bao so I was keen to get into the kitchen and see how these things were actually made.
All the dough ingredients were mixed together in a bowl. Their dough is completely dairy-free as they just use some warm water and oil for moisture, although you’d never guess as it tastes creamy, sweet and light all at the same time.
Usually the typical bao you see is snow white but these ones are a pale yellow colour, this is because they opt to use natural ingredients as opposed to the super bleached Chinese flour. We then got to knead the dough and watched in amazement as it doubled in size when left to rise. We then rolled out the dough into balls about the size of a plum - well, we were told to anyways.
Mine ended up ranging in size anywhere from that of a grape to a grapefruit. Nailed it!
We flattened them and brushed each lump lightly with oil, folded them in half and left them to rise once again. Then we placed the dough on grease proof paper and stuck them in the basket steamer for seven to ten minutes. We ended up with delicious fluffy, white buns that were impossible to resist.
One thing I took from the master class was the quality of their ingredients blew me away, their fish is sourced from Wrights of Marinos and their pork belly from FX Buckleys. All their dishes consist of locally sourced, fresh produce and it pays off.
They achieve something unique here by serving up all of our favourite things in a way that most of us have never had them before.
Throughout the day the staff hinted at new dishes and flavours that are going to be featured on their new menu and it sounds like it’s going to be a hell of a selection.
Bao will be a hard act to follow but we can’t wait to see what comes next!