Mantou, Chinese steamed bun, usually brings to mind something like this:
But they can also be like this:
This one weighs 10 kg. Yes, you read that right. 10 kg. It takes 50 minutes just to steam the mantou. It’s usually reserved for occasions like someone’s 60th birthday.
They can be flowery, like this:
Lotus flower mantou
They can be delicate-sized, like this:
They can also be bigger than your hand:
Or the size of a baby:
They can bear the image of folklore deities:
Or be imprinted with Chinese characters:
People with a sweet tooth would enjoy:
Made with eggs and flour, rolled in honey, and sprinkled with wolfberries, sesame, and raisins.
(My teeth ache from just listing the ingredients.)
If it’s too sweet for you, how about some fresh fruits?
Haha, sorry I lied. What you saw just now are not fruits. They’re steamed buns disguised as fruits.
All colourings are extracts from fruits and vegetables. No artificial colourings used.
The colour of persimmon comes from carrots.
The colour of green apple comes from spinach.
What’s amazing is that they don’t just look like fruits. They taste like fruits, too.
I have an idea: if you’re on a diet and want to cheat under the watchful eyes of your friends, you can carry a basket of these and pretend you’re a fruitarian.
These beautiful flower paintings are also edible.
Chongyang cake, eaten on the Chongyang Festival
They can be peach-shaped:
Or look like mahjong tiles:
Or be shaped like a fish, or coloured like a pumpkin.
They are all made of flour.
How about some melon seeds?
You can even eat this adorable hedgehog.
Or this pipa-shaped Chinese knot.
When you are cramming for exams and need all the help you can get, why not literally cram some of the words into your stomach?
Made with soybean. The Chinese characters are made of black sesame.
Sculpture aficionados can now eat their favourite stone carvings.
Edible lotus flower
No discussion on Chinese snacks can be complete without mentioning dim sum.
Char siew bao,
Har gow, and
are collectively known as the “four kings of Cantonese dim sum”.
I love my family and friends, but if there’re three plates of dim sum in front of us, then, sorry, our relationship is going to have to be temporarily suspended.