Last Updated: Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 10:33 AM EST
You may have never looked at the word "bao" before. And right now, you're probably pronouncing it like Scott Baio, or bow as in bow-and-arrow.
Well, bow down, my friends, to bao (yep — "bow" as in "take a bow"). These pillow-y, steamy, flavorful, hand-holdable delights are wickedly addictive.
Chef Greg Richie appreciated the bao so much that he recently opened Baoery Asian Gastropub in Orlando's Thornton Park. Hsi rock star menu item is called Dynamite Bao.
"It's a little bit spicy," Richie said. "It's got some fish caviar in it that kinda 'pop' like a dynamite."
The base for the Dynamite mixture has everything from mayo, soy sauce and fish sauce, to togarashi and sriracha.
"That's going to give it a certain unctuousness," he said, knowing very well he just made my word-of-the-day.
The star meats in this bao are crab, bay scallops and tempura shrimp. It's gooey and a little bit messy in the best way ever.
By Baoery Asian Gastropub
4 each Bao Buns (made from scratch or frozen)
4 each shrimp 16/20 size, peeled and deveined, butterflied
16 each fresh bay scallops
2 oz crabmeat, picked of shells
1/2 cup mayonnaise (made from scratch or purchased)
2 large shiitake mushrooms, diced and sauteed
1/2 tsp rayu (spicy sesame oil)
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp tobiko
1/4 tsp togarashi
salt to taste
Combine all of the ingredients from the second column to make the base mixture. Adjust seasonings to your preference.
Place buns in a steamer basket and put over small pan of simmering water.
When ready to serve, saute the scallops and crab meat.
At the same time, fry the shrimp in either a standard tempura batter or breaded up with flour and bread crumbs.
(I like to fry it somehow to create a crispiness for another level of texture)
Add sauteed items to the dynamite mayo mixture. Place a quarter of the mixture into a bao bun. Continue filling the remaining buns.
Place a crispy shrimp into each bun as well.
Garnish with a cilantro sprig if desired.
If the buns are not very soft and hot, return to basket with a lid on them and heat for another minute before serving.