Tasting Malaysian Pau (Steamed Buns) In Malaysia

While I love embracing new experiences and tasting new foods, there’s something incredibly comforting about finding familiar foods while traveling. It’s similar to finding fresh seasonal fruits at the grocery store for the first time that year. You’ve had fresh summertime produce before. But seeing heaps of plump ears of corn or piles of massive watermelon in July inspires joy and a bit of relief that we’ve reached the summer once again. This is how I felt when I saw a steaming cart of freshly steamed buns in our Kuala Lampur neighborhood, Jalan Pudu.

I grew up in Vancouver, Canada. We have a culturally diverse population with a wide selection of Asian food available, including steamed buns. Siopao (Filipino steamed buns filled with sweet pork) was synonymous with travel in my household because it tasted delicious and stayed fresh days.

When I saw the steaming cart labelled “Pau” in Jalan Pudu, I literally squealed and quickly walked towards it!

Tasting Pau In Malaysia – The Chatty Bear Food Walk

Trying #malaysian #pau for the first time! They’re savory #steamedbuns similar to #filipino #siopao and it’s available everywhere: from sit-down restaurants to roadside stalls 😋

#pau #paü #malaysianfood #malaysianfoods #malaysianfoodie #malaysianfoodtruck

Posted by Chatty Bear on Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Because it was late at night, the selection was limited, but I was able to try two phenomenal steamed buns: Tai Pao (also known as Da Bao or Dai Bao, Big Chinese Steamed Bun) & Bao Zai Fan (Claypot Rice) served in a bao bowl!

These were the biggest steamed buns I’ve ever seen. In the video, you’ll see that one bun was larger than my two hands!

The Tai Pau was filled with pork, chicken, an egg and savory sauce. It was comparable to a Filipino Siopao Bola-Bola. Let me tell you, I’ll forever be searching for this steamed bun!

The Bao Zai Fan served in a bao bowl also continues to haunt me! When I approached the steamed bun cart, the vendor opened drawers to show me the treasures inside. When I saw the steamed bun filled – and I mean FILLED – with rice, pork and veg, my heart was filled with so much joy. Fluffy, delicious rice and pork were flavoured beautifully with a sweet, savoury sauce.

If you have ever seen this before, please let me know where! I would love to have another.

It’s also on my recipe-creation bucket list. Must. Make. This. At. Home. Then return to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Geraldine Sangalang

Geraldine is the Founder of Chatty Bear. She manages client outreach and media, including restaurant and product reviews. Geraldine is a Vancouver-based human resources professional, writer and entrepreneur. A Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and Society for Human Resource Management-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), Geraldine's career is centered on coaching leaders to strengthen teams and empower themselves. Geraldine is passionate about mentoring and volunteers as the Virtual Mentoring Network Lead for the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources, BC & Yukon.