So, how do you actually eat a bao? It's not as daft a question as it may sound – as variations on the sandwich go, it's logistically trickier than the burger, the hotdog, or even the bao's closest cousin, the taco. The real answer, of course, is however the hell you want; you’re your own person, and if you want to disassemble and reassemble your bao three times before blending it into a smoothie, we’re not going to stop you (actually we might – those Nutribullets are noisy).
That said, given that we’ve participated in the destruction of hundreds of baos, and borne witness to many thousand more, we thought we’d offer our thoughts on the best (and worst) ways to tackle these little cloud-sandwiches.
No, don’t be silly. If the first bite is with the eye, then the second is most definitely with the hand – those soft, squishy buns are an utter pleasure to fondle and squeeze, so cutlery of any sort is out of the question. Fingers all the way!
Also known as ‘hotdog style’, this approach yields a decent cross-section of filling, topping and bun with every bite. But make sure you’ve got napkins to hand, especially if your face is on the hairier side, as you could end up with saucy stuff all over your top lip and dangerously close to your nostrils. But hey, it's all part of the fun.
Also known as ‘burger style’, this is the best way to get straight into the action. We’d advise mixing up the angle for your second and third bites, though, else you’ll end up with a handful of bun with no filling, which is a sorry situation to be in.
Probably the most popular angle of attack and for good reason – having bun both top and bottom reduces the risk of facial mess, while a good cross-section of filling is guaranteed with every bite. If the person you’re eating with handles their bao like this without hesitation, they’ve definitely done this before.
Only if you want your filling to plop out and everyone to laugh at you.
What about sharing?
Fine by us, but whatever you do, don’t try to tear a bao in half, as you’ll probably end up dropping your filling on the table, your lap or – worst of all – the floor (health and safety regulations prevent us from enforcing the three-second rule). Put simply, the best way to share a bao is to take a bite and pass it on. If you’re on a first date, probably best just to order your own.
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