When much of the world thinks of Chinese food, do bread, dairy and dessert often come to mind? I’m not even referring to ingredients or dishes from hundreds or thousands of years ago, or Chinese restaurant kitchens adapted to local tastes.
My introduction to 馒头 (mántou), steamed wheat bread originally from northern China, is actually one of my fondest food memories. In 2004 I visited Singapore with my dad, and a couple of natives invited us to try chili crab. Not only was it delicious – but it was equally fun to sop up the chili sauce with fried mantou.
It’s easy to satisfy savory cravings in China, but what if wanted to grab me somethin’ sweet?
Due to various jobs and halcyon desires to rapidly fill up my passport, I’ve naturally spent more time getting familiar with Shenzhen menus more than any other in China. Based on past experiences, what better way to conclude a meal drowned in cooking oil and loaded with MSG (but I’m not actually against it…) than by getting served A) sliced tomatoes covered in granulated sugar, B) caramelized potatoes that will singe your mouth or C) durian anything?
Thank you kindly, but I’ll go with D) fried (金炸 jīnzhà) mantou with 炼奶 (liànnǎi), or sweetened condensed milk.
Have you tried this combo before? If you’re really looking to overdo it, order it with can of Coke.
This is one of my favourite dishes! I grew up in Shenzhen and had this so often haha~ a popular dish is called 金银馒头 and comes with both fried and steamed 馒头. Tastes so good TAT
No kidding, which part of Shenzhen are you from?
Do you eat it these days too?
I think I’m from 南山.. Nah I can’t find it in Australia and my mum hates making fried food so I only get steamed mantou with condensed milk 😦
Holy moly caloric overdose! Looks crazy yummy though. 🙂
I’ve updated the post to include the Chinese for “fried.” 😉 Fortunately though, many restaurants that serve it also usually have pictures.
Reminds me of home (Hong Kong). Zha mantou with condensed milk is one of my favourite dishes to order when eating dim sum… haven’t really seen it so much in NY Chinatown though. Nice blog!
Cheers for your comment, Sheila! I’ve had it at least once, at Cha Chan Tang (茶餐廳), in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Where do you like to have dim sum?
I’ve only been to 2 dim sum places in Manhattan – Sunshine 27, and Oriental Garden. I’ll have to make a point to try Cha Chan Tang sometime!
I have good memories of being jetlagged in TST, waking up at 5am and going to the nearest restaurant to 飲茶. Must go back!
Chili crab sauce + mantou for the win!
Did you try it in Singapore? Have a picture for us;)?
I tried chili crab (and black pepper crab) but the mantou was nowhere in sight!
I had this on my first trip to Dongguan last month. I definitely preferred the fried buns to the steamed, and the condensed milk was a nice addition! I miss the food there already *sigh*
Thanks for your comment, Nancy! Are you able to find zha mantou (fried mantou) near where you currently live? What else did you find memorable, food-wise, in China? And…what brought you to Dongguan?
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