Chinese fish baozi (魚包)?

Does anyone know where one can buy fish baozi (包子), not to be confused with gau bao (or 割包).

Does such a thing exist?

I’ve never seen one. Little Highness Bao in Rowland Heights has the strangest collection I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think fish is in there.

Ever wonder why?

We have fish dumplings galore of all types (fried, boiled, steamed), and when you think about it, a baozi is just like a big steamed dumpling.

I asked mama ipsedixit about this and she said that your typical sole filling is too “wet” to be suitable for the risen dough of your typical baozi. In dumpling form, where there is much less yeast formation (or, really, none), fish filling is less problematic.


Also, at least in this country, the fish dumpling is a relatively recent invention. I first spotted it here about 15 years ago when Dumpling 10053 started serving cod and sole dumplings in 2002. (They also had scallop dumplings, which I can’t recall seeing anywhere lately.) Luscious Dumplings opened that same year, but didn’t add fish dumplings to their menu for years. And just four years ago I was speaking with a Chinese food writer in Manhattan who asked me what my favorite Chinese dish was. I said “fish dumplings.” He said “what’s that?” I think fish dumplings finally landed in Flushing year before last.

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I asked the same question years ago of grandpa J_L, who hails from the North (bao country). He said essentially the same (there is too much water in fish flesh for filling such a large dough pastry). Besides, he quipped, Chinese fish is best enjoyed southern style! :slight_smile:


I would think you would encounter the same issue with BBQ pork buns because they have a lot of sauce as well. I think that properly drained sole fish would not be excessively wet unless it has been treated with a lot of sodium tripolyphosphate.

But that’s just conjecture because I’ve never actually made a baozi. If I get bored, I might try to make one. I haven’t made anything too crazy since I created a deep fried hot dog on a bun many moons back.

I sense a void in the Force.

BBQ pork bun filling is more viscous (or “gooey”) than a typical sole filling, however.

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I don’t suppose your mom would be willing to make public her recipe for the baozi dough? This sounds like an interesting challenge.

The irony is that her baozi dough is already publicly available (or used) at several SGV places …

I did not know that.