steamed buns

Not All Breads are Baked: Day 87 and 88

Steamed buns just might be the world’s most perfect food! Also known as Mantou, the history of steamed buns dates back over 2,000 years ago. The origin varies depending on who is telling the story. I discovered that Zhuge Liang (181-234), is credited with inventing the stuffed meat version of steamed buns.

Zhuge Liang was a military strategist on an expedition in southern China. Difficulties during the expedition called for the sacrifice of a human head to appease the gods. Rather than kill an innocent human, Liang ordered his solders to kill some of their animals. The meat was then placed in a flour dough and shaped like a head before being steamed. These fake heads tricked the gods and good fortune followed. It is our good fortune that Zhuge Liang created the first meat filled steam buns!

Today you can find steamed buns in many varieties. They can be plain or stuffed with meats, vegetables, or sweet fillings.

The simple combination of flour, salt, yeast and sugar is mixed together and allowed to rise. The dough is then cut into equal portions, filled, shaped, and placed in a steamer to cook. The result?  Bread so light it melts in your mouth.

pork steamed bun

A handmade steam bun stuffed with pork from a food truck in Portland, OR.

Steamed buns are portable, delicious, and worthy of serving to the gods. For all the bread fans who want to try this form of bread, they are readily accessible at any Asian food supermarket in the frozen section.

Mantou steamed buns

Whole wheat steamed buns (Mantou) are delicious and nutritious. They are usually eaten with stews, or eaten instead of rice or noodles.

For a look at how pork buns are made see this video. The technique the baker uses to shape the buns prior to steaming is a true art form!

Sweet Azuki steamed buns

Sweet Azuki (Red) Bean filled steam buns are usually consumed as a snack or for breakfast.

Here’s what I ate on Days 87 and 88 of EB90:

Food Portion  Calories 
Day 87
Whole wheat toast 5 slices (40g) 500
Focaccia Bread 2 slices (60g) 280
Sourdough Bread 2 slices (38g) 200
Steamed Pork Bun 60g 150
Steamed Azuki Bun 60g 160
Whole Wheat Mantou 40g 100
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Nutella 2 tbsp 200
Apricot Sugar-Free Jam 2 Tbsp 40
Cherries 1C 74
Tomato Soup 1C 75
Stir Fried Vegetables 125g 36
 Total 2015
Day 88
Multigrain toast 3 slices 330
Panne Paillaise Sesame 5 slices (30g) 450
Panne Paillaise Olive 5 slices (30g) 450
Hard boiled egg 1 78
Steamed Brocolli 1C 30
Sausage Pesto Raviolli 1C 200
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Nutella 2 tbsp 200
Sugar Free Strawberry Jam 2 Tbsp 40
Strawberry Cake 350
Run -300
 Total 2028


hamburger bun

Biscuit or Bun? Anyone? Days 62, 63 and 64

Two huge boxes came to my office stuffed with awesome loafs of fresh baked bread from Rotella’s Italian Bakery. Rotella’s bakery is in Nebraska and they bake for many QSR chains. I am thinking this amount of bread may last me a while. So the next few blogs you read will include Rotella’s signature bread. The buns that arrived just looked awesome. Not only was the Brioche Bun high in profile, it had a great chew with an incredible shine to it. I had to make hamburgers just so we could eat it.


 Rotella’s brioche bun

A delicious burger made with Rotella’s buttery Brioche bun, with a side of curly fries and corn on the cob.

I saw something really interesting in their line-up of buns that I’ve never seen before.  It looked like a bun, but tasted like a biscuit. So yes, they call it their biscuit bun. You know how you’ve tried to make a sandwich with your biscuit, and it falls apart because it’s too crumbly? Well, Rotella’s has the solution.

This particular bun, rich in butter with a biscuit-like taste, actually holds together very well.

So, that I put it under further stress by grilling it.  Why grill a biscuit bun? Because I felt it would crisp up real nice with all that fat, and it did! When I served a grilled ham and cheese on this biscuit bun at breakfast, there were calls for seconds. Least to say, this bun was a hit!


Rotella's biscuit bun

Grilled ham and cheese on a biscuit bun makes a great breakfast offering.

I am also impressed by the different sweet breads that Rotella’s offers up. The blueberry toast, cran-multigrain and raisin bread were great with just butter. It was also wonderful when used to make french toast.

Rotella's raisin bread.

Rotella’s raisin bread.

Here’s what I ate on Days 62, 63 and 64 of EB90:

Food Portion   Calories 
Day 62
Sesame Bagel 100g 200
Honey Wheat Nugget Bread 3 slices (45g) 285
Rotella’s Cranberry Grain Bread 2 slices(45g) 210
Rotella’s Blueberry Toast 2 slices (40g) 200
Rotella’s Raisin Bread 4 slices (38g) 360
Fruit Cup 1C 50
Ricotta Cheese 1/4 C 100
Apricot Sugar-Free Jam 2 Tbsp 40
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Stewed Pork and Rice 1 C 500
Stir Fried Greens 1C
Coconut water 2 C 100
Run -600
 Total 1645
Day 63
Everything Bagel 1(100g) 210
Wholegrain Sourdough 80g 103
Baguette 100g 255
Rotella’s Biscuit Bun 90g 200
Rotella’s Raisin bread 1 slice (40g) 90
Rotella’s Brioche Bun 80g 270
Nutella 2 tbsp 200
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Cherries 1C 74
Hamburger 114g 200
Corn on Cob 90g 80
Grilled ham and cheese 1 335
Curly Fries 15 140
Pineapple 3 oz 41
Calcium Supp


Day 64
Bagel 200g 520
Rotella’s Cranberry Grain Bread 4 slices(45g) 420
Whole Grain bread 4 slices (38g) 320
Butter 2 Tbsp 200
Ricotta Cheese 1/4 C 100
Berry Cream Cheese 2 Tbsp 50
Strawberry Jam 2 Tbsp 100
Stir Fried Vegetables 125g 36
Sweet sour chicken 86g 219
Rice 50g 48
Calcium Supp
 Total 2013