We’ve done pieces on pork belly buns, but what about roasted pork buns? Get them at Mei Li Wah in Chinatown. On paper, it all sounds the same, but roasted pork buns are commonly found in dim sum eateries. Unlike the fatty slabs of pork belly, these are stuffed with saucy braised red pork.
Called char shao bao in Chinese, they’re one of the “four kings” of dim sum (along with shu mai, shrimp crystal dumplings, and egg tarts). And like most dim sum dishes, they originate from the Guangdong Province.
What makes the variety in Meh Li Wah so spectacular is that it comes in a lightly glazed bun that’s soft and fluffy to the bite.
At 90 cents a pop, they’re practically a steal and awfully reminiscent of the high-end pork buns from the Hong Kong chefs in Los Angeles.
Also for the best quality roasted pork buns, go in the morning. The buns are still spectacular in the afternoon, but they’re at their best when they first come out of the oven.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2012