Where buns fill a gap and break­fast is a no-brainer

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE | FOOD - By DONG FANGYU

China’s time-hon­ored baozi (steamed buns with fill­ings) brand Goubuli has opened a new mod­ern fast-food outlet in Bei­jing, a branch that of­fers some­thing slightly dif­fer­ent to Goubuli’s tra­di­tional chain restau­rants.

This chic outlet in the San­l­i­tun area of Bei­jing fea­tures in­no­va­tive Chi­nese fast food based on tra­di­tional Tian­jin snacks, with an open kitchen.

Gaob­uli’s baozi are well known for their sa­vory taste and the ex­quis­ite in­gre­di­ents that go into their mak­ing, such as semi-leav­ened dough, and the way they are turned out, with ex­actly 18 creases on each baozi.

The new fast-food branch car­ries on the cel­e­brated baozi- mak­ing tech­niques, but there are some vari­a­tions in the fill­ings and in some tra­di­tional Chi­nese snacks.

The green baozi wetried stand out. They are stuffed with ba­con and pesto, an in­no­va­tive West­ern take on the usual baozi stuff­ing. The basil in the pesto is what­makes the skin green.

Dou­fu­nao, the tra­di­tional Chi­nese street food for break­fast, is par­tic­u­larly good and in­ter­est­ing at this new outlet.

Dou­fu­nao lit­er­ally means tofu brains and is made of soft silken tofu with sauces and gar­nishes usu­ally served sweet in south­ern China, and salty in north­ern China.

At Goubuli it is topped with crumbs of mahua (fried dough twist, Tian­jin’s most fa­mous snack), meat floss, and furu (a cheese-like spread­able Chi­nese fer­mented bean curd). This com­bi­na­tion makes each spoon­ful of dou­fu­nao tasty and com­plex thanks to the sa­vory furu and soy­bean paste, crispy mahua, and silken tofu.

Also, don’t miss the creative jian­bing (a kind of Chi­nese crepe). We rec­om­mend the Bei­jing-style Pek­ing duck jian­bing (18 yuan) cooked with cu­cum­ber, sliced Pek­ing duck, pick­les and the sweet paste of flour. Three other va­ri­eties of jian­bing are avail­able: tra­di­tional Tian­jin-style (15 yuan); ba­con (18 yuan); and seafood (20 yuan).

In a word, this is a great new place to en­joy a quick work­day lunch of del­i­cate Chi­nese-style fast food in­ex­pen­sively. There are sev­eral sets avail­able, too, such as four dif­fer­ent fla­vors of baozi with por­ridge (19.9 yuan); Pek­ing duck jian­bing with dou­fu­nao (24.9 yuan) and Chi­nese chicken burger with corn flour por­ridge (29.9 yuan).

PHOTOSPROVIDEDTOCHINA DAILY

From left: Bei­jing-style Pek­ing duck jian­bing with cu­cum­ber, sliced Pek­ing duck, pick­les and the sweet paste of flour; at Goubuli dou­fu­nao is topped with crumbs of fried dough twist and meat floss.

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