One of Rob’s favorite pastimes is watching me try foods I have never tried before. Mostly because who doesn’t love to share their favorite foods with the person they love, but also because I may make some interesting faces when I try new foods--especially foods I don’t like. I have tried a wide variety food and a lot of it I haven’t liked (Rob is much more adventurous when it comes to food than I am), but every now and then he has introduced me to something that I can’t believe I went so long without having. One such item is the steamed pork bun. I am not as particular about my pork buns as I am about my ramen or my burritos. I like the frozen Trader Joe’s versions as much as the fresh one from dim sum restaurants. This quest came about because steamed pork buns are not nearly as common in NYC as they are in SF. Once I realized it this, I began craving them. Since I am not picky, this quest was simply to find steamed pork buns in NYC. Many places have “steamed pork buns” on their menu, but they are not the bbq pork filled thick doughy buns that I am accustomed to. They are soup dumplings. They too are good but they are very different. Their texture and taste is closer to pot stickers than pork buns.
I found a few places that served them, but my favorites were from Golden Steamer in Manhattan’s Chinatown (NYC has multiple Chinatowns). Rob and I have made several trips to Chinatown specifically to eat these pork buns and they never disappoint. On top of being delicious, one is only 80￠ to eat on the go and you can also buy a whole box to enjoy at home later. Note: now that I have experienced soup dumplings, I will be on a quest in every other city I live in to find delicious soup dumplings. One of my favorite NYC memories was enjoying soup dumplings in Flushing at Nan Xiang Dumpling House (where their menu says steamed pork buns, but they are really soup dumplings) on Valentine’s Day when it was unbelievably cold outside!