food · international

The Great DC Bun Quest

After trying delicious vegetable buns in Beijing and Hangzhou, China last year, I’ve been searching for a comparable replacement.

I tried to satisfy my craving with dumplings, but those always fall short.

I visited People’s Bao, but they were shutting down – in the middle of lunch rush – so that they could find a good parking space for the evening’s Truckaroo festivities.

Then, I finally came across Momofuku CCDC. Their menu lists shiitake buns as an option.

I was determined to try them for myself.

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I tried them, and they were delicious. These aren’t the filled buns that are typical of dim sum. These buns are like folded-over, open faced sandwiches filled with sauteed shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms were cooked to perfection and took on a bacon-like texture and flavor.

I highly recommend this dish! I enjoyed it so much, I ordered it again the following day. If you’re vegetarian, don’t forget to tell your server to cook your mushrooms in vegetable oil – otherwise, they will be cooked in tare (which contains pork fat).

Now, finding this delicious dish doesn’t mean that my question for the perfect bun is over. I still have to try People’s Bao (here’s hoping they will be able to stay for the duration of the lunch period next time I visit). And there are other Chinese restaurants in DC that may offer tasty buns, too. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!

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