September 26, 2013

Asian Buns

I'm always going on and on about cupcakes, but the kind of pastries that are near and dear to my heart are of the Asian variety. Call yourself lucky if you live near an Asian bakery because they are stocked with tasty treats.
some even are donned with cartoon faces, oh how Asian...
When I was back at home in Chicago for a month in August, I got my fix of Asian pastries with the plethora of bakeries around the city. One even just opened up right by the parents' house (didn't visit. Didn't look too promising).

My all-time favorite is the Dok Il Bakery in Koreatown (Lawrence Ave). They ship their goodies to Asian groceries near and far across the country. Maybe you can find some at your local Korean Market.
located at: 3844 W Lawrence Ave, Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois
Asian Buns are fluffy, a little sweet, soft and less buttery than European/American pastries. Here are a few of my favorites:

Soboro Bread: A yeast bread roll with a peanut butter crumbly topping (like streusel), similar to a Chinese Pineapple Bun or Japanese Melon Pan.
the buns usually come in this packaging
Anko Bun (Red Bean-Filled Bun): The bread is so squishy soft and the red bean filling is slightly sweetened. If you like red bean ice cream or red bean-filled mochi, this is up your alley.
the Chinese Version
the Korean Version, kind of looks like a kolache

the Korean Version, dissected
Cream Filled: These are actually Dad Chung's favorite. When he returns from a trip to the grocery store, he usually comes home with a stack of these types of bread. This one had a vanilla pudding-like custard inside. Others have a lighter buttercream. 
Taro Buns: These Chinese buns are a combo of the Soboro and Anko except it has a taro filling, which is the consistency of a bean filling but tastes kind of like vanilla. 
Potato Croquette: This is hands down my favorite. Sistas and I like to call it cole-slaw bbang (bbang=bread in Korean). The outside is a little fried, the inside is a potato salad and together it's a meal inside a bun. The Japanese version has curry salad inside. 
Locations of some of my favorite Asian Bakeries (sadly none exist in Buffalo): 
  • Dok Il Bakery-3844 W Lawrence Ave, Albany Park, Chicago, Illinois
  • Pastry House Hippo-Mitsuwa Marketplace, 100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, Illinois
  • Bini Bakery-1615 Milwaukee Ave, Glenview, Illinois 
  • Crescent Bakery-Assi Plaza, 8901 N Milwaukee Ave, Niles, Illinois
  • Tous Les Jours-Super H Mart, 1302 Blalock Rd, HoustonTexas

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