Chinese mantou (馒头) is one of the best things I love—they are basically yeast-based steamed buns steamed to perfection. Hot-off-the-steamer, Chinese mantou is soft, fluffy, pillowy, and sinking your teeth into it is absolutely amazing and delightful.
Sweet potato mantou (番薯包) is one of my favorite bao (包) or Chinese steamed buns. Whenever I go back to Malaysia, I would always buy these warm, fluffy, sweet, and soft mantou from the various steamed bun vendors dotting the kopitiam (local coffee shops), markets, roadsides, gas stations, night markets, etc. They are absolutely delightful. My son loves it as a snack, too. Unfortunately, in the US, the only similar steamed buns that I can find here are the frozen and plain mantou in the Chinese grocery stores. There are no sweet potato mantou. I always miss them.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend posted her homemade sweet potato mantou recipe on her Facebook. I asked for the recipe immediately. She found the recipe online here and had success making them at home. I was so excited. Finally I can make some homemade sweet potato mantou that I have been craving for, with the Hong Kong flour or bao flour that I have brought back from Malaysia.
My friend shared this sweet potato mantou recipe on Facebook and I decided to give it a try. So, I spent some serious time in the kitchen, plus a huge dose of patience. It was a success. Though the looks department could be improved significantly (which I am sure practice makes perfect), my sweet potato mantou were pretty good…soft, warm, and tasty. I love them, and I am sure my son will enjoy them as a snack before bedtime tonight!