Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, and it is, even on the other side of the world- China. Chinese people work hard during the day so, for breakfast, they usually have large meals like noodle soups. However, something sweet and savory always wins over the little ones. Chinese kids will often have steamed bun for breakfast. Steamed buns are called bao in Chinese. Bao usually has fillings in them like red bean paste, green bean paste, pandan paste, vegetables, or munched meat. The variety is endless.

A simple bao is made with just flour, yeast, sugar, and water. It’s simple and an easy on the go food for kids going to school in the morning. Bao is often accompanied by a hot drink. Chinese like to have hot but sweet drinks in the morning like warm soymilk, sweet red bean soup, and mung bean soup. These are super easy to make at home. All you have to do is get all the ingredients into a large slow cooker and let it cook for itself. It doesn’t take long either. If you prepare this in the morning, it will be ready by lunch time.

BAO Recipe
I N G R E D I E N T

·         1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons warm water

·         1 cup all-purpose flour

·         1 teaspoon sugar

·         1 teaspoon traditional or instant yeast

 I N S T R U C T I O N S

1.       Combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom.

2.       In a large bowl, combine the liquid and the flour.

3.       Knead the dough until it is smooth; about 5 minutes.

4.       Cover the dough with a moist towel and let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

5.       Remove the towel and punch down the dough.

6.       Gently knead it and roll it up into a long flat rectangular shape. Fold in the dough like you would for a cinnamon bun then cut it into smaller pieces. (Note: if you want your buns to have feelings, roll the dough into ball balls then roll them flat. Place the filling of your choice and pinch the ends together to seal the bun.)

7.       Cover the dough balls with a moist cloth again and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.

8.       Prepare the steamer and have water boiling in a pot. Cut some parchment paper into squares and placed each small bun onto it. That way, it won’t stick to the bottom of your steamer.

9.       Place the buns into the steamer and steam them for about 20 minutes on medium-high heat.

10.   Once done, it’s ready to serve!

 Did you know that Chinese people have been eating bao for 3 centuries? This dish has become more popular in Southen Asian when the Chinses sailed to those areas. In Malaysia, the Malay adapted the bao and made curry bao. In Vietnam, the people used bao as sandwiches.

Mung beans are actually really good for you and they are not very well known. These little beans are high in protein, fiber, and are also good for lowering high cholesterol and lowering high blood pressure. It eases digestion and helps boost our immune system. This dish is often made during the summer or hotter season because it is very refreshing.

 Mung Bean Soup Recipe
I N G R E D I E N T

1 ½ cups mung bean

1/3 cup sugar (or any sweetener you like)

 I N S T R U C T I O N

1.       Rinse and wash the mung beans carefully.

2.       In your slow cooker, add in hot boiling water to it. This speeds up the cooking process.

3.       Then add in the mung beans into the pot and let it cook. Mung beans take less time to cook so it should be done in 2 hours.

4.       After the beans are cooked, add in the brown sugar.

5.       Leave it to boil then it’s ready to serve.

 Adzuki beans are amazing too. They are high in fiber and many other minerals and nutrient. It helps build muscle mass which is great for kids. It also improves heart health and blood sugar.

 
Red Bean Soup Recipe
I N G R E D I E N T

2 cups adzuki bean

1/3 cup sugar (or any sweetener you like)

I N S T R U C T I O N

1.       Rinse and wash the adzuki beans carefully.

2.       In your slow cooker, add in hot boiling water to it. This speeds up the cooking process.

3.       Then add in the adzuki beans and let them boil. Adzuki beans take a little longer to cook.

4.       After the beans are cooked, add in the brown sugar.

5.       Leave it to boil and serve when it’s ready.