How many of you Talk Boba fans enjoy a great bubble tea or boba during a hot summer day? Or a cold winter day, sometimes we like boba in the cold, there’s nothing wrong with that! How many of you also like to eat Chinese baked goods? You know, delicious treats like egg tarts (dan tat) or bbq pork buns (char siu bao).
If any of those initial questions relate to you then you’re in luck. This article here is going to talk about all the delicious Chinese buns to pair with boba. There’s a lot so grab some of your favorite boba (we love strawberry matcha with boba pearls) and sip along while you read the best Chinese buns to pair with boba.
Also before we begin we just want to let you know those that read this article can only receive this secret code for 25% off our really cool custom made Talk Boba pins. Just use the code sub25 at checkout and you’ll get 25% off your entire order. Go ahead and browse the custom talk boba pins by clicking here.
Onwards to sweet and savory buns to pair with boba!
Starting this Chinese buns list off right with the most popular Hong Kong sweet bun, the pineapple bun (otherwise known as bo lo bao). If you haven’t tried this Chinese bun yet what are you doing with your foodie life? You need to chew on this bun ASAP! Generally you’ll find these buns in most Chinese bakery shops and cafes worldwide. Yes, worldwide!
The pineapple bun is topped with a crispy (our favorite part) buttered topping with a pineapple pattern. This is where the name comes from, it doesn’t actually taste like pineapples or have pineapples in it (disclaimer). With every bite you have a great crusted topping with a fluffy middle. That’s it, we’re probably going to get some pineapple buns after this article!
These Chinese or Hong Kong style sponge cakes are also a top contender for the best baked dessert bun in any Chinese bakery. Its fluffiness and elegant (not overpowering) taste is very addicting. We can eat more than 2 at a time if we really wanted too! What about you?
These sponge cakes usually come in two different sizes (it really depends on what bakery or cafe you go to). There are tiny ones (like cute tiny sponge cakes) and there are bigger ones that look like the parents of the tiny sponge cakes. Both are just as good but if you’re looking to get a lot within one box, maybe opt for the smaller ones just to fit a bit more. Plus, the tiny ones are great for the little ones too, they love these!
Chinese Egg Tarts
Do we have to say much about these? We’re positive everyone here knows exactly what these are! If not, let’s shed some light on these delicious tarts shall we?
Chinese egg tarts (dan tat) are small pastries that have a very flaky outer breading with sweet and delicious egg custard in the middle. You’ll find these treats in every Chinese bakery globally. If these don’t exist in the Chinese bakery near you, you need to move or find a new bakery because that’s not a true Chinese bakery. Tsk tsk, let us know if you want some recommendations for where to get the best Hong Kong style egg tarts!
Also, you might be wondering are there other styles of egg tarts? Yes there is! Another type of egg tart that might often be confused with Chinese egg tarts is the Portugese egg tart. These are a bit different in how they look but for the most part they taste very similar.
Hot Dog Bun
Another classic. There’s not much to say with this one though, it’s just a hot dog in between a Chinese sweet bun.
If you’re wondering how this taste, it’s exactly how you’d think it would taste. The hot dog tastes no different than your traditional weiner from the local supermarket but the bun is definitely unique. The bun is fluffy and butter on top to give it that sheen but the taste is on the sweeter side (not overwhelmingly sweet). It’s a great balance of savory and sweet, we definitely have these from time to time!
We know what you’re thinking but unfortunately no, this taro bun is not as sweet or milky as you’d think it would be like Taro milk tea.
In fact, it has a dull sweetness to it! If you’re not recognizing the pattern here, Chinese culture (Asian culture in general) do not like overly sweet pastries, baked goods, foods etc, they like their foods well balanced! Made with mashed up taro root, the taro bun is soft on the outside and filled with taro paste or custard. Pair this with taro bubble tea and you’ll have yourself a taro party!
Pair your taro buns with taro milk tea! Read how you can make your own taro milk tea here.
BBQ Pork Bun
Yet another classic and very popular Chinese bun or bao. We’re letting the secrets out aren’t we? The barbeque pork bun (char siu bao) is a savory bun filled with marinated pork. The bun itself is like any other Chinese bun, typically topped with sweet butter and delicately soft. With every bite of this bbq pork bun you’ll have a mouthful of bread and chopped up pork. This is especially good to pair with a sweeter milk tea. A bubble tea or boba flavor like Thai milk tea, taro milk tea or a fruity milk tea will go well with this bun. Go ahead, indulge in the savory goodness of this bao.
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Red Bean Bun
Hmm what do we have to say about red bean buns? First, they’re actually really delicious! Second, you don’t get that chalky or starchy texture that you’ll typically experience in red bean dessert soups and what not.
Since the red bean is in a paste form in the bao, as you chew you won’t really experience the starchiness that red bean usually has. Not all Chinese bakeries will make these buns so it may be a bit harder to find compared to other buns like bbq pork bun, egg tarts and even hot dog buns. Give this a try with some classic black milk tea if you can, you’ll be very satisfied afterwards!
Chinese Swiss Rolls
Everyone loves swiss rolls right? These are practically the same thing as swiss rolls you’ll find in Europe but like we mentioned before, the sweetness is cut back quite a bit.
Generally swiss rolls, being that they’re cake based with frosting, will be very sweet with each bite. However, Chinese swiss rolls have a delicate sweetness to it. Depending on what flavor you get you may experience more sweetness or less sweetness. Some popular Chinese swiss roll flavors are green tea or matcha swiss rolls, coffee swiss rolls and regular swiss rolls. Every time we get swiss rolls we like to pair it with a more robust bubble tea, sometimes we like to get coffee bubble tea so that the flavors balance out. What do you think would be a great boba flavor to pair with Chinese swiss rolls?
Not all that popular but still a great sweet bun from your local Chinese bakery. Given the lack of popularity, you might not be able to find this bun in all Chinese bakeries. If anything, they’ll have it fresh in the morning but slowly begin to sell out because there isn’t that much made. The demand for egg tarts and sponge cakes are higher! Who knew we can talk about Chinese baked goods and economics.
If you’re wondering what would be a good pair with this bun, we’d highly suggest something less sweet. Your best bet is to pair the coconut bun with the classic black milk tea or Hong Kong style milk tea. The coconut custard (sometimes the bun doesn’t have this) pairs nicely with those suggestions. See more pairings here!
Chinese Sausage Buns
Otherwise known as lap cheong (for our Chinese audience), this is another savory bao or bun that is great with sweeter boba flavors.
The bao itself contains a white bun filled with Chinese sausage. If you’ve never had Chinese sausage you’ll definitely want to give this a try. Chinese red sausage isn’t like your typical sausage. Sure it has the savory flavor to it but it actually has a sweet undertone to it as well. It’s quite addicting when you first try it. Typically you’ll find Chinese sausage made with rice and vegetables when the parents or grandparents don’t want to take a long time to cook dinner. If you know, you know!
Sweet Custard Buns
For sure, these are the buns you’ll want to try if you’re going to try anyone of these on the list of Chinese buns to pair with boba. No seriously, these yellow custard buns are to die for!
With the sweet egg yolk custard in side and the fluffy white bun on the outside, you’re in heaven. This sweet heavenly cloud is very popular in dim sum restaurants but you can sometimes find it in Chinese bakeries as well. Typically you should order these fresh, it’s the only way to eat them at its best, when it’s warm and delicate!
No more is needed to convince you to try this, just go grab one today at your local dim sum place or Chinese bakery. Pair it with a great classic black milk tea or Hong Kong milk tea and you got yourself a big smile.
Ham and Cheese Buns
Last but not least, the good ol’ ham and cheese bun. Being that we’re form America, we can’t exclude this bun right? Plus it’s actually really delicious! We like this a lot during the morning as you can imagine.
Warm it up a bit and you have a fusion American and Chinese inspired bun to eat with your morning go-to drink. If anything, we’d say whoever created this is a genius. For those who haven’t tried Chinese baked goods, this is definitely a great way to start to get your feet wet (or taste buds primed).
Any boba flavor will work well with this type of bun. We tend to stick with something like matcha milk tea in case you’re wondering. Theres a lot of health benefits to matcha too!
What Chinese Bun will You Pair with Boba?
Think you’ll pair your bubble tea with some of these delicious buns we mentioned here? We think we have to get some barbeque pork buns this week and pair it with some oolong milk tea or jasmine milk teas. Let us know what you’ll pair your next boba trip with, just join the conversation down below.
If you haven’t joined our exclusive boba community yet, be sure to join Talk Boba here. It’s a place where members can share their boba pictures and experiences for others to be inspired to try out. It’s a great community thus far!
Come join us! With that said, we’ll talk about boba another time. See ya!