Best Steamed Buns

In one hand, a man holds the dough, flattened to a disc. With the other, he spreads the filling of minced cabbage, meat and noodles. Coaxed by his palm, the dough begins to creep up the sides of the mound. His fingers, as nimble as those of a sleight-of-hand artist, seal the top in a series of perfect crimps and pleats. He leaves a tiny hole at the summit to vent. The C-cup-sized wang mandoo is then steamed in a refrigerator-like contraption, magically puffing up to D-cup. The result is moist but not damp, with a lightness and airiness of a fluffed down pillow, as perfect a texture as you'll ever find in a steamed bun—proof that when it comes to bread, whether oven-baked or steamed, freshness makes all the difference. $

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