Xiao Bao Makes Good on Its Name

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Becky Burke

People who pause to think about the name of Xiao Bao Biscuit, which last month continued its march to national prominence with a New York Times write-up, often ask what kind of biscuits the Spring Street restaurant serves.

Typically, the answer is none. But the response changes on Fridays, when bang bang biscuits hit the menu.

The chicken biscuits are a riff on shaobing, a Northern Chinese layered flatbread that’s often covered with sesame seeds. The Xiao Bao crew added yeast as “a nod to our name and the South and growing up eating biscuits,” owner Josh Walker e-mails. “(Yes it’s technically fusion. )”

In China, shaobing is stuffed with a variety of fillings, including eggs, meat, red beans, spring onions and Chinese doughnuts, for bread-on-bread-on-bread action. Xiao Bao takes its cues from Taiwan, where cilantro peanuts are sometimes added to the mix.

“We do it currently with the Sichuan “strange flavor” sauce that has a roasted sesame base and is also known as bang bang,” Walker writes. “So Fridays are our bang bang biscuit day.”

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