Mr. Fujiwara beckoned her over to the window at the front of his shop and its brightly-lit glass case. Making a big show of looking both ways, he passed her a steamed bun.
“Are you sure?” she asked. The glossy white bread was hot against her palm.
Mr. Fujiwara pointed knowingly at the bags looped over her arms. “Sweets aren’t strength, and you’ll be needing yours.”
“Thank you!” Kimiko broke the bun in half, releasing a fragrant cloud of steam.
—Kimiko and the Accidental Proposal (Amaranthine Saga, #2)
• • •
Hot Stuff. Steamed buns are wonderful because they’re hot. This time of year, I like to indulge because the barbeque pork buns from the local Korean market’s take-away counter are just the right size to wrap two hands around. Varieties range through savory and sweet flavors. I’ve tried the classic barbeque pork, ginger pork, chicken and vegetable, and a breakfast version with sausage and egg. Sweet versions usually involve red bean or mung bean, and seasonal fillings like chestnut or (as shown in the photo above) taro. Both the bread and the creamy filling in these buns are tinted lavender. Bold snacking, indeed! (And pretty alongside green tea.)