The World of Chinese


Making Steamed Buns

Monday, January 31, 2011 | By:

There are only two days left before Spring Festival. Do you think you’ve finished preparing all the food? Tofu, meat, and chicken are obliviously not enough. So, today and tomorrow, people are going to finish their last and most important food— mantou (馒头 mántou). The 28th and 29th days of the last month in the lunar calendar are the days for making mantou, or steamed buns.

The legend for mantou dates back to the age of the Three Kingdoms. A fortune teller told Kongming to sacrifice 49 human heads in order to bless his soldiers. But Kongming found it too cruel, and couldn’t bring himself to do it. Then he came up with an idea: use flour to make head-like buns as a substitute for the sacrifice.

The first step of making steamed buns is to leaven dough. In Chinese it is called 发面 fā miàn; the character 发 is the same one in 发财 fācái (make a fortune), which makes making mantou an auspicious endeavor. Also, the making of steamed buns (蒸馒头 zhēng mántou), reminds people of the process of becoming more and more prosperous (蒸蒸日上 zhēngzhēngrìshàng).

Winter is pretty cold. As a result, in the past, the dough of the steamed buns might require a whole day to be leavened properly, since the quality of the leavened dough determines the taste of steamed buns. After this is done, skillful housewives would turn the big loaf of dough into delicate buns of different shapes or even colors, such as the “smashed bean bun”, the “rabbit or hedgehog steamed bun” and steamed buns with a bright red toppings.

Making steamed buns is a big deal in families, and only adults have right to take part in it. If the steamed buns get ruptured in the process of making them, no one in the family is allowed to say, “馒头裂了” (“The bun has cracked”). Instead, people say, “馒头开花了” (“The bun has blossomed”) because it sounds nicer–that’s important around Spring Festival.

So dust off your cooking skills and break out the flour. Spring Festival is just two days away; you’d better start preparing your mantou now!

Kungfu Tea Beijing Tongrentang Tianwangbuxin Wan 天王补心丸 9g*10丸 养血安神,用于心慌失眠、健忘、便秘

Price: $9.99 + $0.01 shipping
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  • Ingredients: Radix rehmanniae, Ophiopogon japonicus, asparagus, angelica, Radix Scrophulariae, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Shi Changpu, Bai Ziren, wild jujube seed (fry), Codonopsis pilosula, Platycodon grandiflorum, cinnabar and other 16 kinds.
  • Functions and indications: Nourishing Yin, nourishing the blood, nourishing the heart to calm mind. For heart Yin deficiency, heart palpitations, forgetfulness, insomnia, dry stool.
  • 成份: 地黄、天冬、麦冬、当归、玄参、丹参、石菖蒲、柏子仁、酸枣仁(炒)、党参、桔梗、朱砂等16味。 性状: 本品为棕黑色浓缩丸;气微香,味甘、苦。 功能主治: 滋阴、养血,补心安神。用于心阴不足,心悸健忘,失眠多梦,大便干燥。 规格: 每丸重9g。 用法用量: 口服。一次1丸,一日2次。 不良反应: 尚不明确。 禁忌: 尚不明确。 注意事项: 1.本品处方中含朱砂,不宜过量久服,肝肾功能不全者慎用。 2.服用前应除去蜡皮、塑料球壳;本品可嚼服,也可分份吞服。 批准文号: 国药准字Z11020140 贮藏: 密封,置阴凉干燥处。 包装: 塑料球壳装,每丸重9g,每盒装10丸。 有效期: 60个月 生产企业: 北京同仁堂股份有限公司同仁堂制药厂
Emperor's Tea Pill (Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan)
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Emperor’s Tea Pill (Tian Wang Bu Xin Wan)

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Emperor’s Tea Pill
(Tian Wan Bu Xin Wan)
Packing: 200 concentrated pills per bottle
Manufactured by Lanzhou Traditional Herbs, China.

This is a patent remedy based on the ancient recipe “Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan” (Heavenly King Cardiotonic Pellet) in TCM originally appeared in She Sheng Mi Pou (Exposition on Health Conservation), which is primarily used for nourishing yin and blood, reinforcing heart and tranquilizing mind, in cases of deficiency of yin and blood, fidgeting due to deficiency.


Dried rehmannia root
Codonopsis root
Scrophularia root
Schisandra fruit
Platycodon root
Asparagus root
Wild jujube seed
Ophiopogon root
Chinese salvia root & rhizome
Poria sclerotium
Polygala root
Chinese angelica root
Biota seed
Grass-leaf sweetflag rhizome
Chinese licorice root.

Actions: Invigorating the heart to tranquilize mind, nourishing yin and clearing away heat.

Indications: It is indicated for mental derangement due to yin deficiency and interior heat, marked by palpitation, insomnia, restlessness due to deficiency, mental fatigue, nocturnal emission, amnesia, feverish sensation in heart, palms and sores, orolingual boil, reddened tongue with little fur, thready and rapid pulse. It is applicable to insomnia, neurosis, schizophrenia, arrhythmia, heart disease, hyperthyroidism and others, the chief symptoms of which are mental derangement with feverish sensation in heart, palms and sores, reddened tongue with little fur, thready and rapid pulse.

Directions: Take 8 pills each time, 3 times a day.
Caution: Do not use during pregnancy.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

汉语拼音:tian wang bu xin wan













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