112 - Snacking North by Northeast

By Mary Luz Mejia

What do you get when you combine one electrical engineer, one aircraft technician and three generations of the same family specializing in the preparation of street eats from Northeast China? You get the most authentic and tasty North Chinese snacks in the heart of Toronto's own Chinatown.

Chinese Traditional Buns is every North Chinese student's, businessperson's or Chinese immigrant's home away from home. Whether it's owners Linda Liu and husband Frank's Ro Ja Mo pulled pork sandwich, or their famous Tianjian Gaobuli (pork-filled steamed buns) you're after, these savoury mouthfuls are sure to satisfy.

Frank and Linda are from Xi-An in Northeast China, where the Ro Ja Mo is the quintessential street eat. Pork is slowly cooked for nine hours in no less than 20 different sauces for true flavour-infused meat. They make white wheat round breads to serve the meat in that resemble larger, denser English muffins.

The bread is lightly toasted while the pork is chopped on a wooden cutting board. Linda gently slices the bread, inserts the pork, spoons on some of the meat's simmering sauce and sprinkles diced green onion over it before topping the sandwich with the other slice of bread. Linda says that as far as she knows, Chinese Traditional Buns is the only shop in town that offers up these pulled pork sandwiches.

Made from scratch, these juicy bites from North China are the perfect snack for those looking for a filling treat to tide them over. And you know you've come to the right place for authentic grub when just about everyone around you is speaking Mandarin and tucking into their Ro Ja Mo with gusto!

Chinese Traditional Bun
536 Dundas St.W.
Toronto, Ontario