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2007-04-22

>manti, mantu, mantou, mandoo, mandu, manju

Variations of this name appear all over Central Asia and beyond. You can try to guess how our little manti (pronounced mantu) travelled along the Silk Road.

Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Korea, eventually to Japan.

The Chinese character "man" (饅) in mantou was custom-made for this dish, meaning steamed bun or dumpling.

"Tou"(頭), meaning "head", was conveniently added to make it sound similar to the original dish.

By the time it arrived in Japan, it mutated from meat and vegetable dumpling to sweet bean jam dumpling made with rice flour, called manju. 饅頭.

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