Asian frozen food brand Laoban is expanding beyond its dumplings with the launch of bao buns. Rolling out exclusively in June 2024 in select Whole Foods Market locations nationwide, Laoban is bringing new frozen options to consumers seeking quick and elevated meals.

Beginning as a dumpling shop in Washington, D.C., in 2017, Laoban has since expanded its flagship frozen dumpling line nationally through retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Costco, Sprouts and Erewhon. With the success of its core assortment of chef-driven frozen dumplings, which Forbes and Eater have praised, Laoban is doubling down on its mission to provide accessible and high-quality Asian frozen foods by diversifying its offerings.

Laoban's bao bunsLaoban's bao buns feature ingredients like free-range chicken, Berkshire pork, grass-fed beef and shiitake mushrooms. Courtesy of Laoban.

The cousin of the dumpling, bao buns, are a Chinese specialty comprising fluffy dough filled with savory or sweet stuffing. Laoban's frozen bao buns were developed by co-founder and culinary director, Chef Tim Ma, a Michelin-recognized chef with a family background in Chinese restaurants. Like the rest of Laoban's offerings, the bao buns are packed with complex yet approachable flavors — layered with seasoning and featuring top-quality ingredients like free-range chicken, Berkshire pork, grass-fed beef and shiitake mushrooms. The bao buns are microwave-ready in one minute.

"Our buns tap into the two greatest reasons consumers turn to us-—the unique combination of high-quality convenience and delectable flavor," said Laoban Co-Founder Patrick Coyne. "We want to change the way consumers think about the frozen aisle by making quality frozen food like our buns part of your weekly, or daily, routine."

Laoban's Bao Buns come in a frozen pack of four buns. Flavors include:

  • Chinese Style BBQ Pork: Berkshire pork seasoned with Chinese barbecue spices, an homage to the classic char siu bun.
  • Spicy Beef: Grass-fed beef spiced with chili and cumin.
  • Sesame Chicken: Free-range chicken, shiitake mushrooms and savory sesame.

"I'm so excited for Laoban's new Bao Buns to hit freezers nationwide," said Tim Ma. "We've spent the last year working on the recipes to make sure we're bringing the restaurant experience straight to your home kitchen. The final recipe gives me visceral memories of eating Bao buns as a child with my family, and I hope it evokes that same feeling for everyone who eats them."

Source: Laoban