The Story Behind Chef Michael Chanthavong’s Spicy Wagyu Buns

He developed the menu for Mizu
Charlotte Nc September 4th 2021 Chef Michael Chanthavong And His Food At Mizu Photographed In Charlotte Nc On September 4 2021. Photo By Peter Taylor
PETER TAYLOR

Chef Michael Chanthavong was in Los Angeles with his wife and son last spring when his sister-in-law took them for a meal in Little Tokyo. They ordered steamed buns, a dish Chanthavong grew up eating with his Laotian relatives, but these piqued his taste buds. “It’s all in the texture,” he says. “Seven out of 10 times, steamed buns are too cakey. Just like with sushi, you have to get the bread-to-meat ratio just right.” As he developed the menu for Mizu, the wood-fired seafood restaurant that opened on Hyatt Centric SouthPark’s rooftop in August, Chanthavong wanted to replicate that steamed bun and serve it as an appetizer. Mizu’s take is similar to a bao bun (a Chinese steamed dumpling), with its soft, airy, just-a-little-bit-sweet bread. Chanthavong serves his like an open-faced sandwich, stuffed with marinated wagyu beef that he finishes off with togarashi, “like a Japanese seven-spice.” He puts the wagyu filling in after he steams it, unlike bao buns, which are typically steamed with the ingredients inside. He serves them three to a plate with a side of black barbecue sauce. “We may put seafood in it down the line,” he says. “The bun is very versatile. You can put (in) chicken, veggies … but we’ll start with wagyu because everyone loves wagyu.”

Charlotte Nc September 4th 2021 Chef Michael Chanthavong And His Food At Mizu Photographed In Charlotte Nc On September 4 2021. Photo By Peter Taylor

PETER TAYLOR

MIZU
Hyatt Centric SouthPark
3100 Apex Drive,Ninth floor

Categories: Food + Drink