Yet despite its merits, the gua bao is unknown in too many quarters.
The Taiwanese gua bao --pork belly, preserved mustard greens, peanuts crushed with sugar and a few sprigs of cilantro stuffed into a fluffy steamed bun — is relatively unknown in many places.
Make no mistake. The gua bao, which looks dubiously similar to the kong ba bao (Braised Meat Bun) we are so used it is Taiwanese through and through. Its filling of soy-sauce-stewed pork, reminiscent of Hokkien dish hong bak, and preserved mustard — a staple in China south of the Yangtze River — speak of the island’s large Hokkien and Hakka populations.
Its garnish, a thick dusting of peanuts crushed with sugar, is made with two of Taiwan’s most historically important crops. More than just an earthly delight, gua bao is offered during the final annual worship of the Earth God, Taiwan’s most ubiquitous deity. At end-of-the-year celebrations employers give the clamshell-shaped specialty, which with its overflowing filling recalls a purse stuffed with money, to staff. Gua bao is so rooted in Taiwanese culture it even has a nickname: hu yao zhu, or Tiger Bites Pig.
A traditional festival food, gua bao isn’t the easiest street food to find in Taipei. Lian Jia Gua Bao (No. 3, Alley 8, Lane 316, Roosevelt Road Section 3; 88-6-2/2368-1165) is generally acknowledged to serve one of the city’s best versions, stuffed to order with fatty or lean meat.
Credits to Robyn on Twitter @EatingAsia
Information extracted from : http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/08/23/consider-the-gua-bao/