Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns

Quick and Lazy Fusion Adventure: Home Sweet Home

I haven’t done one of my Lazy Adventures in a while so I figured it was time to do one since I wasn’t feeling like waiting around or cooking up anything. I headed over to the nearest Trader Joe’s, my go-to spot for unique easy appetizers.

Trader Joe’s Appetizer

My roommate a couple of weeks ago had gotten a box of these Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns. When I saw them I knew I just had to get a box of my own. I don’t know who is in the Testing Kitchen over at Trader Joe’s but they are coming up with some crazy combinations.

3 Ingredient Cocktail

As always let’s get a drink started. This whole drink revolves around the Prickly Pear Sour mixer that my mom got me for Christmas. She got it for me at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Arizona so if you are looking for a mixer that screams Arizona, this is it. I figured I’d use the vodka from Surf City Still Works to bring in a little California into the drink. These ingredients give a little background on where I come from since I grew up in both California and Arizona. I went with the recommended recipe on the back of the bottle.

Prickly Pear Vodka Sour

  • 2 parts vodka (or your favorite spirit)
  • 1 part prickly pear sour
  • 0.5 parts tart (in my case lemon)
Prickly Pear Vodka Sour

The Prickly Pear Sour wasn’t the only drink-related present that I got for Christmas, so this was the opportune moment to use the other gifted items. I received this beautiful glass which is a work of art with bright pops of greens, blue hues, and speckles of white. Then of course I wanted to show off this glass stirring stick which is topped with a cactus with its prickly pears. Both the glass and this stirring stick were meant for this cocktail. However, given the size of this glass, it had room for 10 ounces of drink and that is with ice, which meant I had almost 6 ounces of vodka. Given the sheer amount of vodka, it was overpowering the rest of the other ingredients. If I were to readjust the amounts I’d probably use 1.5 parts of spirit instead of 2 parts. Prickly pears do give you the taste of the dessert but also come with the sweetness of strawberries and raspberries. I hope to try it in a different cocktail so I can get the flavor profile to be more prevalent instead of being masked by the spirit.

Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns

Back to the food at hand, the Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns. There are two ways you can cook these fluffy pillowy balls of joy. First is the proper way of cooking bao buns which is with a steam cooker. Which sadly, I do not own a steam cooker. Sure there are ways I could have mimicked a steam cooker but this is a Lazy Happy Hour Adventure after all. So for the second time doing these Adventures, I went to the handy microwave. The first time I used it was for some Spinach and Artichoke Dip also from Trader Joe’s. Luckily to cook all four in the microwave only takes a minute and a half. This certainly is one of my quickest and easiest Happy Hour Adventures I have ever done.

Cheesy and Meat filled Inside

Sure from the outside, you may think you are about to indulge in some Asian cuisine just like the Kurabuta Pork Bun that I had at Din Tai Fung. When in reality you are about to get all the flavors of the Philly cheesesteak similar to Philly’s Best. With any bao bun that first bite will be one of springiness and fluffiness. However, it may have dried out just a tad bit because of using the microwave. I’m sure if you took the longer route of using a steam cooker the buns would have come out a lot better. Now to the inside has the exact flavors you would expect from any Philly cheesesteak. You can spot some of those red and green bell peppers along with bits of onions. The shredded beef definitely comes in smaller bits than the sliced steak that you would find on a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. But I guess if you are going to fit everything in a little bun then the chunks of beef would have to be cut up smaller. All the ingredients are bound together with some cheese whiz which honestly isn’t my favorite cheese to have with a Philly cheesesteak but oddly it works. Overall I really enjoyed these Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns because they had everything it promised. I do wish there was a little more filling because some parts seemed a little airy.

Website: Iconic Cocktail





Work Level:


Since my drink had some aspects of my background I have this question. What drink would fit your background?

Let me know down below in the comments and be sure to share with friends and family that would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!


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