New York City’s Black Seed Bagels and Nom Wah Kuai called upon the bread gods and were presented with the crossover called the Baogel.
Mimicking a char siu bao, or barbecued pork bun, the Baogel features Black Seed’s sesame bagel shaped like a bao and stuffed with Nom Wah Kuai’s sweet pork belly. It’s served with housemade chili cream cheese and will go for $8.50 starting November 1. Nom Wah Kuai’s Canal Street Market location and all Black Seed Bagel’s locations will carry it all month long.
This isn’t Black Seed’s first venture in cuisine bending. Last May, the bagel shop teamed up with Babu Ji to make an Indian breakfast-inspired bagelwich. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a Western fusion Chinese bun, either.
The Baogel is a curious mashup, though, and reminds me of the time I had difficulty explaining what a bagel was to my Chinese grandmother. After 20 minutes of describing a usually savory, ring-shaped bread that’s often split in half and smothered in cream cheese, she still couldn’t grasp the idea of a bagel or why anyone would eat one for breakfast. Despite my grandma’s probable disapproval, the Baogel does sound like the answer to my affinity for both char siu baos and bagels.