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The Costco Bao Buns Shoppers Weren't Impressed With At All

Steamed bao on serving board
Steamed bao on serving board - Michaelnero/Shutterstock

If you have a Costco membership, you have access to a wide range of food items. While the store is primarily known for its bulk offerings, it also sells specialty items like rotisserie chicken taco dip, a variety of bakery items, and miniature ice cream sandwiches.

Unfortunately, some Costco shoppers have been less than pleased with the flavor of one particular food item at the store. The Okami Garlic BBQ Chicken Bao is made from steamed buns containing chicken coated in a garlic BBQ sauce. A package of 12 costs $8.69 in the refrigerated section of the store, and they can be steamed or microwaved before eating.

One major complaint is that the buns don't have enough filling inside. One Reddit user wrote that the "ratio of filling to bun is not great." Critics noted that the dough itself was too sweet, and the buns may need more of the BBQ chicken to offset it. However, simply adding more filling might not be enough to salvage the bao.

Read more: All The Benefits Of A Costco Membership

The Buns Have A Few Different Criticisms

Okami chicken bao buns box
Okami chicken bao buns box - Instagram/@costconuggets

Another issue with the bao seems to be the sweetness level in the filling itself. One Reddit user said the flavor was "unusually sweet for BBQ chicken." Another commenter said, "They're just sweet with no depth or balance to the flavor." One bao contains around 8 grams of sugar, according to the package's nutrition label.

Aside from the sugar content, some didn't care for the choice of protein in the buns. "Bao needs to be made with pork," wrote one commenter. "Chicken just isn't that flavorful." Others pointed out, however, that chicken may have been chosen to account for religious dietary restrictions, which make the buns accessible to more people. The brand does also sell a pork variety with BBQ sauce, which one Reddit commenter called "pure heaven."

Despite the criticism, there have been some who enjoyed the flavor of the chicken-filled bao. "The steamed bun texture is spot on," wrote one user. They also wrote that there wasn't enough of the chicken filling, and did agree that it was "a bit too sweet," but they overall enjoyed the flavor. Others suggested that, with a little modification, the bao might be good enough to eat.

What To Do With The Costco Bao Buns

Plate of steamed bao
Plate of steamed bao - sevenke/Shutterstock

If you do wind up with a package of the bao, there may be a couple of ways to enhance the taste. Some of the Reddit users suggested that simply microwaving them may impact the overall flavor, and that steaming would produce better results. Though the method isn't included in cooking instructions, another commenter shared that the buns taste much better when air-fried. Others suggest dipping the dumplings in some sauce to make up for the lack of filling.

Overall, if you aren't pleased with the flavor, some commenters advised purchasers to return the food to Costco and inform the company that they weren't pleased with the taste. Fortunately, Costco will accept returns for up to 90 days after the original purchase. That policy even includes opened or half-eaten food; just let customer service know why you're returning it. However, you will need to decide if you dislike the food without eating too much of it. Generally, the store will only accept food products that have at least 50% of the package remaining.

If you want to try your hand at making your own bao, try using canned biscuits to create quick steamed buns. Then, you can mix up your own garlic BBQ chicken blend to stuff inside, ensuring you use the perfect ratio.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.