Traditionally, mantou, bing, and wheat noodles were the staple carbohydrates of the Northern Chinese diet, analogous to the rice which forms the mainstay of the Southern Chinese diet. Mantou are also known in the south, but are often served as street food or a restaurant dish, rather than as a staple or home cooking. Restaurant mantou are often smaller and more delicate and can be further manipulated, for example by deep-frying and dipping in sweetened condensed milk.
This story originates from the Three Kingdoms Period, when the strategist Zhuge Liang led the Shu Army in an invasion of the southern lands (roughly modern-day Yunnan and northern Burma). After subduing the barbarian king Meng Huo, Zhuge Liang led the army back to Shu, but met a swift-flowing river which defied all attempts to cross it. A barbarian lord informed him that, in olden days, the barbarians would sacrifice 50 men and throw their heads into the river to appease the river spirit and allow them to cross; Zhuge Liang, however, did not want to cause any more bloodshed, and instead killed the cows and horses the army brought along and filled their meat into buns shaped roughly like human heads - round with a flat base - to be made and then thrown into the river. After a successful crossing he named the buns "barbarian's head" (mántóu, 蠻頭), which evolved into the present day mántóu (饅頭).
The name mantou is cognate to manty and mantı; these are filled dumplings in Turkish, Persian, Central Asian, and Pakistani cuisines. In Japan, manjū (饅頭) usually indicates filled buns, which traditionally contain bean paste or minced meat-vegetable mixture (nikuman 肉まん "meat manjū"). Filled mantou are called siopao in Tagalog. In Korea, mandu (饅頭) means jiaozi (餃子).
Steps: Sift together flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. Whisk together eggs and sugar till fluffy. Mix in bananas and banana essence, beat till combine. Fold in flour mixture and oil. Pour batter into muffin cups. Steam for 15 to 20mins till cooked.