Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

Sign up here for our Newsletter!

Funky K-pop food truck's bao big hit in Kamloops

Boa and fried rice from the Kochi Bao K-pop food truck in Kamloops.
Boa and fried rice from the Kochi Bao K-pop food truck in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jeff Topping

A cool new food truck is wrapping up its first summer season in Kamloops.

Kochi Bao K-pop food truck has been at the Thompson Rivers University campus and downtown Kamloops for the past few months offering bao while playing K-pop music.

“Bao is mandarin and means steamed bun or bread,” said owner, chef and operator Jeff Topping. “I play K-pop because it my favourite music and a lot of the university students enjoy it.”

Bao is a complete meal packed away in a white, warm, soft bun with a variety of fillings with flavours of Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan and southeast Asia.

The truck has been so successful this year that Topping plans to run it again next year for a longer season. He admits it's been a lot of work.

“I barely have time to sleep,” Topping said. “I get up early, go get the truck started, then make kimchi fried rice and seaweed salad. I set up at the university or at St. Andrews on the Square for a few hours, nap, and then start making bao.”

The Kochi Bao K-pop food truck in Kamloops.
The Kochi Bao K-pop food truck in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Jeff Topping

Topping thinks his bao are so popular because they're a health option.

“I don’t deep fry anything, if anything I will shallow pan fry something,” he said. “My alternative to fries is kimchi fried rice. People who work in offices downtown can come get a healthy, homemade meal and I can get it to them in four minutes."

READ MORE: Kelowna restaurant denied liquor licence because of alleged gang involvement

Topping sources fresh, local ingredients whenever he can, including meat from local farms. It's no surprise his biggest challenge is the rising cost of food.

“The cost of food makes things difficult but I’m doing my best to offer great food at prices that won’t hurt the wallet."

For $15 customers can get three bao, some fried rice and a drink.

Topping hopes to have his Kochi Bao K-pop food truck rolling again in April.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.