Have you ever tried Chinese pan-fried pork buns, Sheng Jian Bao? It is a healthy and tasty Chinese snack or may be breakfast in some area. Shengjian Bao features a crispy bottom and a juicy and bursting meat filling.

shengjianbao|chinasichuanfood.com

In Chinese, pan-fried Pork Buns are known as Sheng Jian Bao, meaning pan-fried directly without steaming. The steamed version is called Xiao Long Bao. This is a very popular Chinese street snack across the whole county. However, Shanghai’s style might be the most famous since it contains lots of juicy inside.

Several versions are popular in China, and the differences are mainly in the wrapper. The traditional version has a more fluffy texture and thicker wrapper, using the dough in the following recipe card. The hot boiling water dough achieves a new popular version with a thinner, chewier wrapper (烫面). This theory is similar to Chinese scallion pancake. In this recipe, we are making a basic Shengjian bao most easily.

Difference between Shengjian Bao and Baozi

The appearance of shengjianbao is similar to that of baozi, and thus you may wonder the difference between Shengjian and regular Baozi.

Baozi is fluffy and soft in texture while Shengjianbao is has a crispy bottom.

The wrapper dough for shengjian is a semi-fermentation dough, similar to the bread of Roujiamo (肉夹馍). So, it is pretty quick to make compared with traditional steamed buns.

I used a dough similar to traditional steamed buns this time. The wrapper is fluffy, and it’s super easy.

The traditional version adds pork jelly or other animal stock to create a super juicy filling. I use scallion and ginger water to simplify the process, but creates a super similar result.

Tips for filling:

  • Use pork filling with enough fat. I recommend using a minced pork filling with at least 30% fat.
  • Add enough scallion and ginger water, or replace it with stock to ensure the filling is juicy.

How to make Shengjian Bao

Scallion and ginger water

Add ginger slices, scallion sections, Sichuan pepper, and star anise to the warm water and soak them for 5 minutes.

shengjianbao|chinasichuanfood.com

Make the filling

Stir the meat, add the egg, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, five-spice powder, and sugar, and mix well. While stirring, add the scallion and ginger water in three batches to blend perfectly with the meat. The essential tip here is to make sure the filling is stirred well until it is slightly fluffy and turns light pink.

Add chopped scallion and drizzle with hot oil. This step can stimulate the scallion’s aroma. Mix well again.

shengjianbao|chinasichuanfood.com
shengjianbao|chinasichuanfood.com

The dough for Shengjianbao

Add sugar, baking powder, yeast, and warm water to the flour and stir with chopsticks until it turns into a dough. Transfer it to the chopping board and knead it for a few minutes with your hands to expel the air and make it smooth. Cover it with a bowl, and let it ferment for only 15 minutes. We don’t need to wait until it doubles in size. You can also use a stand mixer, knead for around 8-9 minutes at low speed.

shengjianbao wrapper | chinasichuanfood.com

Assemble

If you don’t know how to fold shengjianbao, check our How to Fold Baozi, this may help you.

Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the dough circle. Then hold the dough circle in one hand. Then, use the other hand to start pleating the edges by pinching a small section of dough to form a pleat. Continue to repeat and at the same time, twist the bun with the other hand and finally seal the bun.

how to assemble baozi | chinasichuanfood.com

shengjianbao | chinasichuanfood.com

Fry shengjianbao

Pour 2 tbsp. Cook oil in a pan, place the shengjianbao, and fry for 3-5 minutes until the bottom becomes crispy and golden brown.

how to fry shengjianbao | chinasichuanfood.com
how to fry shengjianbao | chinasichuanfood.com

Once the bottom of the shengjianbao is lightly browned, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid. Slow down the fire and let it simmer for around 5 minutes. Then remove the lid continue to cook off the water and make the bottom crispy again. At the end, sprinkle with chopped scallion and black sesame and serve hot.

shengjianbao | chinasichuanfood.com
how to fry shengjianbao | chinasichuanfood.com

Note

  • Use low heat when frying to avoid burning the shengjianbao. And rotate the pan from time to time.
  • If you want the filling to be more juicer, chop some pork jelly or beef jelly into small cubes and mix with the filling.

What to serve with

  • I love to drizzle some chili oil on Shenjianbao. If you want to try it, check out our Chinese Chili Oil.
  • We recommend pairing it with Snow Pea Leaf Soup for those who prefer something lighter. Or soy milk. Oh, don’t forgot the classic combination- Chinese congee.
shengjianbao| chinasichuanfood.com

shengjianbao|chinasichuanfood.com

Shengjian Bao

A healthy and tasty Chinese snack, crispy, bursting with juice and oil in one bite.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 291kcal

Ingredients

Ingredients

    For filling

    • scallion chopped for half part, cut into sections for another part
    • ginger cut into slices
    • 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn
    • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
    • 1 tbsp. black sesame

    Filling

    • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
    • 300 g minced pork at least 30% fat
    • 1/2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
    • 1 tsp. oyster sauce
    • 1 tep. salt
    • 1 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tbsp. five spice powder
    • 1 egg

    For wrapper

    • 2 cup of flour
    • 1 tsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. yeasts
    • 1 cup warm water or chilled water in summer
    • 1 tsp. vegetable oil

    Instructions

    Scallion and ginger water

    • Add ginger slices, scallion sections and Sichuan pepper to the warm water and soak them for 5 minutes.

    Make the filling

    • Add the meat in a large bowl. Stir the meat, add the egg, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, five-spice powder, and sugar, and mix well. While stirring, add the scallion and ginger water in three batches to blend perfectly with the meat. The essential tip here is to make sure the filling is stirred well until it is slightly fluffy and turns light pink.
    • Add chopped scallion and drizzle with hot oil. This step can stimulate the scallion’s aroma. Mix well again.

    The dough for Shengjianbao

    • Add sugar, baking powder, yeast, cooking oil and warm water to the flour and stir with chopsticks until it turns into a dough. Transfer it to the chopping board and knead it for a few minutes with your hands to expel the air and make it smooth. Cover it with a bowl, and let it ferment for only 15 minutes. We don’t need to wait until it doubles in size. You can also use a stand mixer, knead for around 8-9 minutes at low speed.

    Assemble

    • First, divide the fermented dough into two equal parts. Then, roll each part into a long strip of about 30 cm. After that, cut each long strip into 12 small pieces of dough. Finally, roll each piece of dough into a slightly thicker round crust.
    • Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the dough circle. Then hold the dough circle in one hand. Then, use the other hand to start pleating the edges by pinching a small section of dough to form a pleat. Continue to repeat and at the same time, twist the bun with the other hand and finally seal the bun.

    Fry shengjianbao

    • Pour 2 tbsp. Cook oil in a pan, place the shengjianbao, and fry for 3-5 minutes until the bottom becomes crispy and golden brown.
    • Once the bottom of the shengjianbao is lightly browned, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid. Slow down the fire and let it simmer for around 5 minutes.
    • Then remove the lid continue to cook off the water and make the bottom crispy again. At the end, sprinkle with chopped scallion and black sesame and serve hot.

    Notes

    This recipe is first published in 2014 and then updated with a new recipe and video.  

    Nutrition

    Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 3796mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 3mg
    shengjianbao| chinasichuanfood.com

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    40 Comments

    1. This is one of my favorite Chinese dishes, and your sheng jian bao look so crispy I can just imagine the crunch in my mouth on eating the bottoms. There is a restaurant about 30 minutes from my apartment that specializes in these, and sometimes I’ll drive all the way there just to have some! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’ll be trying these out for sure – Pinned!

    2. I’m also addicted to dough but I always fail steaming buns… Yet to try your recipe.. Still recovering from my continuous steam buns failure…

      1. Hi Mae,
        I failed many times too when starting playing with dough because I am living in western China where people do not like flour but rice. That’s Ok. You can make perfect steamed buns at home.

    3. So excited! Most bao doughs call for milk and I’ve not tried them as I’m allergic. Eventually would have gotten around to making with soy milk sub, but now I don’t have to!

    4. I have some family coming over in three days. Could I freeze the uncooked bao and pan-fry them later? How much different is the cooking time between fresh and frozen bao?

      1. Hi Nicole,
        You can pre-assemble the buns and freeze. But you need to set the buns aside for 20 minutes in summer before freezing so the second proof can be finished. Rest in room temperature until slightly soften back before frying.

    5. This is such a great recipe! Can I assemble the baos and then refrigerate them overnight and cook them the next day?

      Thanks for all the great recipes!

      1. I hope I can refrigerate them too, but no. It is not a good choice. After long time refrigerating, the buns get quite large and over-fermented.