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. Hello! I was super excited when I found your website! I lived in China for three and a half years, and being back in the states now I really miss the food! I’m hoping to make this recipe, but had a couple of questions. First, what is the purpose of using starch with the water – is that for texture? Also, do I pour the starch water just in the bottom of the pan, or over the buns, before cooking them? 谢谢你!

          1. I don’t think so Jennie. The purpose is mainly to provide water to steam the buns. The starch just then creates the snowflakes once the water has evaporated during the steaming process.

    2. Hi Elaine,

      I can’t seem to locate the ingredients and instructions for this recipe. I can see that the xiao long bao page has a “jump to recipe” button that brings you to the recipe box, I can’t seem to find it for this recipe. Would love to try to make this.

      Thank you!

    3. Hello Elaine,

      Thanks for a fantastic homepage! I love all recipes that I have tried. Happy cooking and the results are always perfect. Please keep posting more! ?

      I wonder what pork/beef/chicken jelly is? I live in Sweden and cannot find it here. Can I replace it with something else or make my own jelly?

      Thanks!

      1. It is actually the soup made from pork rind, pork trotter, chicken feet or beef tendon. I will explain this in detail along with the video publication.

    4. You say to cut the dough in half and put one of those halves in the fridge. What is that used for if you only need half the dough to make the buns?

      1. Ian,
        Please the dough in fridge is to avoid proofing too quickly. Will use the other half too.

    5. 5 stars
      These were very good. I added 1 tsp of baking powder to the dough because I have seen that addition in many recipes. I also used warm water because I misread the directions. The filling was delicious. I had gelled tonkotsu ramen broth and used that instead of plain pork jelly.

      One question, my baos ended up short and wide. I think they’d look more attractive taller. Any suggestions?

    6. I am very happy to see your website. Love all the recipes that I’m seeing here. I have wanted to learn the techniques on how to do some of them and you explain them very well. I cannot wait to try them out.