Sheng Jian Bao – The Complete Guide To Shanghai Pork Bun

A famously popular street food- these fried pork buns are a twist on traditionally prepared steamed buns. Delicious and easy to make, these make a fantastic snack any time of day!

Each city has some representative snacks.

The recipe we are looking at today is a particularly famous snack in Shanghai.

shang hair sheng jian bao

The origin of sheng jian bao:

According to history, fried pork buns first appeared in the Shanghai tea house more than a hundred years ago, in the form of a light refreshment.

Later, because of everyone’s love for this tasty dish, it slowly moved out of the tea house and evolved into street food.

However, there are many types of pan-fried pork buns today, and it has long evolved past Shanghai.

The bottom of the skin is golden brown, and some sesame seeds and shallots are sprinkled on the upper part.

They smell fragrant, every mouthful is delicious, and is quite popular with everyone.

The finished product is white, soft and airy, the meat is tender and juicy, and the sesame and onion add an extra crunchy texture.

It is a must to eat hot, in order to experience the full effect of this delicious street food.

sheng jian bao

Now I am going to share the recipe step by step. We will divide the recipe into 5 parts, it looks complicated, but in fact, it is very simple to make authentic sheng jian bao if you follow these steps.

sheng jian bao

The ingredients prepared this time can make about 40 pan fried pork buns.

Phase 1: Make Pork skin jelly

Ingredients:

  • 1) 50g of pork skin
  • 2) 400ml water
  • 3) Small piece of ginger
  • 4) 2 Green onions

Procedure:

Step 1: Clean up the pork skin of excess hair and fat.

Pork skin jelly step1

Step 2: Cut into strips of meat, prepare the green onion and a piece of ginger.

Pork skin jelly step2

Step 3: Put the skin, onion and ginger together in a pot of water, cook for about 40 minutes on low heat.

Pork skin jelly step3

Step 4: During the cooking process, the ratio of the skin to the water is kept at around 1:8. If the water evaporates too quickly, you can add a little water in the middle of cooking.

Pork skin jelly step4

Step 5: After cooking, remove the onion and ginger, add the meat to the blender with the water, and blend at high speed.

Pork skin jelly5

Step 6: Pour the blended pork and water back into the small pot, continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, then pour into a glass container.

Pork skin jelly6

Step 7: Put it in the refrigerator to cool and then freeze until it is solid.

Pork skin jelly7

Tips
1. If there is no blender, the ratio of meat to water is about 1:5, cook for about an hour and a half.

2. It is best to pour back into the pot through a strainer, to catch any pieces that couldn’t fully blend.

3. The finished pork skin soup should be a bit sticky.

Phase Two: Making the dough

Ingredients:

  • 1) 400g of Medium-gluten flour
  • 2) 2g dry yeast
  • 3) 230ml clear water
  • 4) 1 tsp sugar

Procedure:

Step 1: Add dry yeast and sugar to the medium-gluten flour, stir well.

Making the dough step1

Step 2: Slowly add water and stir while pouring.

Making the dough step2

Step 3: Then, knead into a smooth dough, cover with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

Making the dough step3

Step 4: After the dough has risen, you can press it gently with your finger. If the rebound is very slow, you can put it in the refrigerator.

Making the dough step4

Tips:

1. Be careful not to let dry yeast come into contact with sugar while stirring the flour before adding water

2. The dough is kneaded into a relatively smooth texture, cover the plastic wrap to proof the dough when it is not sticky to your hand and the container.

3. Note that the dough is semi-fermented and the fermentation level is not particularly high. The refrigeration process is so that it does not over-proof and lower the temperature of the dough.

Phase Three: Filling

Ingredients:

  • 1) 300g Pork leg or shoulder meat
  • 2) 200g of the skin jelly from phase one
  • 3) 1 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 4) 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 5) 150ml water
  • 6) 1.5 tsp of salt
  • 7) 2 tsp of sugar
  • 8) 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 9) 1 Tbsp cooking wine
  • 10) 2 small spoons of corn starch
  • 11) 1 tsp of Sichuan peppercorn

Procedure:

Step 1: Prepare the ginger and add it into clean water.

filling step1

Step 2: Add chopped green onion and Sichuan peppercorn, let soak for a bit.

filling step2

Step 3: Cut the meat into small pieces, in which the proportion of fat to meat ratio is about 3:2.

filling step3

Step 4: Then use a kitchen knife to shred the meat to look like the picture above.

filling step4

Step 5: In a large bowl, add salt, sugar, sesame oil, cooking wine and corn starch to the meat, stir well.

filling step5

Step 6: Pour the soaked onion, ginger, Sichuan peppercorn into the bowl through a strainer. Add it slowly several times while stirring.

filling step6

Step 7: Stir until the meat is pasty.

Step 8: Take out the frozen skin jelly and chop it

filling step8

Step 9: Add to the meat and mix well, put in the refrigerator.

filling step9

Tips
1. Generally, I would like to use pork belly with more fat. Because the pork skin jelly is added , I will use pork belly with more Lean meat so that they are not too greasy. The filling can be used with shoulder meat or hind leg meat (the part where the pig’s buttocks and thighs are connected), or it can be mixed together;

2. I end up with about 400g pork skin jelly. However, I only need half of it here for this recipe.

Phase Four: Wrapping the sheng jian bao

Step 1: Press the dough flat by hand first.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step1

Step 2: Fold into a rectangle, use a rolling pin to flatten out.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step2

Step 3: Roll into a long strip.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step3

Step 4: Cut into small pieces, each weighing about 13-15g. After cutting them, sprinkle them with flour to prevent sticking.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step4

Step 5: Prepare a pan by drizzling some oil on the bottom.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step5

Step 6: Press the flat with your palm, and then use a rolling pin with one hand to roll out from the sides whilst turning with the other hand (as shown above).

Step 7: Take out the meat from the refrigerator and put a small spoonful in the dough.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step7

Step 8: Wrap the dough around the pork, pleat and pinch the opening closed.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step8

Step 9: After wrapping, be sure to pinch the mouth closed so the pork doesn’t fall out.

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step9

Wrapping the sheng jian bao step9-2

Tips
1. You can sprinkle flour on the dough to prevent sticking. The dough should be pressed evenly, and the air pockets inside the dough should be released

2. Pan fried buns are not the same as steamed buns. It is fried with pleats down the pan. So after wrapping, it is best to pinch it to ensure complete adhesion, so that the pork does not have the opportunity to escape

Phase Five: Pan fry sheng jian bao

Ingredients:

  • 1) Cooked black sesame seeds
  • 2) chopped green onion

Step 1: Wrapped sheng jian bao put the pleats down into the pot, fry for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until the color the bottom of sheng jian bao is golden.

Pan fry sheng jian bao step1

Step 2: Add the appropriate amount of water to cover half of the bun.

Pan fry sheng jian bao step2

Step 3: Cover the lid, turn the heat to low, and fry for about 8-10 minutes.

Pan fry sheng jian bao step3

Step 4: After the water has evaporated and after hearing the sound of oil sizzling, you can turn off the heat, sprinkle with chopped green onion and cooked black sesame.

Pan fry sheng jian bao step4

Step 5: Cover it again, and let sit for about a minute before eating.

Pan fry sheng jian bao step5

Tips:

1. After the frying, sheng jian bao will be a little inflated, so leave a gap between each one.

2. Remember not to flip it before it is finished, otherwise, the bottom may open.

3. Because the proofing process is so-called semi-fermented method, which is different than other buns like the steam bun, they will not be as puffy.

4. If you like the fluffy skin like steamed buns, you can also let them stand for about 20 minutes and ferment them after putting them into the pan. However, this kind of skin may absorb the juices from the pork so they won’t be as juicy on the inside.

5. After the pork skin jelly is melted in sheng jian bao, it will become a very delicious but hot juice, so be careful when eating.

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