Easy Hack Chinese Lamb Pan-Fried Buns Recipe

Golden crispy bottom, soft and fluffy on top, with explosive flavours & juicy filling on the inside – Chinese pan-fried buns are seriously such a treat that’s impossible to not love. Even better, I’ve recently discovered this game-changing hack that made things a hundred times easier to make these buns at home and I seriously can’t stop making them. Want to find out? Then keep reading on my Easy Hack Chinese Lamb Pan-Fried Buns recipe.

Pan-fried buns, or Shengjian bao (生煎包), are a very popular breakfast item in Shanghai. Essentially, it’s a yeast dough with meat filling, pan-fried for a golden crispy bottom whilst the top gets steamed till fluffy. They are also a common dim sum dish to order at Chinese restaurants. Typically though, the pan-fried buns you find on the streets of Shanghai are most likely filled with pork and gelatin (to create the soupy effect inside the bun). So, as a halal option, I’ve enjoyed using lamb for it and like to spike it a little with a touch of spices. Alternatively, a vegetable option is not bad either!

Okay, all that chit-chat and I still haven’t revealed the secret hack. So here it is, *drum roll*…frozen pizza dough! No mixing, no kneading, no proofing, no rising time – all you need to do, instead, is to thaw, roll, and simply fold the fillings in. It saves you so much time and truly wins on convenience with zero compromises on flavours. It’s just as delicious and there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t hop on this immediately!

A plate of lamb pan-fried buns

How to make Lamb Pan-Fried Buns with Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • Frozen Pizza Dough – thawed. I used the Northern Dough Co. original pizza dough
  • Lamb Mince
  • Cumin Powder, Red Chilli Flakes, Salt, White Pepper – seasoning and spices
  • Lamb Bouillon Cube – extra flavour boost
  • Light Soy Sauce, Dark Soy Sauce
  • Sesame Oil
  • Scallion – plus more for garnish
  • White Sesame Seed – plus more for garnish
  • Meat Fat – optional, for extra juiciness
  • Flour – for dusting the surface
  • Cooking oil – for frying
  • Water – to steam the top of the buns

What you need

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Recipe notes

  • Feel free to switch things up a little with the lamb seasoning. Play with various spices to tailor the flavours to your taste. Marinating is not mandatory but recommended.
  • There is no right or wrong in how you roll and shape the buns. As you can tell from the images, I am pretty poor at folding and shaping the buns. The basics are: place the filling in the centre, fold all the sides up together and simply twist the top to seal the buns.
  • To get that nice golden crispy bottom and fluffy top, first fry the buns in a hot pan till golden at the bottom then add a splash of water and cover the pan to cook the top through steam.
  • These pan-fried buns are ideal to serve with a side of chilli oil or Chinese black vinegar. It’s delicious on its own too!

Try this with an Air Fryer!

Don’t fancy pan-frying? Why not try this recipe with an air fryer! Instead of a fluffy steamed top, the buns would be golden throughout – a little bit different but they’re definitely just as delicious.

To make these lamb pan-fried buns in an air fryer, simply preheat the air fryer to 180C, brush the buns with oil (use sesame oil for extra fragrance) and cook for 5 minutes. Then give the air fryer basket a little shake and reapply more oil if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes till golden brown and serve immediately!

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED: Air Fryer Chinese Vegetable Buns Recipe

A plate of lamb pan-fried buns

Easy Hack Chinese Lamb Pan-Fried Buns

ET Food Voyage
Follow this easy pizza dough hack to make Chinese Lamb Pan-Fried Buns – convenient and no-fuss without compromising any flavours!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Marinating time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 12 buns
Calories 109 kcal

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin
  • Pastry cutter / large cookie cutter
  • 1 Large Pan with lid

Ingredients
  

  • 220 g Frozen Pizza Dough thawed
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1-2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • ⅛-¼ cup Water

Lamb filling:

  • 250 g Lamb Mince
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp White Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tbsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 1 cube Lamb Bouillon Cube crumbled
  • 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 75 g Scallions plus more for topping
  • 1 tbsp White Sesame Seed plus more for topping

Instructions
 

  • Mix together all the lamb filling ingredients till combined. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
    250 g Lamb Mince, 1 tbsp Salt, 1 tbsp White Pepper, 1 tbsp Cumin Powder, 1 tbsp Red Chilli Flakes, 1 cube Lamb Bouillon Cube, 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, ½ tbsp Sesame Oil, 1 tbsp White Sesame Seed, 75 g Scallions
  • In the meantime, lightly dush a surface with flour and roll the thawed pizza dough into a thin layer.
    220 g Frozen Pizza Dough, Flour
  • Using a pastry cutter or large round cookie cutter, cut the pizza dough into circles. Knead together any remaining dough and repeat until all the dough is spent.
  • Scoop roughly 1 tbsp of marinated mince into the centre of each dough circle. Fold all the sides up and twist the top to seal each bun.
  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
    1-2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • Place the buns into the pan in one layer. Fry for about 3-5 minutes till the bottom is golden brown.
  • Turn the heat slightly down to medium. Pour in water and cover the pan with a lid.
    ⅛-¼ cup Water
  • Cook for 5-10 minutes until the water has entirely evaporated and the buns are cooked through.
  • Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Air Fryer Method:

  • Preheat air fryer to 180°C
  • Brush the air fryer basket with oil and place the buns. Do not overcrowd and cook in batches if necessary.
  • Cook for 5 minutes. Then give the basket a little shake and brush more oil if needed.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes until golden brown and serve immediately.

Notes

Feel free to switch things up a little with the lamb seasoning. Play with various spices to tailor the flavours to your taste. Marinating is not mandatory but recommended.
For serving:
  • These pan-fried buns are ideal to serve with a side of chilli oil or Chinese black vinegar. It’s delicious on its own too!
Keyword Air Fryer Recipe, Chinese Recipes, Easy Recipes, Lamb

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Pizza Dough Hack Lamb Pan-Fried Buns recipe

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