Chinese Vegetables Pan-Fried Buns Recipe (生煎包)

Pan-fried buns, or Shengjian bao (生煎包), are a very popular breakfast item in Shanghai. 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). To create a halal version of it, you can replace the pork with the likes of chicken or beef. But do you know what my favourite way of enjoying these buns is? It’s actually with just vegetables! So here I’ve got a recipe to share with you guys for how to make Chinese Vegetables Pan-Fried Buns.

Chinese Pan-Fried Buns

How to make Chinese Pan-Fried Buns

There are four parts to this recipe: (1) Making the dough (2) Making the filling (3) Assembling the buns (4) Cooking the buns.

(1) Making the dough

Start with making the dough. Mix together instant yeast, sugar, plain flour, and water. Knead to form a smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for at least an hour until doubled in size.

(2) Making the filling

Pan-fried buns are traditionally made with meat, but I personally enjoy using vegetables as filling more. I’ve used shiitake mushrooms, Chinese chives and leeks.

Prior to start making the filling, I’ve rehydrated the dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking them in hot water for about 30 minutes.

Once that’s ready, finely dice up the shiitake mushrooms. Place in a bowl and mix with chopped Chinese chives, chopped leeks, as well as ginger paste, garlic paste, red chilli flakes, salt, black pepper, cumin powder, sesame oil, and soy sauce. I’ve also cheekily added a little bit of leftover duck fat in it as well to make it juicier but that’s completely optional. It’s not completely going to mimic the meat soup effect but a little extra juice in there is always welcomed, right?

(3) Assembling the buns

On a floured surface, knead the risen dough a couple more times and form into a large ball.

Divide the dough evenly into 16 portions. Each portion weighs around 20-25g. Roll them into a shape of a ball and then flatten them out with a rolling pin into a circle wrapper.

Disclaimer: I am a terrible dumpling wrapper! But I’m going to try my best to explain how I managed to wrap these buns out.

Place roughly 1½ teaspoon of filling at the centre of the wrapper. Lift one side up towards the centre and plucker into pleats, all the while rotating the wrapper until you reach the end. Give the pleated ends a little pinch to secure the top. It’s entirely up to you to whether completely sealing the top or not. I left mine a little open.

Most go through the folding process on one palm while the other hand sets to work, but I made an absolute mess out of it and folding it on a surface was easier for me.

(4) Cooking the buns

Finally, we down to the final stage here – cooking the buns! Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place the buns into the pan and let sizzle for 3-4 minutes until the bottom turns golden in colour.

Add a splash of water into the pan and quickly cover with a lid. Turn to medium heat and allow the water to steam cook the buns for 5-6 minutes.

Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions if you wish. Serve immediately with some chilli oil for dipping.

I’ve also tried out cooking these in an Air Fryer. They come out looking a little differently but totally works as well. For how to make Pan-fried Buns in an Air Fryer, go check out my Air Fryer Chinese Vegetables Buns Recipe post.

Chinese Pan-Fried Buns

Chinese Vegetable Pan-Fried Buns

ET Food Voyage
A lip-smacking recipe for Chinese pan-fried buns featuring a fragrant vegetable filling with a crispy bottom and fluffy buns.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 16 buns
Calories 77 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the dough

  • 85 ml Warm Water
  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 250 g Plain Flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp Sugar

For the filling

  • 30 g Dried Shiitake Mushrooms soak in hot water for 30 minutes to rehydrate, finely diced
  • tsp Garlic Paste
  • tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
  • 120 g Chinese Chives chopped
  • 120 g Leeks chopped
  • 2 tsp Animal Fat optional
  • 2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil

For cooking the buns, garnish and serving

  • 1-2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • ¼ cup Water
  • Sesame Seeds optional, for garnish
  • Spring Onions optional, chopped, for garnish
  • Chilli Oil optional, for serving
  • Chinese Black Vinegar optional, for serving

Instructions
 

Making the dough

  • In a large bowl, mix together all the dough ingredients. Knead to form a smooth dough. Add more flour accordingly if too sticky or add more water if too dry.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for at least an hour until doubled in size.

Making the filling

  • Mix together all the filling ingredients.

Assembling the buns

  • On a floured surface, knead the risen dough a couple more times and form into a large ball.
  • Divide the dough evenly into 16 portions. Each portion weighs around 20-25g. Roll them into a shape of a ball and then flatten them out with a rolling pin into a circle wrapper.
  • Place roughly 1½ teaspoon of filling at the centre of the wrapper. Lift one side up towards the centre and plucker into pleats, all the while rotating the wrapper until you reach the end.
  • Give the pleated ends a little pinch to secure the top. It's optional whether you want to fully seal the top or not.

Cooking the buns

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Place the buns into the pan and let sizzle for 3-4 minutes until the bottom turns golden in colour.
  • Add a splash of water into the pan and quickly cover with a lid. Turn to medium heat and allow the water to steam cook the buns for 5-6 minutes.
  • Garnish with sesame seeds and spring onions if you wish. Serve immediately with some chilli oil or Chinese black vinegar for dipping.

Notes

  • The recipe yields 16 buns.
Keyword Dim Sum

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Chinese Pan-Fried Vegetables Buns Recipe

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