I was first introduced to this type of bao (or do we call them dumplings?) via Dumpling Shack in London. Sheng Jian Bao is the breadier cousin of the more famous Xiao Long Bao and were undoubtedly one of the most photogenic dishes in the early days of the London Instagram food scene.
Been thinking about these recently so I decided to make my own version at home. It’s quite a long process, and makes you understand why £9.50 six of these at Dumpling Shack seems pretty justifiable. However they’re absolutely divine. The wrapping is soft and fluffy, a sharp contrast to the golden and crispy bottom. The filling is full of flavours and super juicy thanks to the broth that leaks out as soon as you bite into them. There’s nothing more satisfying than the combination textures and flavours delivered by this dish. I’ve written down the recipe that I used to make these below, hope you’ll enjoy!Print
Recipe for homemade Shanghai pan fried pork soup dumplings
- 500 g pork belly (or minced pork with high fat %)
- 15 g ginger, grated
- 50 g Chinese leaf, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sugar
- 100 ml stock
- 12g gelatine powder
- 300g all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 160 ml water
- Sesame seeds
- Chopped spring onions
Prepare the filling
- Mix the gelatine powder into the stock until well dissolved then put in the freezer for it to solidify and turn into jelly consistency.
- Add the pork belly, grated ginger, chopped Chinese leaf, salt, pepper, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sugar into a food processor and mix until the meat is well minced and combined with the other ingredients, You’ll want to achieve a homogenous sticky consistency with no large chunks.
- Take the gelatine stock mix out of the freezer and cut into small cubes make sure that they’re solid enough to cut and not melt
- Mix the jelly cubes with the minced meat filling until well distributed
- Refrigerate until assembly
Prepare the wrapper
- Mix the flour yeast and water together
- Kneed the flour using a mixer with a dough attachment for about 10 minutes until smooth (may take longer if done by hand)
- Roll it into a dough ball, put in a large bowl covered with a damp towel and leave it to rise for 20 minutes
- When the dough has risen to about 1.5 times its size, take the dough out and kneed until it regains its original size
- Roll out the dough into a long tube-like shape then divide it into roughly 18-20 portions
- Take one of the dough portions, roll it into a ball then using a rolling pin, roll it out flat until you get a flat circle of about 2mm thickness
- Using the rolling pin, roll the outside borders of the circle so that it thins out. You should obtain a circle of about 10cm diameter
- Scoop about 3/4 table spoon of filling and place it into the centre of the dough circle
- Fold into the dumpling shape by *pinching* the edges together and moving forward around the circle. give it a little twist at the end to ensure that it’s well sealed.
- Heat up a pan, add some oil
- Add the dumplings to a pan, leave it to fry for about 2 minutes
- Add 1 cup of water the cover the pan with a lid, cook for 8 minutes
- Open the lid and check that the water has dissolved.
- Sprinkle some sesame seeds and green onions
- Leave the dumplings to cook for a further 2 minutes on the pan with lid open
Ready to serve! They’re best consumed hot. I tend to eat these with some chilli oil or a 1 part soy sauce + 2 part vinegar and ginger dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Keywords: Chinese, Sheng Jian Bao, Soup Dumpling, Dumplings, Bao,