Pan Fried Chinese Buns with Pork and Shrimps (Shengjian Bao)

Shengjian bao, also known as pan-fried buns or simply shengjian, is a typical Chinese street food found in southern China (Zhejiang province, Shanghai, etc.). The buns are usually filled with pork and fried in a large pan until the bottoms become crispy and golden. Finally, chopped scallions and sesame seeds are sprinked on top of the buns. Fillings and sizes may vary.

It remains one of my favorite dishes, and my mouth waters just thinking about it. Unfortunately the city I live right now does not have shengjian nearly as good as the ones found in my hometown. So I decided to make them myself. These buns filled with shrimps and pork are so juicy, filing and delicious!


  • 120g all purpose flour
  • 2g quick yeast
  • 85g ground meat (I used pork)
  • ~12 shrimps
  • a handful of chopped scallions
  • 1tbs oyster sauce
  • salt, pepper, sesame seeds
  • 1.5 – 2 tbs cold broth/ water

(Cold broth/ water is the key to making really juicy buns)


  1. For the dough: Mix flour and yeast in a large bowl, add warm water in several additions (just warmer than body temperature). Knead until a smooth, non-stick dough forms.
  2. cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest for 1-2 hours until the dough doubles in size (as shown in the picture with all the ingredients).
  3. For the filling: combine ground meat, chopped shrimps, scallions, oyster saue, sesame seeds, cooking wine, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  4. Mix well by stirring in the same direction. Then add cold broth/ water and keep stirring, until you can feel the resistance increases and the filling becomes sticky (just a typical Chinese cooking technique).
  5. Divide dough into about 12 portions.
  6. Roll each dough into a ball, flatten it and roll it out. The center should be thicker than the edge. Place an appropriate amount of filling in the center.
  7. Fold and pleat the dough sheet. Make sure the buns are completely sealed so that juicy won’t come out.
  8. Heat a greased non-stick pan, place buns in the pan. Pan-fry over medium heat.
  9. Pan-fry until the bottom turns golden brown.
  10. Add water (room temperature, to 1/3 the height of the buns).
  11. Cover with a lid/plate and cook for several minutes.
  12. The buns should be cooked thoroughly when water completely evaporates, and the skin should be crispy on the bottom (you can make both sides crispy if desire). Finally, sprinkle sesame seeds and more chopped scallions.

The bottom is perfectly crispy. The filling is flavorful and juicy.

They are definitely going to satisfy my cravings for shengjian/ pan fired buns when away from home!


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