Shengjianbao in Shanghai Style – Pan-fried Buns

shengjianbao, pan-fried buns

Shengjianbao is a popular Shanghai-style street food that has become a staple in the city’s culinary scene. These pan-fried buns are often compared to the more widely known dumplings, but they have a unique texture and flavor that sets them apart.

The name “shengjianbao” roughly translates to “pan-fried buns with stuffing.” The buns are typically made from a mixture of flour, yeast, and water, which is then filled with a savory filling that typically includes minced pork and a mixture of seasonings like ginger, scallions, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Some variations may also include seafood, vegetables, or other meats.

The buns are then pan-fried in a shallow pan until the bottom becomes crispy and golden brown while the top remains soft and fluffy. The process of cooking the buns in a small amount of oil results in a juicy and flavorful interior, which is why shengjianbao is often described as a cross between a steamed bun and a fried dumpling.

Shengjianbao is typically served hot and fresh, straight from the pan. They are often accompanied by a dipping sauce made from a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and shredded ginger. Some vendors may also add a sprinkle of sesame seeds or chopped scallions on top for extra flavor and texture.

This beloved Shanghai street food can be found in almost every neighborhood throughout the city. Some of the most popular places to enjoy shengjianbao include the historic City God Temple area in the Old Town, the trendy Xintiandi neighborhood, and the bustling Yuyuan Bazaar. Many food stalls and restaurants specialize in this dish and offer different variations and flavor combinations.

Overall, shengjianbao is a delicious and satisfying snack that is loved by locals and visitors alike. Its unique texture and flavor make it a must-try dish for anyone visiting Shanghai.

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