Food & Drink Magazine

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

By Zoebakeforhappykids @bake4happykids
Hi everyone! I'm back!!!

... I'm back from the busy and flashy Singapore to my simple and laid-back Melbourne. Although my life is sometimes hectic with family and work in Melbourne, I reckon that it is never intense as a working mom in Singapore.

Now back to my blogging and cooking...

My son and I love love love sheng jian bao!!!
Sheng jian bao? In Chinese, they are 生煎包 and they are also known as Chinese pan fried buns. Sheng jian bao are Chinese savoury buns that are pan fried with crispy bases and also steamed to produce fluffy steamed-bun-like bun texture. 

We love love love eating sheng jian bao in Chinese restaurants. In one of our favorite places to dine, it usually serves five large sheng jian bao in one order. When my son was three, he can eat at least four sheng jian bao and will leave one for me. These days, he can finish all five large sheng jian bao and leave nothing for me... Then, he tells me that he is still hungry. Hmmm... When my son gets older, I'm hoping that I can order two serves of sheng jian bao and I bet that he wouldn't be able to finish all ten of them... Or will he???

I should be ashamed of myself that I'm fighting with my son to eat sheng jian bao... Please please please don't boo me!!!So, here I am trying to redeem myself by cooking adequate sheng jian bao for my family and I did it...

sheng jian bao pan fried chicken buns

Chicken sheng jian bao 生煎包 / pan fried buns

To be honest, I really thought that it was a super scary recipe to attempt before I made these. Now, I can tell my son that mommy can make these buns anytime that he wants and I say it with a confident grin :)
Typically, sheng jian bao are made of regular mince pork (not lean) so that the buns are filled with juicy and smooth fillings but today, I'm making mine with a healthy twist and used lean chicken mince and cabbage instead.
I can't deny that the typical fattier pork sheng jian bao taste better than my leaner chicken and vegetable sheng jian bao but I can't deny that my leaner chicken and vegetable sheng jian bao taste are comparatively good too!

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

You can use any cabbage if you can't find any Chinese cabbage in your local market.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

I'm surprised to see that the waxy cabbage that I used can contain so much liquid.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Next, I sliced the spring onions.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Gather the seasonings

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

And add all into the chicken mince. Chill mixture for at least 3 hours.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

These are two of the ingredients that I used to make the bun dough

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

After its first prove, I divided the dough into 20 portions.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

It was quite scary when I first shaped these buns.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Then, practice makes perfect!

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Coat the bottom of the rested buns with sesame seeds

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Pan frying (plus steaming) the buns

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Wow! The buns are so fluffy!

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Very delicious even they are made with healthier options!

Guys! Guys! No need to fight... There is plentiful of sheng jian bao here!!!Well, I assume but all these 20 medium buns were gone very quickly with no leftovers!!!I asked my husband and son if they want me to cook sheng jian bao with pork fillings for the next time and they said NO!!!"We want the same chicken sheng jian bao..." said my husband with his head shaking and my son with a full mouthful of bun responded with his head nodding like crazy.Knowing them, I'm very surprised to know that they prefer to eating these healthier version. Well, you should see my surprised face at that moment.
Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from the book, Delightful Snacks and Dim Sum by Agnes Chang - please note that the original recipe by Agnes Chang uses pork mince, not chicken.

Makes 20 medium buns
(just enough to serve three big eaters like us)For the dough:160ml (2/3 cup) water, lukewarm, plus 1-2 tbsp if the dough is too dry
350g Hong Kong flour or any low protein (7-9%) bleached flour
3/4 tbsp double-action baking powder or baking powder, you can omit this if you are using self raising low protein flour
1/3 tsp salt
60g caster sugar
30g shortening, preferably Crisco with no trans fat
1 tsp instant yeast

For the filling:

350g lean chicken mince (It works well for us!)
150g Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
2/3 tsp salt
about 30g spring onion, finely sliced, plus extra to garnish
1 tsp ginger, finely minced

To season:

1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp light soya sauce
2/3 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chicken stock granules
1 1/2 tbsp corn flour

To cook:

adequate white sesame seeds to coat the bottom of 20 buns
4-5 tbsp oil -  I used rice bran oil
3/4 cup (180ml) water or more if required

To make the dough:

Place water, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, shortening and yeast according to this order into a breadmaker and use "dough” setting to knead and prove the dough for 1 hr.

If you are kneading the dough by hand, combine all dough ingredients except shortening to form a dough first. Add shortening as you knead until you get a smooth and elastic dough. This kneading time might take up to 15-20 mins. Cover dough with a cling wrap and allow it to prove for 1 hr or until doubled the size.

For the filling:

Mix cabbage with 2/3 tsp salt and leave it to "sweat" for about 10 mins. Squeeze out its excess liquid.

Combine chicken, cabbage, spring onions, ginger and all the seasonings and chill the filling in the fridge for at least 3 hrs before using.

To assemble:

Divide dough into 20 portions, Shape the portions into balls. Using a rolling pin, roll each portion of dough as thin as possible and also into round shape. Wrap 1-2 tbsp of filling inside each rolled dough as shown in the video at Christine's Recipe. Repeat the rolling and wrapping steps with the rest of the dough and filling. You might have about 1 cup of filling as leftover like mine.

Cover the buns with cling wrap and set aside to prove for about 15 mins or until the buns looks slightly puffy.

To cook,:

Using medium heat, heat up 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan (mine is 21 cm in diameter). Coat the bottom of the buns with sesame seeds and place them in the frying pan. Do not cook too many buns at a same time. Arrange them in a way that they will have space for expansion - I can cook 7 buns at a go with my 21 cm frying pan. Add adequate water (1/4 cup for 21 cm pan) and seal the frying pan with a cover. Cook the buns with medium heat for about 10-15 mins or until the water dry out. If the water dry out before the meat is cooked, add more water if it is required. Check if the meat is cooked and the base is golden brown and crispy before transferring the buns onto serving plates to serve. To finish, sprinkle some chopped spring onions to garnish.

Serve immediately.

Happy Cooking

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favorite DIY and me, Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe at this post.

Chicken Sheng Jian Bao 生煎包 Pan Fried Buns

Our Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday until the last day of the month. Please join us! To join, simply cook or bake any recipe with the theme of the month which is CHICKEN for April 2015 and link with us at this post anytime until 30th Apr 2015.
What after April 2015? Cheryl from Baking Taitai will be the next hostess of May 2015 and her theme is YOGURT!

Don't forget your thumbs up or display this badge! And make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post preferably within this month. (2) Please mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back toBake for Happy Kids,my little favorite DIYand Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe. For more details, please seethis 

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