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Sep 14, 2021

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)

These pan fried pork and scallion buns have a delicious crispy texture on one side and are soft and fluffy on the other side. Plus, they are filled with a tasty mixture of seasoned pork. 

Chinese Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns stacked in a bowl.

I like to make a big batch of these buns and freeze them for later. 

If you like potstickers, you will love these buns. They are prepared in the same way, except that they are made with a yeasted dough. Think, "potstickers and steamed buns got married." 

According the book, Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen (2009), these buns are from Shanghai, and they are typically cooked in huge shallow pans "much like paella pans." 

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns with sauce.

Dumplings or Buns? These are the best of both worlds! They are pan-fried first, and then steamed after they are crisped on one side, just like pot stickers. 

Ingredients in these Pork and Scallion Buns:


First, begin with a yeasted dough that also includes baking powder. While I used unbleached all purpose flour, if you prefer a snowier looking dough, you can use bleached all purpose flour, such as Gold Medal. 

This dough is super versatile. You can use this dough for all kinds of filled buns, including steamed buns, baked buns, and these pan fried buns. 


You can fill them with any mixture you like, such as pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, or veggies. For these pan fried buns, I used a mixture of pork, ginger, scallions, and seasonings. 

Shaping pan fried pork buns.

How to shape these buns before pan frying: 

After letting the dough rise, divide it into 32 pieces by forming the dough into logs and slicing it with a bench knife. 

Next, form each piece into a ball and flatten each into a round. Make sure that the edges of the round are thinner than the middle so that you can fold the edges and twist them around the filling. 

After that, place two teaspoons of the mixed filling in the center of the round and then wrap it up by pleating the edges and giving them a twist so that they stick together. I used a size 100 cookie scoop to portion the filling. 

You don't have to be too particular about folding the edges (like you would with dumpling wrappers) because the yeast will fatten them up anyway. Plus, I didn't have the patience. 

Pan fried buns ingredients.

How to pan fry these pork and scallions buns:

Actually, you both pan fry and then steam these buns. First, you heat oil in a large skillet, and then arrange the buns about 1/2 inch apart in the pan. 

Fry the buns until they begin to brown. Once they are browned, carefully pour some water into the pan and cover it to finish cooking the buns. 

Be very careful when adding the water to the pan. Hold the pan lid over the pan when pouring in the water to prevent flare ups. 

Cover the pan (with the lid very slightly ajar) and let the ingredients sizzle until the water is evaporated and the buns are crispy on the bottom. 

If you want, you can flip them over and brown the reverse side of the buns after removing the lid. 

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)  with dipping sauce.

I served these buns with a dipping sauce of chili oil, Chinkiang vinegar (you can substitute balsamic), soy sauce, and ginger. 

You can place the dipping ingredients in separate bowls and let your guests mix their own favorite combination. 

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)  in a bowl.

I fried some of the buns on both sides, and fried some only on one side. I kind of liked the ones that I flipped over better. Plus, it disquised my less than perfect shaping skills. 

To pan fry all of the buns at the same time, I used two 14 inch skillets and was able to fit all 32 of them at the same time. A large electric skillet might work well here too. You just need to make sure that your pan has a lid. 

By the way, have I mentioned that these buns are delicious? I've been pulling a few out of the freezer every day for a quick lunch or snack. They are great to have on hand for appetizers too. 

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Welcome to this month's Bread Bakers. Our host is Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm, and our theme is Chinese Breads. 

What is Bread Bakers? It’s a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board

How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to Stacy at

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)

Pan Fried Pork and Scallion Buns (Shēng Jiān Bāo)
Yield: 32 Buns
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 40 M
These pan fried pork and scallion buns have a delicious crispy texture on one side and are soft and fluffy the other side.


For the Dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 12 1/2 ounces (360 grams/2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
For the Filling
  • 10 ounces ground pork
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions, both white and green parts
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
To Fry the Buns
  • 6 tablespoons neutral oil such as canola or peanut
  • 3/4 cup water


To Make the Dough
  1. Combine the yeast and the water together in a measuring cup and let rest for one minute to soften the yeast. 
  2. In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment, add the sugar, baking powder, and flour. Pulse to combine. 
  3. With the processor running, slowly poor in the yeast/water mixture through the feed tube and run until the dough clumps together into a ball. If necessary, add more water by teaspoonfuls. Run the processor for another 45 seconds to a minute. The dough should be tacky but not sticky. 
  4. Press the dough into a disk and place it into an oiled bowl and cover to rise until nearly doubled. 
To Make the Filling
  1. Mash together the pork, ginger, and scallions to fully combine. 
  2. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and water. 
  3. Stir with a fork to combine all of the ingredients thoroughly. 
To Make the Buns
  1. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a log. Cut each log into 16 pieces. Cover all of the pieces with plastic wrap as you work with the dough. 
  2. Form each piece into a ball, and flatten into a 3 inch round. The rim should be thinner than the center. Drop 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle and wrap the filling with the dough, pleating the dough edges and twisting the edges of the dough together. 
  3. Heat two large nonstick skillets over medium heat and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil to each, depending on the skillet size. Position the shaped dumplings 1/2 inch apart, seam side up, in each pan and pan fry until the bottoms are light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  4. With a lid held over the frying pan to prevent spattering and flare ups, carefully add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water into each pan (depending on the size of the pan, the water should just be about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep in the pan), and cover, with the lid very slightly ajar, and cook until the water nearly evaporates, about 6 minutes. Remove the lids and finish cooking for another minute or two. Optionally, you can flip the buns over to lightly brown on the other side. 
  5. Remove the buns to a serving platter and serve with your favorite dipping sauces. 
  6. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or with some oil and water in a lidded nonstick skillet. 

Nutrition Facts



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Pork Buns
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Would you like to comment?

  1. I love that....dumplings and steamed buns got married...great analogy. The recipe sounds wonderful.

  2. These are delicious scallion buns. I love this pan fried ones great appetizer.

  3. Look at that gorgeous color! My kids would totally demolish this entire batch.

  4. Love these cute small pork filled buns.


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