Pork & Chives Pan-Fried Buns

You won’t regret making these crispy-bottom buns filled with juicy meat and fragrant garlic chives.

Pan-fried buns or Shengjian bao are a specialty dish from Suzhou, China that is absolutely delicious and worth the effort to make. They’re not difficult to make, but it requires many East Asian ingredients and a bit of time and effort. The bottom of the bun becomes extra crispy, while the top remains fluffy. The inside is filled with juicy meat and vegetables, making it the perfect snack or meal at any time of the day!

When I walk through the streets of East Asia, I become overly ecstatic whenever I see a food stand selling these buns. I order a box and pair it with fresh soy milk. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, I don’t live in Asia so I do not have the luxury of simply walking outside to purchase these. I can only settle with making them at home, using homegrown garlic chives, and pairing them with chili oil and store-bought soy milk!

Pork & Chives Pan-Fried Buns

yield: 30 medium buns


For buns:

  • 8 g. or 2 tsp. sugar
  • 7 g. or 2 tsp. active yeast
  • 280 g. warm water
  • 500 g. or 4 c. all-purpose flour

For filling:

  • 1 g. or 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 15 g. or 1 tbsp. water
  • 453 g. or 1 lb. 80/20 ground pork
  • 8 g. or 2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 g. or 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 g. or 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 16 g. or 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 16 g. or 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 g. or 1/4 tsp. five spice powder
  • 3 g. or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 200 g. or 1 c. + 2 tbsp. chicken broth
  • 275 g. or 4-5 c. chopped garlic chives


  1. In a bowl, add warm water, sugar, and yeast and let it rest for 5 minutes. Once the yeast has bubbled, add in the flour, mix, and knead for 5 minutes. Roll the dough in a ball and place it in a large bowl. Cover with a lid and let it double in size in a warm place for 1 hour.
  2. In a mini bowl, whisk together 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1 tbsp. water. Set aside for 10 min.
  3. In a large bowl, combine pork, baking soda mixture, and the remaining seasonings, except the chives. Mix the pork mixture until combined. Add in the chives and mix.
  4. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and cut it into approximately 30 equal pieces, each weighing ~35 grams.
  5. To assemble one bun, roll the bun into a 3-inch circle. Add a generous spoon (about 2 tbsp) of filling in the middle and pinch the edges into the center. Repeat for the remaining buns.
  6. Place the buns in an oiled pan and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes with the lid on. When the buns start to sizzle, add 1 tbsp. water. Cover the pan and cook until the buns expand, approximately 5-8 min. Feel free to add more water as needed.
  7. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds and scallions, and enjoy with chili oil.

Recipe notes:

  • Taste the filling by microwaving a teaspoon and adjusting the taste as needed. However, the filling should be relatively salty on its own since the salt and flavors are to be paired with the bread dough.
  • Cooked buns can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  • Store cooked buns in an airtight container in the fridge and finish within 3 days.

This post contains affiliate links, for which I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

8 thoughts

  1. I bet if the pan is oiled with bacon grease, it will be beyond superb! πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

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