【Learn Chinese】Shanghai Pan-Fried Dumplings

生煎包 (shēng jiān bāo) is one of Shanghai’s most common breakfast foods, and it has been since the early 1900s.

These beautifully pan-fried pork buns are delicious, and really fit the bill of falling into the bracket of ‘Shanghai dumplings’.
Eating 生煎包 is another situation in which probably requires a napkin or two until you’re well-practised at eating them.
Like 小笼包 (xiǎo lóng bāo), these pan-fried buns have a pork and soupy filling.
In this case, the dumpling skin is thicker, with a crispier crust on the bottom and a thinner crust on top.
The buns are lined up in an oiled pan. They are usually sprinkled with spring onion and/or sesame seeds during cooking. Both 小笼包 and 生煎包 can be served with vinegar for dipping. Extremely tasty!
You can also find 生煎包 outside of the Jiangzhe area, but they much less common. In Shanghai, these are sometimes also referred to as 生煎馒头 (sheng jiān mán tou).
In Shanghai, the word 馒头 (mán tou) can be used to refer to both filled and unfilled buns.
In the rest of China, the word 馒头 (mán tou) specifically refers to unfilled buns, and 包 (bāo) or 包子 (baozi) are filled buns.