Sheng Jian Bao (生煎包) is a soup dumpling that has been fried. Inside there is a hot flavorful broth that scalds those who are unsuspecting. What most people don’t know is that Sheng Jian Bao is actually just a fried version of the popular Shanghai Dish, Xiao Long Bao(小籠包). These buns are typically steamed in a traditional bamboo steamer. Although nowadays, most restaurant use the metal steamer for both sanitary and convenience reason.
Xiao Long Bao Origin
This dish was invented around the early 1800 in the city of NanXiang. The inventor sold it in his store next to the GuYi Garden. The dish is typically made with a pork filling and to get the soup inside the bun, they would fill it with gelatin broth. This way, the liquid can stay sold while uncooked. Once steamed, the gelatin will turn into soup and fill the bun. For more information about the Xiao Long Bao, check out the Wikipedia Link.
Here is a video of a lady making the Sheng Jian Bao.
How to eat Sheng Jian Bao
To eat the dumpling without burning your mouth, I recommend biting a small portion of the bao so that you can drink the soup. After the soup is drained, the dish typically comes with black vinegar so that you can dip the dumpling in.
Where can you buy Sheng Jian Bao
I personally go to a restaurant in el monte ca. It is called Khang Khang Xiao Mei. They also have a Chinese style fast food where you can pick and select your dish. You can combine the Bao and the 3 dish meal for a full course. Usually the Bao is not enough to make you full. They also have a sweet tea that they serve with the meal that is very delicious. It has a very nice floral taste that is different from the American version of sweet tea. If you ever get a chance, stop by for a more traditional Chinese meal. It is certainly different from you standard panda express meal.
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