Sheng Jan Bao (Pan Fried Soup Dumplings)


Soup Dumplings, these are the pinnacle to me when it comes to any type of dumpling. The secret to making these perfectly are a bit of time, and a juicy, aromatic molten soup in the centre. Soup dumplings originally originate from Changzhou, China and there are various versions to make them. For this recipe I will go through the Sheng Jan Bao dumplings which are a Shanghai style where the base of the dumpling is pan fried opposed to steaming the dumplings. I will split this recipe up into day 1 and 2 as we need to give time for the broth to transform into a jelly. Let's jump straight into it!

Cook Time plus broth 2 hrs 30 mins / Prep Time 1hr 30 mins / Soup to rest overnight

To yield 24 dumplings



400g plain flour

220ml warm water

3g dried instant yeast

3g salt

flour for dusting


500g pork mince

5-6 spring onions

10g minced ginger

4 tbsp light soy

3 tbsp sesame oil

3 tbsp cold water

2 tbsp cooking wine

1 tbsp white sugar


white pepper

Soup Broth:

500g pork rind skin

1250ml water

4 spring onions

30g sliced ginger

5 garlic cloves

4 dried shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp cooking wine

Toppings and dipping sauce:

60ml black rice vinegar (dipping sauce)

25ml light soy (dipping sauce)

5g sliced ginger (dipping sauce)

5 spring onions

toasted sesame seeds


Soup Broth:

Day 1

  1. Let's start off this recipe with the broth that will make these dumplings soup dumplings. Ideally this is best done the night before as we need to allow the broth to transform into a jelly. Start by adding 500g of pork skin to a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the pork skin. Place onto a high heat and bring up to a boil. When boiling cook for 20-25 minutes to release all of the impurities from the skin. When ready drain through a colinder and wash the skin with cold running water. Next we want to slice the skin into thin strips.

2. Now that the pork skin is sliced and blanched add to a large pot, then add 1250ml of fresh water, 4 spring onions, 30g of sliced ginger, 5 peeled garlic cloves, 4 dry shitake mushrooms and 2 tbsp of cooking wine. Place onto a high heat and bring up to a boil, when boiling turn the heat down to a medium simmer and place a lid over the top. Cook out the broth for 2 hours keeping the lid on.

After 1 hour of cooking

3. After 2 hours the broth should have become super milky and velvety due to the fat emulsifying into the broth. Pass the broth through a fine sieve into a container then allow to chill to room temperature. When cool cover with clingfilm and store in the refrigerator overnight or until the broth sets to a jelly.

Day 2

Pork Filling:

4. By this point the broth should have set and we can now move onto making up the rest of the filling and dough. Starting off with the filling, in a mixing bowl add 500g of pork mince, 10g of minced ginger, 4 tbsp of light soy, 3 tbsp of sesame oil, 3 tbsp of cold water, 2 tbsp of cooking wine, 1 tbsp of white sugar and season lightly with salt and white pepper. Mix the filling vigorously for 5 minutes until the pork mince become slightly wet and velvety. We are looking for the mince not to be too dry and not too wet with a seasoned neutral flavour as we want the pork mince to carry the flavour of the broth. When ready place to one side and we can now incorporate the jellied broth.

5. Remove the jelly broth from the container and begin to slice into strips then the strips into a dice. Run a knife through the diced jelly until slightly more of a smaller dice. It's important to work quickly when handling the jelly as it will begin to melt if left at room temperature for too long.

6. When the jellied broth is diced, add to the pork mince along with 5-6 finely sliced spring onions. Mix well until the jelly becomes evenly and well incorporated into the pork mince. Place all of the filling back into the refrigerator to keep cool whilst we now move onto making up bao wrappers.