Sunday, April 5, 2009

Frozen Sheng Jian Bao Trial

The Shanghai pan fried pork buns, Sheng Jian Bao.. Since I signed up with Sitemeter last year I realized (at least at one point) that close to half of google directed hits to my blog were from people curious about them. If done the wonderful way I had in Shanghai described on my original post I have no doubt that it will be Japan's next food boom item. Next to Tiramisu, Jingiskan (grilling lamb), and Nata de coco. Lasting until the next one comes along of course.

Desperate and knowing I probably wouldn't be driving up to Alhambra anytime soon (when I do I'll definitely take up your offer Wandering Chopsticks!) I wondered if there were any frozen I can get and if so how they would fare. A long story short I had these many Sundays ago and despite my efforts I wasn't very inspired and I didn't think I'd be posting about them until now. Perhaps it's the passing of time but considering they were frozen maybe they weren't that bad. And in all fairness my expectations were also past the moon by now. :)

I was very excited to find this bag at 99 Ranch and with the help of a Chinese reading customer I confirmed that it indeed said "Sheng Jian Bao." Yes! And it was the only one available. The package below although very similar in appearance I was told were not. Note that it does not say "pan-fry."

Love the translation in French. Perhaps these also lack the juicy center in a Sheng Jian?
Anyhow so I purchased the first bag pictured and heated up my cast iron pan when I got home. Followed the instructions on the back but also waited until I smelled a strong koubashii savory-aroma like I did at the street vendors I remembered so well.

I was also surprised to see them expand in size from their frozen state as much as it did. Took it as a good sign. Sprinkled some chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds. I even bought some plastic restaurant style plates at the market to match!

I don't remember having them with a dipping sauce but I made the typical soy sauce, vinegar and hot oil that I do for Gyoza.

A nice crusty bottom.. And the very very juicy center.. So far so good!

Unfortunately the wrapper was not fluffy but gummy. The fillings were ok.
These lose their flavor rapidly when cooled down (lard?) so I suggest only making enough to consume during the meal. I do have this tiny guilt lingering inside of me that I might have not used enough water to completely steam the wrapper bun or that the lid over the large cast iron skillet wasn't tight enough. Still it's hard to imagine them becoming considerably better than they were. But knowing myself I may give them another try one of these days and maybe I'll stumble on another brand then as well.


KirkK said...

Hi Dennis - I think this'll be as good as it gets with factory made, frozen stuff.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, I figured so too.. I wished they puffed more, almost like Pillsbury products do but that'd be too much to ask I guess. Looking forward to your make from scratch recipe one day!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

OK, OK. I gotta crank out my Kang Kang post so it'll tempt you to come up. ;)

Dennis K. said...

That'll be great WC!