Pan-Fried Soup Dumplings / 生煎包 (Vegan)

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Video Vegan soup dumplings

Sheng jian bao is a type of Chinese dumpling that’s fried and then steamed, with a savory filling. It’s similar to xiao long bao (soup dumplings) but with a partially leavened dough.

This vegan versionis just as delectable and flavorful as the traditional pork one, with a jellied stock that melts into a hot broth, spilling out of each bite like any good soup dumping.

Read on to learn how to make it!

How to make vegan pan-fried soup dumplings:

Step one: prepare the jellied soup stock.

Place 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and 1 tsp agar powder into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, then pour into a shallow dish and allow to set in the fridge, about 2-3 hours. (I recommend doing this in advance). You’ll be cutting this into small cubes and adding it to the filling later.

Step two: make the dough.

Combine flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir and in water a little at a time, kneading the dough until it forms a smooth and elastic ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. After it has risen slightly (but not yet doubled), place it in the fridge. The dough is called a “half-rise dough”- unlike dumpling dough, it contains leavening, but not as much as for a steamed bun.

Step three: mix the filling:

I debated between what to use for the filling- unlike my earlier potsticker vegetable filling, I wanted to replicate the meaty tenderness of pork as closely as I could for these soup dumplings, but I didn’t want to use seitan or TVP, which is highly processed. I found soy curls to be the perfect alternative. They’re a whole plant-based protein made with one ingredient- non-GMO soy beans- and are sold dried in the bulk goods section. All you need to do is re-hydrate the curls in water and they’re good to use.

Measure out dry soy curls and soak in a bowl of warm water for 8-10 minutes to soften. Drain/squeeze out excess water, and chop finely. Place in a large bowl along with minced shiitake mushrooms, oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, salt, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, ground pepper, and sesame oil, and stir well to combine.

Remove jellied stock from the refrigerator and dice into small 1/4 inch cubes, then combine with the rest of the filling. Place prepared filling in the refrigerator while you make the wrappers.

Step four: assemble.

Place dough on a well-floured or greased surface. Fold in half, then in half again, stretching and rolling to form a rope. Using a knife, divide into equal portions (about 15g each). Roll each piece into a ball, flatten it with the palm of your hand, and roll out with a thin rolling pin until it is about 3 inches in diameter.

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Place 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of a dough circle. Fold the dough up and around the filling, pleating in a counter-clockwise motion and pinching firmly at the top to seal. Place finished buns on a lightly greased surface and loosely cover while you make the rest.

If you want to freeze the buns at this step of the process, spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in freezer, then transfer frozen buns to a bag for long-term storage. You can reheat them by pan-frying in the same way as below.

Step five: pan-fry the buns.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place buns gently in the pan, leaving about 1 1/2 inches margin, and fry until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 minute.

Quickly pour 1/4 cup water (or enough to cover the bottom third of the bun) and cover immediately to trap in steam. Reduce to a low heat and allow buns to cook for 5-8 minutes until water is evaporated and the sound of sizzling has stopped. Open the lid and sprinkle on sesame seeds and green onions, and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes to crisp up. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

Serve with a dipping sauce of black vinegar and chili oil, if desired.

If you made this recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and a rating below. Or tag me on Instagram @hannah__chia, I love seeing your re-creations!

Follow me on Pinterest and save this recipe for later!

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