are a type of small, pan-fried baozi
which is a specialty of Shanghai
. It is usually filled with pork
that melts into soup when cooked. Shengjian mantou
has been one of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai
for the last century. As a ubiquitous breakfast item, it has a significant place in Shanghainese
, a filled bun is usually called "baozi
" or "bao
", while an unfilled (plain) bun is usually called a "mantou
". However, in the south
, the older word "mantou
" refers to both filled and unfilled buns. Hence, the shengjian mantou
is called a "mantou" despite being a filled bun. The same is true of the xiaolong mantou
, which is called "xiaolongbao
The name shengjian mantou is often abbreviated to shengjian.
is made from semi-leavened
dough, wrapped around pork and gelatin
fillings. The "knot" of the bun, where the dough is folded together, faces downwards. Chopped green onion
and sesame are sprinkled on the buns during the cooking process.
The name of the bun comes from its method of cooking. The buns are lined up in an oiled, shallow, flat pan. Typical commercial pans are more than a metre in diameter. Water is sprayed on the buns during cooking to ensure the top (which is not in contact with the pan or the oil) is properly cooked. After frying, the bottom of the bun becomes crunchy, and the gelatin melts into soup. This combination gives the shengjian its unique flavour. Because the buns are tightly lined up in the pan, they become somewhat cube-shaped after cooking.
The traditional shengjian has pork fillings. Common variations include chicken, pork mixed with prawns, and pork mixed with crab meat.
is traditionally sold in lots of four (one "tael
"). It is usually eaten at breakfast
, and can be accompanied by poultry blood soup or beef soup. The buns themselves can be dipped in Chinkiang vinegar
or Worcestershire Sauce
. Because of the method of cooking, especially the relatively hard bottom, the buns are quite durable, and are therefore easily portable. They are often packed in paper bags
Some shops or restaurants sell the item throughout the day as a dianxin or snack. It is rarely found as a dish in a main meal.
A similar, but less well known dim sum
in Cantonese cuisine
is the shengjian bao
(生煎包), which usually uses mixed pork and vegetables for fillings.