The Perfect Pan Fried Beef Bun Recipe


Shui Jian is a special cooking method in which the buns are cooked in a mixture of cornstarch, water, and oil in a frying pan. The water will evaporate first, which creates lots of steam and makes the buns nice and fluffy. Once the water is all gone, the oil will start the pan-frying process, resulting a crispy bottom with a delicate You will get fluffy and air-steamed bun and the buttom is crispy at the same time. Sounds incredible.

Make the Wrapper
300 grams of all purpose flour (Amazon Link –
160 grams of water
1/2 tsp of instant yeast (Amazon Link –
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tbsp. of vegetable oil (Amazon Link –

Make the Filling
250 grams of ground beef
1/3 cup of beef stock (Amazon Link –
1.5 tbsp of soy sauce (Amazon Link –
1 tbsp of oyster sauce (Amazon Link –
1/2 tbsp of dark soy sauce (Amazon Link –
1 tbsp of minced garlic
2 tsp of minced ginger
1/2 tsp of five-spice powder (Amazon Link –
1/2 tsp of Sichuan peppercorn powder (Amazon Link –
1/2 tsp of white pepper (Amazon Link –
70 grams of sweet potato starch noodles (Amazon Link –
1/2 cup of diced scallion
1/2 cup of diced cilantro (can be replaced by fennel, celery, or cabbage)

2-3 tbsp of oil
2.5 tsp of cornstarch + 1/3 cup of water


Make the Filling
Season the ground beef with soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, 1 minced garlic, ginger, five spice powder, white pepper, Sichuan peppercorn powder, and sesame oil. Then stir in 1/3 cup of beef stock in one direction to develop the texture. Set it aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn off the heat. Use the hot water to soak the sweet potato starch noodles for about 4-5 minutes. You can also use mung bean noodles but you have to soak it for just 1 minute because mung bean noodles are so thin.

Take the noodles out and shake off the excess water. Roughly dice the noodles.

Thoroughly combine the noodles, diced scallion, and cilantro with the ground beef, and the filling is done. Set it in the fridge.

Make the Wrapper

Combine 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of instant yeast, and 1 tbsp of oil with 160 grams of room-temperature water and Stir this well.

Pour the mixture into 300 grams of all-purpose flour in batches. Stir it with a pair of chopsticks at the same time.

Gather all the flour together until a rough dough forms. Let it rest for about 10 minutes to relax the gluten.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Let it rest for another 10 minutes.

Poke a hole in the middle to create a donut. Enlarge the hole. Cut it open, and you will have a long log. Divide the log into 12 even pieces. Each one should be around 38 grams.

Dust some flour, so they don’t stick to each other. Cover them to prevent them from drying out.

Wrap The Beef Buns and Pan Fry Them

Dust one piece of dough with some flour to prevent stickiness. Next, use a rolling pin to roll it flat. Once you get it to 3 inches in diameter, lift the sheet and roll the edge to make it thinner. That way, you can have a wrapper with a thicker middle and a thinner edge. The size of wrapper should be about 4.5 inches in diameter.

Put about 3 tbsp of filling on the wrapper. Pack it tight. The right hand lifts and pinch the edge of the wrapper. The left hand helps to push to fold the pleat. Just do that all the way around. When you get to the end, twist and pinch to close the bun.

Set the bun aside and continue to wrap the rest. Let them proof for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Add cooking oil to the frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Place the buns in the frying pan, leaving some space between them to form a crust.

Mix 2.5 tsp of cornstarch and 1/3 cup of water in a separate container and pour the cornstarch mixture into the frying pan.

Put on the lid and let the buns cook for about 8 minutes while moving the pan to arrange the heat. Leave a small gap for steam to escape if the lid seals well.

Check if all the water has evaporated and the cornstarch has formed a crust at the bottom of the pan.

Gently shake the pan to see if the buns release themselves. If not, wait for 10-20 more seconds and try again.

As soon as the buns release themselves, turn off the heat. Note: The cornstarch crust may not be golden brown, but the bottom of the buns is perfectly done. Don’t wait until the crust turns golden brown or else the buns will be burned.

17 Replies to “The Perfect Pan Fried Beef Bun Recipe”

  1. Hi, how to reheat leftover buns to retain crispiness? Can these be frozen?

  2. A Big Thank You, Mandy for everything that you've done for many years and accomplished for us, Viewers and Subscribers. Stay Smiling. ☺?

  3. Ms Mandy those look great i will have to make some i have made other kinds of stuffed bun but not this kind yummy

  4. Miss Wendy, I owe you an apology. The apology is for, calling you Mindy. I was able you hear pronounce your as Wendy. I am truly sorry.

  5. Question, what is the difference from having the steam escape vs not escaping with the lid during the steaming process?

  6. Thanks for that recipe. A few years ago I went to Shanghai with a friend and enjoyed everything there. There is a dumpling chain there called Yang’s. Their dumplings are cooked on a big hot plate. The bottom is crusty, soft on the top and filled with piping hot soup.

    Do you know how to make them?

  7. I am so envious of folks who can eat carbs…I love Steamed Bao with pork preferably. These look delicious Mandy. Cheers from Tampa, FL

  8. If I don't want to fix the wrappers , what else can I use ? I do have an Asian market near me

  9. Hi Mandy, looks like a doable recipe, shall be trying out soon. One question can we freeze these ? or should be consumed same day?

Comments are closed.