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Nov 24, 2008 01:55 PM

Desperate to find these morsels!

OK, Chowhounders: here is the mission.

Shengjian man tou

See link:

Hubby had these fab pork and soup dumplings in Shanghai when he was a single travelling nomad. He has been obessed with this little mouthfuls of delight for the past 20 yrs (yes, I know, he needs to move on...).

These are not the steamed variety. He describes them as small little round balls with a fried exterior that crunch open to release the rivulet of broth and lump of sweet delicate pork meet. We have called/searched in person for these things everywhere. They do not exist in Toronto....or do they Dear Co-Food Seekers o' Knowledge?

I am trying to save myself a few thousand dollars before he drags me overseas for these things. Help?

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  1. I just had it two weeks ago at Chili Secrets (Leslie and north of Hwy 7) in my dim sum lunch there. It is a pretty common northern dim sum item that can be found in many shanghai/northern cuisine restaurants that offers northern style dim sum. Another one that has it is "Ala Kitchen" shanghaiese restaurant near First Markham Place in Markham. Their quality is not much different from the one in Shanghai !

    Many cantonese dim sum place also has this kind of dim sum but the filling inside the morsel used is a variety like black pepper beef as in Casa Victoria in Markham. Basically the same concept, but wrapped around with broth and different kind of meat/veggie marinated with different ingradient inside the pan-fried small bun.

    Have you checked Asian Legend of Chinatown ? I am not sure if downtown Toronto has it as I mostly eat chinese uptown nowaday.

    If you want to look for it in a dim sum menu, look for name like "Pan-fried bun" as

    Shengjian in Chinese = Pan-fried in English
    Man tou in Chinese = Bun in English

    2 Replies
    1. re: skylineR33

      Thanks to both postings! We will definitely be on the hunt this week and report back if the longstanding craving will finally be satisfied!!

      1. re: skylineR33

        I've eaten them at Asian Legend downtown before. Also in downtown Chinatown, Chinese Traditional Buns has them.

      2. We stumbled into a Shanghai dim sum place by accident a few weeks ago in Markham (First Markham Place at Woodbine and Hwy 7. I think it's actually called Shanghai Dim Sum and it was written up in the Star awhile ago for it's soupl dumplings. It's in the mall across the parking lot from Golf Town, not in the food court, but on the outer mall. You can see them making the dumplings while you eat.

        While this was not at all the dim sum we accustomed to or were looking for, it was very good. I think you'll find what you are looking for there.

        Ding Tai Fung Shanghai Dim Sum
        Fairburn Dr, Markham, ON L6G, CA

        1. These sound amazing. Does anyone know of any places in Chinatown?

          1. Have you tried Lai Wah Heen or Lai Toh Heen?

            4 Replies
            1. re: likescrab

              LWH/LTH do not have these. It is better to look into restaurant that provide northern dim sum.

              1. re: skylineR33

                What's the primary difference with northern dim sum? I forget the name of the place you sent me to in Mississauga, but the sichuan dim sum items i ordered were great. Dan dan noodles, pork won ton in spicy broth.

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  Northern and Southern dim dum have been inferencing each other after so many years and is hard to tell the differences nowaday. There are so many varieties from each side. It will take pages to write about all the differences I guess if one really have to do a research.

                  But one of the fundamental differences that can be traced is Southern (cantonese) dim sum are more like snacks (har gow, spare rib, cuttelfish tentacle, etc). Northern dim sum are items more of usual daily eat (pan fried meat filled dumpling, northern plain steamed bun (man tao), etc) that people can used to fill up the stomach with just one item. The old style northern dim sum can also be very fancy, but I think nowaday new nouveau dim sum are "usually" based on variation from southern dim sum (such as the steamed dumplings in Lai Wan Heen are more like varieties of Har Gow).

              2. re: likescrab

                Yup. I checked out the menus there first and there is nothing fitting the description. :-(

              3. The original comment has been removed