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Desperate to find these morsels!

OK, Chowhounders: here is the mission.

Shengjian man tou

See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shengjia...

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. has anybody tried Casa Imperiale for these delicacies? I'm far from an expert in dim sum north vs. south but they do an outstanding dim sum.

                1. Hi Shanghai has a very authentic version. Met all your criteria of crispy bottom, lots of broth and tasty pork filling.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    i sent you an email about this but you hadn't responded :P

                    i was curious about the various types of northern chinese dumplings with soup. when you had mentioned you'd be ordering some i inherently assumed xiao long bao and was obviously quite surprised! dumplings can be quite the catch all with so many variants, but how many variations are there on these thick skinned crispy fried soup dumplings? ours certainly weren't perfect little round balls as described by the OP... or is this just for ease of closing the skins that one would have it resemble classic dumplings?

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess

                      Sorry Princess!
                      Blame it on information overload on this busy board!
                      Your question is 'mission impossible'! Depending on fillings, which can be pork, beef, chicken or even lamb for meat; shrimp or fish for seafood; chives, bokchoi, spring onions, preserved veggies...etc for veggetables... the permutation and combination can be endless. Then, there is the way the dumplings ( different shape and different dough ) can be prepared. Some are steamed, some version boiled, the pot-stickers we had during our meet - pan fried with water and a little bit of oil...etc The broth can be normal or spicy... so the list can go on and on....! The 'Northern Dumpling Kitchen' restaurant inside Times Square, I mentioned in one of my previous posting, has at least 30+ varietals! Choices can be worse than Pizzas!

                      Hello Mitzimouse, Hi Shanghai is inside the 'Legend of China Mall' , next to the Petro-Can station at the SE corner of Steeles and Kennedy

                      1. re: Charles Yu

                        as i expected.... but that is probably why i love dumplings so, they take so many forms that you're bound to find one you're in the mood for.

                        i found your original post for northern dumpling kitchen and am wondering if it is the same place i happened upon during a late night search for food. it is nearly sandwiched between the richmond court and bubble tea place? on the outside of the bend? if so, i have to say that i wasn't entirely pleased with the meal i got there and in part it was a misunderstanding of the menu (we ordered a pork dish thinking we would get a "hock" but got a "chop"). the name sounds about right but even so i'm not sure if i saw 30+ dumpling choices on the menu, are the all on the menu? the xiao long bao were actually pretty nice but i might still pick ding tai fung in a head to head tasting for their delicateness. so..... to make a long story short, any recommendations for ordering should i find myself up at times square again? i'll link your original post if you'd like to respond there instead.

                        btw, i did notice the multiple recommendations for the sliced beef dish. sounds like a fave of mine that i tend to beg my mom and grandma to make... the tricky part always seems to be moisture though. will definitely get it at northern dumpling kitchen though the next time!

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          They have like sixteen different types of dumplings, but they also offer the option of either adding soup to them or pan frying them for a dollar more, so you can say that there are many more varietals.

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            Hello again Princess,
                            Yes, its the right place. Had dinner there at least 4 times during the past couple of months. All satisfying. Next time, if you needed help with menu items interpretation, feel free to contact me. ( e-mail me and I'll give you my phone for emergency use! ). BTW, Chester Elegante is right! By ordering supposedly steamed morsels, fried and vice versa, selection can increase a couple of folds!