Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Seattle >
Jan 5, 2013 01:30 PM

Fried soup dumplings / shen jian bao / shengjian mantou

In Shanghai you can get pan fried soup dumplings. One great place to get them is Yang's:

Anyone know where to get these pan fried soup dumplings in the Seattle area?

Note that we are looking for the fried soup dumplings that are crispy on the bottom and topped with sesame seeds and green onions - they are some times called shen jain boa (SJB).

These are not steamed dumplings like Din Tia Fun's Juicy Pork Dumplings which are sometimes called xiao long bao (XLB). And FWIW the DTF dumplings are great - but just trying to track down the other ones.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. shenjiangbao are without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite foods. I'm not sure I've ever sen them here in seattle. Had great versions in YVR, SF, and LA. The fried dumplings at shanghai garden are the closest things I've found (and they're not that close--dumpling skin, rather than 'bao' dough).

    2 Replies
      1. re: cheeseplatesf

        Shanghai House is my fave (outer richmond) and nearby Shanghai Dumpling King are not bad. I can't remember all the places we went on the peninsula, but I think Sunny Shanghai was one of them?

    1. Little Taipei in Bellevue has them on the weekends from 10am-noon.

      1. The best ones in the area are at Szechwan 99 - sigh for the trek up to Edmonds/Lynnwood. Great flavor with the meat, just enough broth without it overflowing, and the dumpling skin is seared just enough. I believe it may be off-menu, but they'll make it for you if you ask. They'll tell you there's a 20 minute wait - which is a good sign.

        9 Replies
        1. re: HungWeiLo

          Really? I'll have to check it out. I wrote that place off because of a poor service issue--they sat us in a back bar area, with an old lady serving us who didn't know what hot pot was. When we asked to move into the main room, were told it was too full, then told they wouldn't sell us hot pot anyway, it was too busy, despite the fact that other people clearly had hot pot on the table. But for a good shenjiangbao, I would brave it again....

          1. re: dagoose

            It's one of those places that you clearly don't go for service (1 waitress : 100 diner ratio at busy times?).

            Though the chef is an oddball sometimes. He would periodically poke his head out - almost seemingly to get a mental picture of who's ordering what.

          2. re: HungWeiLo

            hung, i did not know this. thanks. will check it out next week.

            1. re: HungWeiLo

              Thanks AndyEats and HungWeiLo. Appreciate the pointers.

              Too bad it is after noon - otherwise I would head over to Little Taipei right now.

              1. re: shew

                I *tried* to order fried soup dumplings at Little Taipei this weekend, and I'm still not sure whether I received them or not. There were language barriers in effect when I began talking to one server about them, who called in a younger server. I then recalled this thread, pulled up the language in the OP and tried to say "shen jian bao." Immediately, it seemed the server understood. When we asked what these were referred to in English, the server pointed to the menu listing of "fried bun."

                We had also ordered "bamboo pork mini buns," which, when delivered and identified, appeared to be a standard portion of steamed XLB. (these were decent but nowhere near the quality of Din Tai Fung or specialized places in B.C.) Later, were were presented some larger pan-fried dumplings stuffed with a minced pork/shrimp/fish combination, but with no soupy broth whatsoever inside.

                We had couple of other items. Overall, my impression is that Little Taipei serves decent comfort food, but for neither its dumplings or its typical Taiwanese dishes does it even approach Din Tai Fung or Facing East, respectively.

                1. re: equinoise

                  I can literally walk to Little Taipei from my house in about 15-20 minutes, but I don't like it enough to even go every once a while.

                  There's a new place 2 doors down from Little Taipei which advertises "New Style Sichuan Cuisine" in a "kebab/karaoke bar" environment. But the storefront looks like it caters to the Chinese equivalent of "bros", so the food itself may play second fiddle to hawking beers. Anybody tried this place - I think it's called Twilight 7 or something.

                  But in any case, I'm really starting to dig Little Garden nearby on 20th instead. Seems to be pretty popular with the Mainlander Microsofties.

                  1. re: HungWeiLo

                    Little Garden, with the Hunan dishes? I've been meaning to get back there.

                    Speaking of 20th, what is your latest assessment of King's Chinese?

                    1. re: equinoise

                      King's is like Cafe Ori - cheap convenient Cantonese fare, but with variety branching beyond the basic Hong Kong style cafe menu. They have average quality dim sum (but still comparable to say, Noble Court down the street), and that $20 family meal for 2 (or $40 for 4, etc.). Nothing offensive, but nothing to get excited over either. I've done a traditional Chinese banquet menu there once a few years back with a table of friends and it was not too bad.

                      A couple doors down is Kiku - which is a hit and miss, but given the poor state of Japanese in the Eastside it's not too bad albeit a tad expensive for what they serve. And there's that interesting Persian food store Persepolis there also - I think they have some sort of a limited food menu there as well.

                    2. re: HungWeiLo

                      Love your assessment of Twilight 7 - I had the same thoughts, it looks a bit shady from the outside. The place always seems to be packed though...

              2. Holy moly, I didn't know this was a thing!

                1. Those are bomb!!! They don't exist in Seattle nor New York City (that I know of). Maybe not in the US.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: davenguyen206

                    They certainly exist in NYC, where I've had them many times, as well as a ton of other US cities including, but not limited to: Chicago, SF, LA, and Boston, all of which I've had them in. Closest to here, there are a few places in Vancouver that do an excellent job (including Shanghai River, where I managed to burn the inside of my nose on them). However, in Seattle, I've never seen them. Sadly.

                    Here's to hoping! And that Andrea Nguyen has an excellent and not to difficult recipe in her Asian Dumpling book for them, which keeps the cravings at bay between trips.