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ISO Sheng Jian Bao

I assume we're looking in SGV for this, but anywhere would be fine.

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  1. SJB are a Shanghai specialty. Try them at Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village in San Gabriel.

    1 Reply
    1. re: J.L.

      IMO Shanghai No 1 has the best version/closest to Yang's Shanghai in the SGV.

    2. They can be found at a lot of places. Are there places you've already tried and didn't like? Might help to narrow it down....

      7 Replies
      1. re: paranoidgarliclover

        Just read about these. I eat a lot of xlb all over SGV, but I've been oblivious to the presence of these.

        1. re: Bob Brooks

          Haven't tried (anything) at Shanghai No. 1, but I like the ones at JTYH (or whatever the sequence of letters is)....

          1. re: Bob Brooks

            If at all possible, definitely go try it at the Mecca for SJB: Yang's in Shanghai.

            1. re: J.L.

              A little far from the SGV, no? ;) And you wonder why people think you're a baller.... ;)

              1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                All I'm sayin' is that it's the reference point for this particular dish. Much like if you're looking for a good Philly cheesesteak in L.A., you should get out to Philadelphia to sample from the source.

        2. Emperor noodle is my favorite. Shanghai no.1 is also good though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: thefatknightrises

            My issues with EN's version is that they're too damn big. They're not meant to be a single bite, like XLB, but 2-3 bites, at most.

          2. Nicest looking, higher quality: Shanghai No. 1
            Flavorful: Kang Kang Food Court/Shau May

            Emperor Noodles also does a good, though somewhat doughier, version.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JThur01


              Hit up these three and you'll be set.

              The others are a bit too doughy(sp?) for me.

              1. re: JThur01

                In 2010, I went to the Temple City branch of Kang Kang Food Court and was very disappointed in their sheng jian bao--they were charred black at the bottom. I have not returned since. Have you checked it out, or are you referring to another branch?

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  i don't even know where the temple city branch is located. i can't remember if it was the alhambra or MP location. but they're supposed to be good at either location

                  1. re: barryc

                    The Temple City branch is located on Las Tunas Dr.

              2. the ones i had at dim sum at china red weren't bad. (pic 1)

                the ones were shaped at kang kang food court are shaped a little differently, but they're one of the few things there worth getting.

                the emperor noodle version were way too doughy for my tastes.

                2 Replies
                1. re: barryc

                  for some reason i can't edit my post, but i went back and looked my comments on FB, the emperor noodle version were burnt on the bottom.

                  (for the most part, i did not enjoy most of that meal; the noodles were also very gritty in texture)

                  1. re: barryc

                    I may be misremembering, but I believe Kang Kang's are shaped the same as Yang's Fry Dumplings in Shanghai. They're just not quite as good.

                  2. Tasty Noodle House is best IMHO. Small joint next to the always busy Golden Deli on Las Tunas

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: lakeshow318

                      i've eaten there 3-4 times this summer and i don't recall seeing them on their menu.

                      1. re: barryc

                        Ones at Irvine branch are pretty average. Same as most versions around town.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          i think the irvine location and the one in hacienda heights are related to each other, but not to the one on las tunas.

                          1. re: barryc

                            Here is the yelp photo from the las tunas branch.


                            You're right, menu looks totally different from Irvine and Hacienda branches. Looks better.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              it was chandavkll who brought that to my attention when i went to try the hacienda heights place for the tomato salmon soup which they don't have on las tunas.

                              ah. they call them shui jian bao there which is the more literal 'water fried bun' description of first cooking with water then frying them.

                              can someone more knowledgeable about this shed some light? my impression is that shui jian bao would be the more generic term while shen jian bao was assigned by shanghai-ese to identify the distinctions in their verions which typically includes the sesame seeds, etc. though FWIW kang kang identifies them as theirs as shen jian bao.

                              if the place of origin is immaterial, there may be many more iterations of boiled/steamed then fried buns to be found out there for the OP to try.

                              1. re: barryc

                                These are the same thing. Not all shen jian bao have sesame seeds. Gosh all this bao talk has got me craving these...

                      2. re: lakeshow318

                        I respectfully disagree. I have love for Tasty Noodle for a lot of other dishes, but their SJB is too doughy and not very flavorful. See also: JYTH. I would never recommend either spot (personally) for SJB.

                      3. I've heard about Shanghai No. 1's SJB but they don't look right (the shape is different). I'm always satisfied with Kang Kang for my SJB craving.

                        1. I'm echoing most of what's been said already but:

                          Shanghai No. 1 (which I think does as good a job as any I've had)
                          Kang Kang (for the value, despite inconsistent quality and, personally, I find their approach a tad too sweet).

                          For a long time, it felt like KK was the only spot in the western SGV that did a SJB that was remotely comparable to the Shanghai versions I've had (though nowhere on the same level). Then, in recent years, you've seen other places add it to the menu but only Shanghai No. 1 has a version I'd go out of my way to order.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: odub

                            i understand some shanghai-ese prefer sweeter fillings for their bao in general. not to my taste, but still could be considered authentic.

                            1. re: barryc

                              I'm not remarking on the authenticity of it; I'm just talking about palate. I don't happen to like the dish when it's overly sweet and KK tends to lean sweet.

                              1. re: odub

                                that's fine. it's not about you. the OP asked about SJB and i thought the clarification was relevant.