Chinese Biscuits filled with Ham and Scallions (Shao-bings)
Northern Chinese Shao-bings
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Chinese Biscuits Filled with Ham and Scallions (Shao-bings)
In Chinese shao means bake and bing means biscuit. There are many different versions of these biscuits, particularly in Northern China. They can be savory or sweet and they can be eaten as snacks or with meals. Often they are made without yeast and they end up resembling a flat bread.. They are oven baked as opposed to being steamed and they are frequently sprinkled with white sesame seeds.
These biscuits are made with active dry yeast and are filled with ham and scallions. Ground pork and Napa cabbage is another possible filling. You could also use barbecued pork or Chinese sausages. The sweetened versions are often filled with sweet red bean paste and are served with breakfast. Once you master the basic recipe, you can invent your own combinations.
15 Minutes at 400 F
Ingredients for Filling:
1 Cup of Chopped Ham or Prosciutto or Crisp Bacon
1 Cup of Minced Scallions including the green parts
Ingredients for Dough:
3 Cups of All-purpose Flour sifted
1 cup of Lukewarm Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
2 Teaspoons Sesame Seed Oil
1 Tablespoon of Honey mixed with 1 Tablespoon of Water
¼ Cup of White Sesame Seeds
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast with ½ cup of the lukewarm water. Then add the sugar, oil and flour and then pour in the rest of the water.
- Knead the ingredients into a ball and then turn it out on a floured surface.
- Continue kneading the dough until it is soft and smooth and not sticky. Add a little flour or water if necessary.
- Place the dough in a large clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. There should be enough room so that the dough can double in size. This should take between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Punch the dough down and place it on a floured surface.
- Knead the dough and roll it into a thick sausage.
- Cut the sausage in half once, then those pieces in half again to give eight pieces. Then split those pieces in half to end up with 16 lumps.
- Work with one lump at a time keeping the others covered with a towel so that they stay moist.
- Roll each lump into a ball with your hands and then roll it into a 2-½ inch diameter circle about ¼ inch thick.
- Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each circle, gather up the edges and pinch them together, and then roll it into a smooth ball in the palm of your hands.
- Brush the top of each ball with the honey-water mixture and press the coated side into a bowl of white sesame seeds.
- Arrange the shao-bings, seed side up on a greased baking pan and bake them for 15 minutes until they are golden brown.
Making Shao Bings in China
Northern China where many versions of shao bings are eaten.
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