Chinese Meat Pie牛肉馅饼niú ròu xiàn bǐng

coverThis unleavened xian bing stuffed with ground beef fillings is a hallmark of Northern Chinese cuisine. People often translate xian bing to “meat pie,” but it’s more of a seared dumpling. The dough is a wetter, chewier dumpling dough that’s been rolled out to a thin disk, filled with minced meat and vegetables, and pan-fried.

The story of the Chinese bing begins more than two thousand years ago. Its’s importance to Chinese cuisine has not changed, even if its form has. Nowadays, it’s usually a flattened, wheat flour-based circular bread product. From that base, though, an endless variety of bings spring. Bing doughs can be leavened, unleavened, or scalded. Their cooking technique varies, too: steaming, frying, and toasting are all common.

Yields 6        

Make wrappers

  • 300g          plain flour 中筋面粉
  • 200g          water in room temperature

Make fillings

  • 300g           ground beef or pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon      salt
  • 1 teaspoon      sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon   dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon     light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon       sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon     Chinese cooking wine
  • A pinch of ground white pepper
  • 125g           chopped green or yellow chives

Dipping Sauce (optional)

  • 2 tablespoons, Sichuan Chili Oil
  • 1 tablespoon, Chinkiang VinegarIMG_8893


  1. First let’s make the dough – add the flour in a bowl. Gradually add into the water and mix it with chopsticks. Keep stirring the dough in one direction for about 5-6 minutes. You will get a quite soft and sticky dough. Cover the dough (you can just flip it onto the working space and cover it with the mixing bowl.)  Rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime. start making the filling. Cut the chives into 0.5cm-length small pieces. In a separate mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Thirdly, let’s make the wrapper and assemble. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and place them on a heavily floured working space.
  4. Pick one piece and roll it out to a big circular disc in 18-cm diameter. To wrap the bing (meat pie), you make a bun first. Hold a wrapper flat in one hand, place 1/6 of the fillings in the center of the wrapper. Use your other hand to pinch the edge of the dough to enclose the filling. Fold the edges to the center around the filling while twisting so the bun is completed sealed. (just like the way you make Chinese Pao).
  5. Flip the fun upside down. Place it on the floured working space. Press it down to a flat circular piece. Repeat with rest of the wrappers and fillings until all are done.
  6. Now let’s cook. Place 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, arrange a few meat pies in the frying pan. Cook for about 6 to 7 minutes until golden. Then flip the meat pies and work on the other side until golden. Place cooked meat pies in a kitchen towel to remove grease while keep cooking the rest.
  7. Serve hot!

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