Shen-Bin 牛肉餡餅 is a very popular food in Taiwan. These are great to make at home though, even better than from the shop in my opinion. One thing about pies, sausages etc is when you buy them you are never so sure of the quality of the ingredients but if you make it for yourself you can use the best organic beef and vegetables and so on. These pies are wonderfully crispy on the outside and then a juicy beef mince inside with gravy. Be careful when you cut one open it might squirt at you!

The nearest thing to this in western cooking is the minced steak and onion pie. The major difference is the ‘skin’ or pie covering, the in west a pie uses pastry but this ‘Shen Bin’ 餡餅 uses a bread dough. Since the bread dough is made without any oil or butter this pie is probably a more healthy alternative. Tastes great too.

3 stages of making shen bin

3 stages of making shen bin

Another crispy food recipe here at Taiwan Duck!

The ingredients 食材 are as follows;

  • 500g minced beef
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 Chinese bowl of spring onions, chopped
  • 1 Chinese bowl of chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • a splash of soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil

The method, the pastry / bread 作法;

  1. first ‘burn’ the flour – to the 500g flour add 150ml of boiling water
  2. stir this in with your chopsticks – it’s hot!
  3. once cooler you can mix it in with your hands
  4. then add 150ml of cold water, bit by bit, perhaps 1/4 at a time
  5. when mixed thoroughly take out of the bowl and knead it on a flour covered worktop, using the ’3 shining principle’ it will be well kneaded when your hands, the bread and the worktop are all ‘shining clean’!
  6. make a ball and cover this dough with cling film, we’ll come back to it later

The Filling

  1. mix the mince beef with about 100ml of water, bit by bit
  2. then add the ginger, black pepper, sugar and spring onion and half the onion
  3. mix it all up, add the rest of the onion, mix more
  4. now add 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp of rice wine and 1 tbsp of sesaame oil

Now to make the pies

  1. The dough should be feeling springy and puffed up by now
  2. roll it into a long shape, like a French bread stick
  3. then slice the roll into pieces about 4 or 5 cm thick. (2 inches)
  4. flatten a piece with your hand and roll it from the middle, it will stay thicker in the middle this way
  5. with the circle about as big as your open hand add in a heaped tablespoon of the mince filling
  6. turn the sides in to make the whole thing like a closed flower bud
  7. seal it with a pinch and place it opening down on your flour covered table, pat lightly
  8. repeat about 10 or 11 times with this amount of filling that is about how many you can make
  9. put the remaining dough to one side, you can use this for other things like the ‘tong yo bin’ pancake which is the next recipe.

 

Cooking

  1. add oil to your frying pan, so it is about as deep as a pencil is thick
  2. use a medium heat
  3. when the oil is ready add the ‘shen-bin’ 餡餅, smooth face down to start
  4. when golden turn over the pies
  5. cover the pan to help cook with the hot air/steam
  6. turn again without the cover to ensure crispiness
  7. you can tell now when they are ready the juices will boil and the pies will hiss as they are now folded side down, they are ready to serve
  8. serve with soy sauce and sesame oil and rice vinegar mix. We had hot and sour soup to start and these shen-bin 餡餅 with garden vegetables and a little rice.
shen bin served with hot and sour soup

shen bin served with hot and sour soup

As usual Joanne has recorded a cooking video so you can follow the exact recipe step by step, as she cooks the meal. It’s especially good to see the pies’ 餡餅 filling being folded into the dough which if you are in a rush you can skip the video to about 9 minutes 30 seconds, and just watch that bit!

Taiwanese Beef Mince Pies 牛肉餡餅 cooking video

Stay tuned for more help, advice, cooking and shopping! The next recipe will be tong-yo bin.