Fried pork and coriander breads

Fried pork and coriander breads

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

Yet another inspiration from Xi’an, these meaty ‘pies’ come into their own on a punishing cold Shaanxi morning for breakfast. They are usually made with lamb or beef (not pork), but feel free to play around with the filling — however, don’t, whatever you do, use meat that’s too lean, as these really need a bit of juicy fat.



Quantity Ingredient
2 1/2 teaspoons caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for cooking


Quantity Ingredient
300g minced pork
2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 bunch coriander, chopped
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons shaoxing rice wine
3 teaspoons cornflour
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the dough, combine 125 ml lukewarm water and a large pinch of the sugar in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the yeast. Set aside in a draught-free place for 5–6 minutes, or until foamy, then stir in the melted lard. Combine the flour, remaining sugar and salt in a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and an extra 60 ml warm water (or enough to form a soft dough) and stir with a wooden spoon to just bring the dough together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4–5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, then place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a draught-free place for 40 minutes, or until risen.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Knock back the dough, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into eight even pieces, then roll each piece into a ball. Using a floured, small rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a 15 cm circle. Divide the filling mixture into eight even portions. Press a filling portion into the middle of each round, leaving a 2 cm border around the edge. Lightly brush around the edge with water, then bring the edges together over the filling and press to seal. Shape the breads by placing them, seam side down, on the work surface and gently press them into a neat flat round, about 12 cm in diameter.
  4. Liberally brush some oil over the base of a large, heavy-based frying pan, then place over a medium–low heat. Cook the breads in batches for 5 minutes on each side, or until the breads are deep golden and the filling is cooked, adding more oil as necessary. Serve hot or warm.
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