Aug 30, 2021

Pan-Fried Chinese Beef Pie 牛肉餡餅

Good thing that I saved the whole morning, actually it extended all the way till afternoon just for making these pan-fried Chinese beef pies. 

It's not that hard actually, and I'm sure whoever is familiar with making Chinese pastry or savory pies wouldn't take that long to make just a dozen beef pies. I'm a newbie here though, plus all that picture-taking involved. By the end of the day, I had a lot of fun making these savory pies from scratch. It was also a popular turnout at home, so perhaps I'll take on the mission again, rolling up my sleeves, diving into the flour when I get another whole day free just to make more beef pies for the family.

Pan-fried Chinese beef pie 牛肉餡餅 -

Pan-fried Chinese beef pie

Ingredients (about a dozen)?


  • 350 grams all purpose flour
  • 3 grams salt
  • 180ml water (65 degrees Celsius/150 degrees Fahrenheit)


  • 300 grams ground beef
  • 1 small bundle scallion
  • 10 grams grated ginger
  • 10 grams Chinese rice cooking wine 米酒
  • 10 grams soy sauce
  • 3 grams salt
  • 3 grams sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 50ml hot water
  • Some cooking oil
  • Extra flour for dusting


Prepare a bowl and pour in 50ml of hot water. Add in 1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn and just let it soak while prepping other ingredients.

Sichuan peppercorn water

Use a big mixing bowl, sift in 350 grams of flour along with 3 grams of salt. Pour in 65 degrees Celsius/150 degrees Fahrenheit water. Take a spoon and stir the mixture till flaky.

Flaky Chinese flour dough

Put the spoon aside and switch gear to our own hand. Knead the mixture till it start to shape like a smooth ball.

Chinese flour dough

Cover with cling foil and let it rest in room temperature for about 30 minutes. Let's start working on other ingredients during this period.

Remove the Sichuan peppercorn from the water. We are going to add this aroma-infused water to the filling shortly. 

Scrape the skin and grate the ginger. Destem and chop the scallion.

Transfer ground beef to a big container/bowl, make sure the beef doesn't stick to the chosen container. Use your hand, I like to keep my other hand clean if possible. So use one hand to mix the ground beef till slightly sticky and the texture appears consistent throughout. It'll look like a big chunk of beefy paste here.

Kneading ground beef

Gradually pour in the Sichuan peppercorn water in about 4 batches. Mixing the beef while adding the water at the same time. Make sure to keep mixing till the meat almost fully absorbs the water before adding more.

Mixing ground beef with flavored water

Once all the flavored water has been added and absorbed by the beef, it's time to introduce 10 grams of soy sauce, 10 grams of Chinese rice cooking wine, 3 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of salt. Mix till fully blended.

Add  grated ginger, 1 teaspoon of white pepper powder, and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Mix to combine. Lastly, add in all the chopped scallion over and mix till blended.

Ground beef filling for Chinese beef pie

Cover with cling foil and transfer the whole mixture to the fridge, this will help firming up the filling, making it easier to wrap later on. 

Time to get back to the dough. Sprinkle some flour on the working surface. Form the dough into a thick log. Have a scale close by, divide the dough to smaller balls that weights 40 grams each. Cover the dough with damp sheet or cling foil to prevent it from drying out during the process.

Making smaller dough for Chinese beef pie

Dust these balls with some flour. Use a rolling pin to roll into round sheets. Some thickness still remain, you can try to measure it, the diameter should be about 4 inches (10 centimeters). Repeat till all the dough balls are rolled into round flat pieces.

Rolling Chinese flour dough into round flat pieces

Remove the meat filling from the fridge, the same weight as the dough balls, use about 40 grams per serving. Here's the hardest part I think, wrapping the fillings while trying to make it look all pretty.

So have a rolled sheet ready on hand, weight the filling then scoop to the center of the dough piece, start pinching the edge together and make sure it gets sealed tightly in the end/center. Sealed side down. Gently press down the dough so it's more like a fat flat bun, instead of puffy round bun looking. Repeat for all other beef pies.

Chinese beef pie dough

Take a non-stick pan and add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, just enough to evenly coat the bottom. Turn to medium or medium high heat. Transfer the beef pie over, again, sealed side down first. Let it sear slowly till golden brown. Flip and continue to sear the other side. Flipping back and forth after the dough has been hardened is fine. Sometimes you can also stack them on the edge of the pan to sear the sides if wanted to.

Searing Chinese beef pie/Chinese beef pancake

Depending on the size of the pan, perhaps you'll have to repeat the steps and sear these beef pies in two separate batches. 

Once done, serve immediately or enjoy the beef pies while still hot. There is no need to prepare any extra sauce for this recipe, the filling itself really is well-flavored, that I can guarantee.

Pan-fried Chinese beef pie/Chinese beef pancake

The shape of these Chinese beef pies are not perfect, like I can make the closed ends thinner and prettier. Or perhaps I can even squeeze in more fillings without breaking the dough.

Pan-fried Chinese beef pie/Chinese beef pancake

Plenty of room for improvements, especially on the wrapping part. However, one thing for sure is that the seasonings for the filling is almost right on point. It's moist and packed with beefy aroma, also a hint of Sichuan peppercorn but without that numbing sensation. I would definitely use the same filling again and not changing a thing about it next time.

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