Chinese Beef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼)

Beef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼) - A classic northern Chinese pastry. It has a moist savory filling and a crispy crust. It’s a large version of the potsticker and tastes even better! | omnivorescookbook.comThe Chinese meat pie is a classic northern pastry. It has a moist savory filling and a crispy crust. It’s a large version of the potsticker and tastes even better!

The Chinese meat pie (馅饼, Xian Bing) is a very popular and tasty comfort food in the northern part of China. The idea is similar to that of the potsticker, but with a much bigger size. It has a crispy crust and a juicy filling. The cooking method is similar to that used for potstickers, too – using a soft piece of dough to wrap raw filling and grilling it in a frying pan.

While Xian Bing is a cheap street food, you can easily find it in restaurants, too. It’s typically listed with the staple foods, which include dumplings and rice. You can also find them at most supermarkets and vegetable markets, packed in plastic bags of half-a-dozen at a really cheap price.

The crucial part of making a tasty meat pie is the dough. Unlike potstickers and dumplings, it uses a layered oily dough to create a super crispy surface.

Beef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼) - A classic northern Chinese pastry. It has a moist savory filling and a crispy crust. It’s a large version of the potsticker and tastes even better! | omnivorescookbook.comBeef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼) - A classic northern Chinese pastry. It has a moist savory filling and a crispy crust. It’s a large version of the potsticker and tastes even better! | omnivorescookbook.com

I was quite surprised that although lots of foreign friends in Beijing love dumplings and potstickers, they rarely eat Xian Bing. To a Chinese northerner, Xian Bing is as popular as dumplings, and much more popular than potstickers. I like Xian Bing most of all, because it has a layered crispy surface, like pastry dough, with a meaty filling that is more substantial than in potstickers.

The recipe might look a bit daunting, but trust me, it is actually very easy and straightforward once you try it out. I personally like to serve meat pies instead of potsticker. They are larger in size, which means you will roll less dough and wrap fewer times than you would making potstickers.

There are several ways to fold a meat pie. The recipe below uses the simplest, no-fail way, which will result in a pie with a thin, crispy crust and lots of filling. The wrapping process is like making a quesadilla, but you take it one step further and press the edges of the dough together to seal the pie.

There are many choices of filling too, from all-meat to all-vegetarian. Today I will introduce my favorite, one with ground beef and mixed vegetables. If you like Chinese dumplings or potstickers, I recommend you try making Xian Bing once. You will definitely love it!

Beef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼) - A classic northern Chinese pastry. It has a moist savory filling and a crispy crust. It’s a large version of the potsticker and tastes even better! | omnivorescookbook.com

Do you like my recipes? Sign up for Omnivore’s Cookbook’s weekly newsletter to get the latest updates delivered to your inbox and a free e-cookbook! And stay connected via Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Chinese Beef Meat Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 10 pies
Ingredients
Dough
  • 500 grams / 17 ounces all-purpose flour plus extra to coat hands (see how to convert to cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus extra for cooking
Filling
  • 350 grams (12 ounces) ground raw beef (lean fat ratio 8:2)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or Japanese sake)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Sichuan peppercorn (or black pepper)
  • 1 (400 grams / 14 oz.) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (120 grams / 4 oz.) carrot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
Instructions
To make the dough
  1. (Option 1) Using a mixer: Add flour and turn on at low speed. Gradually add water. Let mix until the surface of the dough becomes smooth, about 8 minutes.
  2. (Option 2) Kneading the dough by hand: Add flour to a large bowl. Gradually add water and whisk flour with a spatula until water is fully blended. Dust both hands with dry flour and knead the dough. If there is dry flour in the bowl that is difficult to blend into the dough, add a bit more water to the dry flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead until there is no dry flour left. The dough should feel springy and you should be able to easily pick it up without it sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Dust a working surface with dry flour and transfer the dough onto it. Knead until the surface of the dough turns smooth.
  3. Wrap and seal the dough with plastic wrap. Let for 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
To make the filling
  1. Prepare the filling while resting the dough. Combine ground beef, minced ginger, Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and ground Sichuan peppercorn (or black pepper) in a big bowl. Mix well until the liquid ingredients are fully absorbed.
  2. Prepare and cut vegetables, but do not add them to the ground beef yet.
  3. Right before assembling the pies, add the onion, carrot, salt and sugar to the beef filling. Mix well. Add sesame oil and mix again. (*footnote 1)
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
To assemble the pies
  1. Add oil to a small bowl and prepare a small brush. Dust both hands and a large cutting board with dry flour. Transfer the dough to the cutting board and knead for a few times. The dough should be a bit softer, springy, and smooth.
  2. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and put one piece back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Roll the other half into a ball. Press it into a flat circle. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a thin round disc, about 4 millimeters (1/8 inch) thick.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.comBeef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  3. Brush a thin layer of oil on top. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over it and brush it again until evenly spread. Roll the round sheet into a long stick. Cut the stick into 6 equal pieces.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  4. Work on the meat pies one at a time. Cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap.
  5. Pinch the two ends of each piece to seal the oil inside. Press the dough (the sealed ends are on the left and right) and gently roll it into a thin round disc. This step is help to create a layered crust.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.comBeef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  6. Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of beef filling and place it on one side of the dough pancake, in a half-moon shape, as if making a quesadilla.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  7. Fold the empty half over and press the edges together by hand. Turn the edge upward and press it again to further seal the pie.
    Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com Beef Meat Pie Cooking Process | omnivorescookbook.com
  8. Set pie aside and work on the rest of the dough in the same manner.
  9. Cover the meat pies with plastic wrap while working on the rest of the pies, to prevent the dough from drying out.
To cook the pies
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until warm. Transfer meat pies to the skillet without overlapping. Brush the top side with oil. Cover skillet and cook over low heat until the bottom side turns golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook the other side. Cover and cook until the bottom side turns golden brown, 3 minute. Transfer the meat pies to a plate. Cook the remainder of the meat pies the same way.
  2. Serve warm with Chinese black vinegar. If the meat pie is not salty enough, blend 1 teaspoon light soy sauce with 1 tablespoon black vinegar as a dipping sauce.
To store the meat pie
  1. Place meat pie in an airtight container. Store in the fridge up to 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month.
  2. To reheat the meat pie. Heat oil in a skillet until warm. Add meat pies. When the skillet is hot, add 2 to 3 tablespoons water and cover immediately. Flip once during the cooking. Cook until both sides are crispy and the inside is hot.
Notes
1. Do not mix the filling too soon before the dough is ready. It will make the filling watery later.

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 12 meat pies generated by this recipe.

Beef Meat Pie Nutrition Facts | omnivorescookbook.com

The recipe was originally published by October 1, 2013

Disclosure

Omnivore's Cookbook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Share:
Meet Maggie

Born and raised in Beijing, Maggie now calls Texas home. She’s learned to love barbecue, but her heart belongs to the food she grew up with. For her, Omnivore’s Cookbook is all about introducing cooks to real-deal Chinese dishes, which can be as easy as a 30-minute stir-fry or as adventurous as making your own dim sum. Recipes, step-by-step photos and video are the tools she uses to share her knowledge—and her enthusiasm for Chinese food.

Never Miss a Recipe!

16 thoughts on “Chinese Beef Meat Pie (牛肉馅饼)

  1. Ariana

    Great recipe, my dinner tomorrow for sure. I have just one question, maybe I missed sth in the recipe. Do you use raw gound beef in the filling or is it precooked?

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Ariana, I’m glad you like the recipe! 🙂
      I used raw grounded beef in the recipe. Be sure you have the lid on and use low heat when cooking the meat pie in stove top skillet. This way, the raw fillings will be done just when the crust turns crispy. If you have some fillings leftover, just saute them directly and use as a snack. 🙂

      Reply
        1. Maggie Post author

          Hi Julie, I used about 2 tablespoons oil for every 2 pies to cook at one time. It’s similar to grill fish, you just need to slightly cover the bottom of skillet to keep the dough crispy. I suggest you to use a non-sticky skillet, otherwise, you might need to pour more oil (1 to 2 tablespoons, depends on how much oil is left) after one side of the meat pie is done, to keep the other side from sticky to the skillet.

          Reply
  2. Meggan | Culinary Hill

    Oh my gosh, I totally want to eat a dozen of these. Before I even read your text saying “it’s like a big potsticker” or whatever, I was thinking, it looks like a giant potsticker! Only better! Thank you for sharing this incredibly wonderful recipe.

    Reply
  3. Robyn

    Maggie you are my hero. I had a lovely Vietnamese family as friends when I was a child. Dohnu (sp!) used to make these for me all the time. They were amazing. I have looked for a recipe, or what they were for 20 years, I found you. Thank you for giving that memory back to me so I can share it. Wonderful!!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      You just made my day Robyn 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you like the recipe. I don’t know why these are not as popular as dumplings outside Asia. They’re super delicious, aren’t they?
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out! Have a wonderful weekend.

      Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      I’m so glad to hear the dish turns out well Leandra! Hope you have a wonderful weekends. And looking forward to hearing how the cooking goes if you tried out other recipes 🙂

      Reply
  4. Cathleen

    Made this last week. Rolling the dough is a bit of work but it’s all worth it. Will definitely make this again great for snacks to go or even breakfast!!! (made some, ate some, shared some and freeze some!!!

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Sounds lovely! Yeah, it’s quite a bit work, so we only make this on the weekend. We always make a big batch, because they freeze very well. Serving the meat pies for breakfast? That is real Chinese style! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: