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Chinese Shaobing (Flatbread) Recipe

Chinese Shaobing (Flatbread) Recipe

Shaobing is a traditional Chinese flatbread that contains both sweet and savory fillings. The outside consists of flakey pastry, while the filling can be anything from seasoned minced meat to sweet red bean paste. It is not uncommon to also find unstuffed shaobing throughout the north of the country.

The snack originates from the northern regions of China, and is traditionally served as breakfast or for a snack. 

Origin & Cultural Significance

Shaobing dates back to ancient times, with the word Shaobing being formed from the words shao meaning ‘baked’ and bing meaning ‘bread’. Originating in Northern China, the snack is little-known in the southern regions of the country and fillings vary between different cities and regions. 

Some Chinese legends claim that shaobing was introduced by the Han dynasty General Ban Chao, who brought it back from the far Western regions and Central Asia. The bread is thought to be a descendent of hubing and is very similar to naan and pita found in Persia, Central Asia, and the Near East.

Traditionally, plain pastries are served to accompany meals, while filled pastries are enjoyed at breakfast with tea or soy milk.

Chinese Shaobing

Chinese Shaobing Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Shaobing is a traditional Chinese pastry that contains both sweet and savory fillings.


  • All-purpose flour - 2 cups
  • Warm water - 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Minced pork or beef - 1/2 lb (for savory shaobing) OR
  • Red bean paste - 1 cup (for sweet shaobing)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour and salt. Gradually add warm water and vegetable oil, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5-7 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. For savory shaobing, cook minced pork or beef with your preferred seasonings until fully cooked. For sweet shaobing, simply use red bean paste as the filling.
  4. Divide the dough into equal portions and shape each portion into a ball.
  5. Roll out each dough ball into a thin circle or oval shape, about 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Place a spoonful of the desired filling (savory or sweet) in the center of each dough circle.
  7. Fold the edges of the dough over the filling to enclose it completely, pinching the seams to seal.
  8.  Gently flatten the filled dough with your palm to form a disc shape.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 369Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 299mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 15g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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