Old Bian’s Dumplings


The famine that plagued Renqiu County, Hebei Province from 1821 to 1851 forced local residents either to leave their homes or die. Among those that fled was Bian Fu, proprietor of a dumpling restaurant, who traveled with his family to northeastern China. On their way they spent the night at a household that was holding a birthday celebration. Bian was both touched and impressed by the rich, tender dumplings the family served their guests. The secret, the lady of the house told Bian Fu, was to stir-fry the fillings before wrapping them in dough. 

Bian Fu later opened a dumpling shop by the Shenyang City moat. The cooking techniques he learned from his family’s benefactors soon brought his dumplings into high demand. To ensure no-one would steal his recipe, Bian Fu established the tradition of sharing it only with his male descendants. Thus came about the Old Bian’s Dumplings brand – a much-savored aspect of Shenyang cuisine.

Old Bian’s Dumplings enjoy international fame, largely due to being served on trains passing through Shenyang to Russia and beyond since the early 1960s. In 1980, Old Bian’s Dumplings traveled to Sapporo and Kyoto in Japan. They won a gold medal at the IFE Americas (Americas Food & Beverage Show & Conference) in 1998 and the 4th National Cooking Contest championship in 1999. In 2000, the Guinness Book of Records recognized this time-honored dumpling restaurant, founded in 1829 in Shenyang, as the longest standing establishment of its kind.

Old Bian’s Dumpling fillings are made from stir-fried minced pork marinated in chicken soup. Seasonal vegetables are then added. The dough wrappers are made by mixing fine flour with melted lard and boiled water, which gives them a soft, stretchy translucent texture. Old Bian’s Dumplings can be steamed, baked or fried.