5 MUST-TRY Street Foods in Shanghai
Shanghai is a city of contrasts. It has the most famous and largest skyline in China. The city’s food scene is no exception. There are more than 100 street foods to try in Shanghai alone. But what makes these street foods so special? Why do they taste better than those you can find at any restaurant? What makes them different from other street foods in other places? And how do you know which ones are worth trying? In this article, we will take you through the top 5 MUST-TRY Street Foods in Shanghai. They include:
1. Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao is a dumpling made with steamed pork or chicken meat wrapped inside a soft dough wrapper. This dish originated in the Jiangsu Province of China and is now popular all over China. You can find Xiao Long Baos on almost every street corner in Shanghai. This food is considered one of the best street foods in Shanghai. Some of the ingredients that make up this delicious snack include:
·Steamed Pork – Steaming the pork before wrapping it in the dough gives the meat a tender texture and flavor.
·Dough Wrapper – A soft dough wrapper that holds the stuffing together when cooked.
·Filling – Ground pork, minced beef, shrimp paste, etc.
·Seasonings – Ginger, garlic, scallions, etc.
·Soup Stock – Gelatinized pork stock that helps bind the ingredients together.
The best time to eat xiao long bao is during lunchtime. You should order two or three pieces to share between 2 people. Remember, when eating this snack, be sure to chew slowly. Do not swallow your mouthful too fast, as you might end up choking.
2. Sheng Jian Bao
Sheng Jian Bao is a dumpling originally made by boiling glutinous rice flour and then shaping it into a ball. These balls were then deep-fried until crispy. Today, Sheng Jian bao has become a staple food for many Chinese families. This food has similarities with xiao long bao, but the main difference is that sheng Jian bao is usually served hot. In contrast, xiao long bao is typically served cold. There are many variations of sheng Jian bao, including:
·Beijing Style – Made with wheat gluten instead of glutinous rice flour.
·Meatball Style – Meatballs stuffed with ground pork, diced ham, salted egg yolk, etc.
·Fish Ball Style – Fish balls stuffed with groundfish, chopped vegetables, etc.
·Vegetable Ball Style – Vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, etc.
·Sweet Potato Style – Sweet potato filled with sweetened red bean paste.
What makes this food unique and more preferred by many is that it does not require cooking. All you need to do is heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and cook the dumplings until golden brown. Once done, serve immediately. If you want to enjoy this snack, even more, add a side of soup. For example, you can have a bowl of clear broth and a plate of sheng Jian bao. You can get sheng Jian bao anywhere in Shanghai.
3. Ci Fan Tuan
These sticky rice cakes are very similar to Japanese mochi. Ci fan tuna is also known as “sticky rice cake” because of its stickiness. However, unlike mochi, ci fan tuan is made using glutinous rice flour instead of tapioca starch or cornstarch. This means that the ci fan tuan is softer and more moist compared to mochi. First, mix water, salt, sugar, glutinous rice flour, and yeast to make this snack. Then knead the mixture into a smooth dough. After that, cut the dough into small cubes and steam them until they turn light yellow. When ready, remove from the steamer and let cool down completely. The next step is to roll each cube into a round shape. Finally, wrap the rounds in banana leaves and tie them tightly at both ends. Serve the ci fan tuan warm or at room temperature.
You will realize that the first bite of Ci Fan Tuan is quite different from other snacks. It tastes slightly sweet and chewy. The second bite is even better. And because of stickiness, if you bite it, your teeth sink right into the center. So, don’t forget to chew slowly!. So if you love tasting different food, try these street foods in Shanghai. They are all delicious!
4. Shanghai Sliced Pork Dumplings
Shanghai sliced pork dumplings are one of the most popular snacks sold on the streets of Shanghai. These dumplings are usually eaten either as an appetizer or a dessert. The dumplings are made from minced pork meat mixed with flour, water, eggs, ginger, scallions, and sesame seeds. The dumplings are rolled into cylinders and then boiled. Traditionally, the dumplings are wrapped in bamboo leaves before being cooked. But nowadays, the wrapping material varies depending on the vendor. Some vendors use aluminum foil, while others use plastic bags.
There are several reasons why many people, especially visitors, like this dish, first of all, the taste is delicious. Secondly, the dumpling itself has a nice texture. Thirdly, the dumplings are inexpensive. Fourthly, the dumplings are easy to eat since they come already wrapped up. Lastly, the dumplings are portable, meaning that you can take some home after eating them.
5. Cong You Bing
This is a type of pancake found only in Shanghai. Cong, your bings are thin, flaky, and crispy. They are often served with soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, and pickled vegetables such as cucumber, carrot, cabbage, etc. Although there are many variations of cong you bings, the basic ingredients remain the same. First, the batter is prepared by mixing flour, egg, milk, and salt. Next, the batter is poured onto hot oil and then flipped over once it turns golden brown. Once the song you bing is done, it’s time to dip it in the sauce.
Cong You Bing is the most famous street food in Shanghai. People line up outside restaurants to get their hands on these tasty treats. The song you bing is so popular that it has become a part of Shanghai culture. Many people even have their special way of preparing cong you bings. For example, some people prefer to serve cong you bings with chili sauce while others enjoy dipping them in soy sauce.
If you want to experience the best street food in China, you should grab your Cathay pacific ticket and visit Shanghai. There are so many amazing dishes here that you won’t be able to decide what to eat. If you’re looking for something unique, you’ll find plenty of options. From local favorites to international dishes, you’ll never run out of choices. Also, the prices are affordable. So, if you’re planning a trip to Shanghai, make sure to include this city in your list of places to visit.