Shanghai Surprise. Article on Shanghai food.
By Mark Andrews
Vacations and Travel Magazine. Oct-Dec 2017
Forget the Michelin-starred chefs and international cuisine laying siege to the city, steer a path past restaurants with food from provinces in the far-flung corners of China to eat what the Shanghainese grew up on.
“Shanghai food can be summarised by four characters: nong you chi jiang [thick oil strong sauce]”, says Shen Jianming. I admit that doesn’t sound the most appetising combination, and done badly it isn’t. Get it right, as chef Shen does at the Jianguo 328 restaurant, and it can transport you to food heaven.
Most tourists coming to Shanghai know about the soup dumplings but they know about the wrong ones. Forget your daintily wrapped xiao long bao – this is not the type people eat everyday. It’s sheng jian bao that powers the average working man or woman and they are a proper meal. About three or four times the size of xiao long bao, they have a thicker skin and because they are cooked in a skillet, have a crunchy base. Yang’s Dumpling is a tourist-friendly chain with many locations around the city. The original pork sheng jian bao are the best of the four types available at Yang’s and ordering is relatively easy thanks to an English menu.
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