shanghai-dumpling

Er Guang Wonton, Shanghai

On the topic of amazing lunches in Shanghai, this was another of my personal favorites…

Vegetable & pork stuffed wontons with a side of spicy stewed pork from Er Guang Wonton!

While many people chose to eat the wontons and pork separately here, I decided to combine the two…

It was explained to me that “er guang” means “a slap in the face” in Chinese, the expression used here to describe the deliciousness of these plump wontons…

The owner believes they’re so good, even being slapped in the face can’t stop you from eating them!

However, after biting into these plump porky pillows, I feel “lick your lips” may be a more appropriate action to describe them.

ER GUANG WONTON

109 Huang Jia Que Lu

Shanghai

China

Abao Pork Chop, Shanghai

Rainy day delivery from Abao Pork Chop here in Shanghai!

Started with cold noodles with spicy pork and cucumbers…

Then on to plump boiled pork and chive dumplings, which were excellent…

Crispy fried pork dumplings…

The fried skins were a little too thick and crunchy for my liking, but the melt-in-your-mouth meat in the middle made up for it…

And their famous namesake pork chop, which while tender and juicy, was too thin, in my opinion…

All in all this was a good meal, especially for the $10 price tag, but I prefer a thicker cut of pork, which pictures online indicates Abao can do. Guess I’ll have to go wait in their line and eat at the restaurant instead!

ABAO PORK CHOP

95 South Yunnan Lu

Shanghai

China

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On this fine Saturday morning we decided to try to make the Shanghai specialty that are Shengjian Bao (生煎包) also known as pan-fried dumplings; they are similar to regular dumplings but bigger and have a different method of cooking.

They are at first pan-fried, then after a few minutes a bowl of water is poured into the pan and they are quickly covered so that they are steamed. The bottom is crispy while the top is soft. Usually they are eaten with vinegar so that it cuts through the oil bringing balance to the dish.

They are very popular in China and Taiwan and can be found among street vendors as well as restaurants. The most famous restaurant in Shanghai has to be the chain Xiaoyang Shengjian (小杨生煎); they are spread throughout the city and long lines of people queuing can be found during breakfast and lunch hours.

We were quite happy how they turned out as it was only our first attempt. Cannot wait to see how will improve next time!

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I’m a little late posting these pics, but the dumplings seen here left such an impression on me, I wanted to make sure I wrote about them.

Qingtuan are green dumplings, colored with wormwood, that are eaten here in China during the Qingming Festival, or Tomb Sweeping holiday, in early April. They’re traditionally filled with sweet red or black paste, but here in Shanghai, they do things a little differently. The two kinds of qingtuan here are filled with pork and lotus root, and seasonal greens and garlic. As you know, I’ll take savory over sweet any day, so these were right up my alley! However, I was surprised the wormwood flavor was so prevalent in the skins, to be honest.

Thanks to the lovely ladies in Disney Greater China Corp Comms department for sharing these delicacies with me!

Jiu Li Qian Li Xiang, Shanghai

We were wandering around our neighborhood this weekend when the amazing smells wafting from the open window of this small restaurant stopped us in our tracks… 

We walked up to find the woman in the storefront kitchen ladeling soup into bowls of miniature dumplings. They looked as good as they smelled so we popped in for some ourselves…

The dumplings were delectable, the soup was savory and hit the spot, and the price was perfect… eighteen dumplings for $1.00!!

As with many chain restaurants around China, they use the phrase “Qian Li Xiang” in their name, which translates as “One Thousand Li Fragrance”, meaning that the smell of the food will make you walk one thousand li (Chinese miles) just to eat them. But all we had to do in this case was cross the street!

JIU LI QIAN LI XIANG

Xuanhua Lu, off Jiangsu Lu

Shanghai

China

4

Trying the xiao long bao? There’s a science now

Food writer Christopher St. Cavish, former sous chef at Shanghai’s high-end restaurant-cum-sensory experience Ultraviolet, made a sensation on Chinese social media after he published a scientific report on consuming‪ ‎xiaolongbao‬ (soup ‪dumplings‬).

Xiao long bao, or “little steamed buns,“ are ‪Shanghai‬’s classic snack. With these soup dumplings, there are myriad tricks – some secret, some not – to cooking them to perfection.

After 16 months of painstaking research – eating upwards of 7.243 kilograms of dumplings in 52 different restaurants – St. Cavish published The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index on Monday.

The chef scored the dumplings based on a formula – (weight of soup + weigh of filling) divided by thickness of the skin – and then grouped the dumplings into one of three classes. Class A is the best.

He weighed each dumpling on a digital scale before dissecting it. St. Cavish measured the weight of the soup and filling separately, and then whipped out his digital calipers for the skin.

St. Cavish set out to create the index to settle a heated debate between a Shanghai-based brand and a company from Taiwan, both specializing in xiao long bao. St. Cavish put both of their products in Class A.

St. Cavish recalled some strange experiences while putting together the index. A cleaning lady at a restaurant once yelled at him for not eating the dumplings correctly. But despite the mishap, many Chinese internet users are applauding his hard work and rigorous research – labeling him a real food lover.

Qian Li Xiang Wonton King, Shanghai

Wulumuqi Road is quickly becoming my favorite snacking street in Shanghai! It’s lined with tons of little local mom & pop shops, and a variety of small Chinese chain restaurants, like this place, Qian Li Xiang Wonton King…

QLX is a quaint establishment with five tables and about 20 seats run by a single woman who makes all the wontons/dumplings by hand in her kitchen here…

The specialty here is dumplings from Fujian province, and you can get a bowl of her golf ball-sized beauties for between 11 to 20 rmb ($1.50 - $3.00 US) depending on quantity and filling…

The dumplings come in three “flavors”, mushroom & pork; a Chinese vegetable called “Shepard’s Purse” & pork; and shrimp & pork. We went with 12 Shepard’s Purse & pork and they were amazing…

The vegetable is clearly the star of the show here, with the pork relegated to a supporting role to simply add a little flavor and texture. There was also a cameo by some chopped mushrooms that were mixed in…

A popular dumpling filling here in China, the Shepard’s Purse is crunchy even after boiling, and quite pungent, in a good way! The dark green “juice” this leafy veg produces ran into the soup, quickly changing its color…

“Qian Li Xiang” translates as “One Thousand Li Fragrance”, meaning that the smell of these wontons will make you walk one thousand li (Chinese miles) just to eat them. 

Good thing I only have to walk 5 blocks!

Thanks to the lovely ladies on Disney China’s Corp Comms team for helping me with translation and explanation!