Famous Food in Shanghai

Shanghai, known as the "food paradise", gather the local flavors of about 20 places, such as Suzhou, Wuxi, Anhui, Hangzhou, etc. Shanghai cuisine, also called Benbang cuisine, has a history of more than 400 years. The main cooking methods of Shanghai cuisine are based on the braise, stewing and sugar. In addition to the local catering of thick oil and red sauce, the Shanghai people are most proud of various folk snacks, such as the well-known pan-fried steamed buns, wontons, small steamed buns and the "four great guardians" of pancakes, deep-fried dough sticks, soybean milk and glutinous rice rolls. If you want to have a good knowledge of one city, you should start with its food culture first, so let's discover the delicious foods in Shanghai.


1. Pan-Fried Steamed Buns

Pan-fried steamed buns, also called Shengjian, is one of the most famous local snacks in Shanghai. With a history of more than 100 years, pan-fried steamed buns have the characteristics of crumbly skin, thick juice and strong fragrance. In general, pan-fried steamed buns are made of flour, chopped meat, pork skin jelly and other seasonings. Fly the pan-fried steamed buns until its skin turns golden, and sprinkle with chopped green onions and sesame seeds. Taking a small bite, you will find that the wonderful flavor of meat, oil, green onion and sesame rush into your mouth. Here is a warm tip: a watched pot never boils. Be careful about the hot soup inside the buns.

Pan-Fried Steamed Buns


2. Small Steamed Buns

What proof can prove Shanghai people delicate and exquisite?One small steamed bun is enough. Small Steamed Bun, also called the steamed dumpling or Xiaolongbao, is a traditional snack in Shanghai. With its small shape, thin and half-translucent skin, as well as it is steamed by a special bamboo steamer, so people called it the "small steamed buns". It is mainly made of pork, dumpling skin and pork skin. The trick of making small steamed buns is that "it looks like a bell when it lies horizontally, while it seems like a lantern when you pick it up". To achieve such effects, there must be no soup inside the buns, or the skin will be soaked and become moist. In this case, the fillings will come out before steaming, so that's why Shanghai people would like to mix the fillings with the frozen pork skin. The most popular small steamed buns are in Nanxiang Town. It attracts hundreds of people every day.

Small Steamed Buns


3. Wontons

Wontons of Shanghai is different from other places. The filling is not made of fresh pork, dried shrimp and preserved vegetable, but only pork. The minced pork is tender and creamy. The highlight of wontons is the soup. Eggs, dried small shrimps and seaweeds make the soup extremely fresh and tasty.



4. Noodles Mixed with Scallion, Oil and Soy Sauce

Noodles mixed with scallion, oil and soy sauce are a kind of flavored pasta with local characteristics of Shanghai. It is made with noodles as the main raw materials, and with the ingredients of lard, sliced cucumber, green onions, ginger, salt, chicken powder, soy sauce, sugar and cooking wine. The most famous one is the noodles with dried shrimp meat. The method of making this kind of noodle is very particular. At first, cut the scallions into pieces and fly it by the boiling oil. In this way, the scallions will turn yellow for more fragrance, which increases people's appetite considerably. The dried shrimp should be soaked in alcohol and sugar first, then fly it with vegetable oil. Finally, stir these ingredients in the cooked noddle. Noodles mixed with scallion, oil and soy sauce are bright in color and creamy in texture with a distinctive flavor and abundant nutrient.



5. Spareribs Rice Cake

Spareribs rice cake is an affordable and unique traditional snack in Shanghai with a history of more than 50 years. There are two kinds of rice cakes, and one is made of japonica rice, the other is made of glutinous rice flour, white sugar and brown sugar. Matching big pork chops with small and thin rice cakes, it has not only the rich aroma of ribs, but also the fluffy texture of rice cakes. The ribs are golden in color with crumbly skins and tender meats. Taking a bite, it is slightly sweet and spicy. You will fell in love with its flavor.



6. Salty Soybean Milk

The salty soybean milk in Shanghai is the most complex one in the soybean milk. It is the standard for breakfast in Shanghai. There are many side dishes and ingredients, such as soy sauce, dried small shrimps, chopped pickled mustard, seaweed and green scallion. The authentic salty soybean milk is usually made with the freshwater dried shrimps of Zhoushan island. And it's better to choose the special seaweed of Jiangsu province to freshen the soup. Local people would like to add some small pieces of deep-fried dough sticks and chill oil. It is an unmissable snack for breakfast. If you want to experience the local people's life, you can go to some small lanes to explore these special local foods. There is a saying goes that good wine needs no bush. The authentic food is always hidden in some inconspicuous alleys.



Plan a Yummy Food Trip to Asia

Planning a trip to China? Here are some tour packages for your references:

11 Days China Wonders Experience Tour

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Feel free to contact us for your Shanghai travel plan, and we're glad to help you. You can also tailor-made your own Shanghai tour at Free Online Tailor-made Tour to create your unique Shanghai tour.

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