Shanghai is the largest city in China, so Shanghai food is prevalent in the most populous country and worldwide. Shanghai food is also recognized as eastern Chinese cuisine since it combines and embraces various cooking traditions from neighboring provinces like Anhui, Jiangsu, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang.
Classification of Shanghai Food
Haipai Cuisine and Benbang Cuisine are two types of Shanghai cuisine that are commonly known as Hu Cai.
After the Qing Dynasty, the cosmopolitan culture developed in Shanghai gave rise to Haipai Food, which means ‘all-encompassing cuisine’ (1644-1911). It takes the best features of various foods from different parts of China and Western cuisine and modifies them to suit local preferences. Haipai Cuisine’s significant components include shrimp, fresh fish, and crabs. The Haipai meals offer a wide range of appearances, tastes, and cooking styles.
Benbang Food, which translates to ‘local meal,’ is a traditional family-style cuisine that originated in Shanghai over a century ago. Benbang cuisine is fresh, mellow, and sweet, similar to Suzhou and Wuxi cuisines. It always has a fantastic flavor and a vivid color produced from the oil and soybean sauce, and it uses fresh fish, poultry, pig, and other vegetables as the major components.
What Is Kind Of Cooking Practiced In Shanghai Food?
Red cooking’ is a popular cooking style in Shanghai and the rest of Eastern China. Food is slow-cooked and braised in a sauce composed of soy sauce, five-spice powder, and sugar. Often, each household will have its unique recipe for such a sauce, which is passed down the generations. The approach is known as red cooking because the five-spice powder and soy sauce are used to give the meal a crimson tint. Red food coloring is sometimes used to provide the meal with a more vivid red color. However, this is not the conventional method! Sauces are an essential element of the cuisine in this region; stir-fries often get added throughout the cooking process rather than at the end!
What are the Ingredients That are used in Shanghai Food?
Soy sauce, like red cooking sauce, is widely used in Shanghai cuisine. Rice vinegar and rice wine are utilized more frequently in Shanghai recipes than in other locations, not unexpected. Eastern China has some of the country’s best rice wine and vinegar-producing regions. East China, also known as “the region of rice and fish,” is home to the notorious Yangtze River, Asia’s longest river. Because of its geographical characteristics, rice grows very well in this location.
The region provides ideal circumstances for growing and producing quality rice, with many lakes rising from the river and wetland regions produced by all the water. The hilly topography in the areas around Shanghai also lends itself to tea cultivation.
Shanghai Food Near Me
There is no need to travel very far in Shanghai to find some amazing local cuisine. In fact, there are plenty of restaurants and street food stalls located right near you. Here are some of the best places to eat in Shanghai, based on your location:
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If you are in the Puxi district, head over to Wujiang Road for some incredible seafood options. Try out the restaurant Lao Ma Tou, which is known for its fresh and delicious seafood dishes. Another great spot for seafood lovers is Jiajia Lighthouse, where you can try out some of the freshest catches from Shanghai’s rivers.
If you are in the Pudong district, be sure to check out Super Brand Mall – home to some of the best restaurants in Shanghai. Try out Din Tai Fung for some delicious dumplings, or head over to Jamie’s Italian for a tasty Italian meal. There are also plenty of street food stalls located in Pudong, so be sure to check them out for some local flavor.
No matter where you are in Shanghai, there is sure to be a great restaurant nearby. Be sure to explore all your options and find the perfect spot for you and your friends or family. Enjoy!
11 Shanghai Foods You Must Try
If you’re looking for some of the best food items in Shanghai, be sure to try these dishes.
Xiao Long Bao
If you visit Shanghai, the famous Xiao Long Bao must be sampled! These tiny jewels wrap a pork filling and flavorful broth in their thin wrappers. The meats are sweet with delicious flavors that come from chicken bones or shrimp meat as well Shaoxing wine and ginger being cooked until they form rich soup stock for all of those fantastic flavor explosions inside these dumplings to happen around.
They prepare dumplings boiling in a bamboo box with both vinegar and soy sauce dipping sauce. To eat, use a soup spoon to raise one and a chopstick to pierce a hole in it. Then take a drink and discover the taste explosion! But take care before tasting because it is pretty hot inside.
Ci Fan Tuan
It’s easy to be fooled by appearances. Ci Fan Tuan might appear to be simply another sticky rice ball, but there’s a surprise within the box. The chewy, aromatic, nutty, and sweet outer layer of rice is delicious. However, there is a lovely contrast of tastes and textures in the middle.
The sweetness in soy-glazed pork floss and pig flesh, a salted duck egg intact, and acidic chopped pickled veggies all come together in this dish. Then there’s the deep-fried pig fat that melts in your tongue and the crispy fried youtiao.
Breakfast is frequently served with sticky rice balls, which are a regional favorite. Besides the savory varieties, there are sweet versions, which are generally made with sesame and sugar.
Peking duck, a specialty of the capital Beijing but is still found on tables throughout Shanghai. They prepare this delicate dish by roasting Duck with an unusual drying and browning technique that results in crispy golden skin while preserving beneath moist tenderness. This meal cooks your bird such that it has brilliant coloration as well as being crunchy around edges from pan-frying or grilling – you can’t miss out when they’re immersed into soy sauce mixed with sugar before serving over crepes made using wheat flour batter which contains scallion greens for added flavor.
Shanghai’s famous steamed crab is made with various crabs found in rivers and is often eaten in late fall and winter. Crabs are strung with ropes or threads and placed in bamboo vessels before being cooked and eaten. Da Zha Xie is typically served with vinegar. Even though there are few additional artificial additives in the meal, it tastes excellent.
Locals are very picky about whether to eat male crabs and when to eat female crabs.
Midsummer, go through the street full of food vendors, and you’ll see zongzi everywhere. This is because these triangular rice packages are commonly devoured during the Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place every year. According to tradition, festival-goers would toss them into the river, an exiled poet who drowned and eventually became a water spirit.
Many vendors sell zongzi, mainly old ladies who hand-crafts them. They put duck eggs into the brilliant green reed leaves, glutinous rice, and fatty pork, then carefully wrap and knot it up before steaming it.
It’s like trying to devour a cloud.
Dou Hua is the ideal breakfast for tofu fans since it is warm and flavorful with a silky smooth texture. To prepare it, pour hot soy milk into a dish of coagulant and cornstarch and set it aside for a few minutes. The result is a cloudy curd suspended in yellow whey.
Dou Hua has a delicate taste and a pleasantly mild flavor. Garnish and season with soy sauce, salt, chili oil, and cilantro to taste. Add ginger-infused sugar syrup for a sweet alternative.
A delicious, sweet delight!
These dazzling glazed fruits are guaranteed to capture your eye as you travel along the streets of Shanghai. Tanghulu is a Chinese fruit that tastes like tiny apples but is more sour and astringent. The fruit is skewered on long bamboo skewers before being coated in a hardened sugar syrup similar to candied apples. The firm, crunchy shell contrasts beautifully with the soft, luscious fruit inside.
Though hawthorn is the traditional fruit used to prepare this dessert, merchants sell several other fruits. Strawberries and apples are two of the most popular fruits.
Shanghai Fried Noodles
Enjoy some filling fried noodles.
Shanghai fried noodles are a local delicacy. Though there are numerous fine dining restaurants that provide more sophisticated versions, the noodles offered at street vendors are as delicious.
Cumian, a thick-cut noodle akin to udon, is used to start the meal. The noodles are stir-fried with plenty of meat (chicken, beef, and pig) and veggies, as well as a soy sauce base (necessary to Shanghainese cuisine). Slurp up a dish from one of the numerous vendors!
This crispy crepe is famous both in China and among foreigners. It’s tasty and handy, and it comes in a small hand-held container that you have the ability to consume on the move. Jianbing offers the best of taste when a vendor on the street freshly prepares it. When you see a lengthy queue, you know it’s excellent.
On a flat grill, they pan the crepe to order. Wheat flour dough is placed on top with a thin mung bean layer, followed by an egg cracked on the highest. When the crepe has turned golden, hoisin sauce is poured on top, and a fermented bean paste, scallions, and pickled radish are sprinkled on top. Other delicacies, such as fried chicken, ham, or bacon, maybe included by inventive sellers.
Jianbing is just one of the numerous unusual snacks available on Shanghai’s streets. Take a food journey to visit all the most significant vendors and local eateries!
Cong You Bing
Pancakes are what you call Cong You Bing to the Shanghainese. Perhaps even better. They’re crispy on the surface, have a pleasant scallion scent, and are fluffy on the inside. Many street vendors are selling it, but a variety of residents would wait in long queues to get one of these perfections,
The bing is made of hand-rolling dough with scallions wrapped and minced pork. The balls are then pushed flat on a heated surface, lightly oiled flat griddle, and cooked till lightly golden. Finally, they are cooked in colossal drum charcoal burners to obtain a perfect crispy finish.
Shanghai has around 1,800 snack shops and booths selling a variety of snacks.
For example, deep-fried twisted dough sticks, glutinous-rice cakes, soy milk, glutinous-rice balls, roasted cakes with green onions, dumplings in soup, noodles with topping, steamed buns, fried dumplings, and dumplings, sweet pastry soups are among the 300 types of dumplings and pastries available.
Shanghai snacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each with its distinct characteristics. The color, flavor, smell, and shape of the eyebrow shortcake, date paste cake, shredded turnip cake, and sweet Osmanthus steamed cake are well-known. A steamed dumpling with pork filling is a popular snack in Shanghai. It can be found at both large restaurants and little food booths around the city, making it easy to enjoy this classic dish any time of day or night! Steamed buns are available in a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian fillings, ranging from red bean paste to spinach to pork and crab.
Shanghai, China’s largest city, is also the country’s street food hub, with more than 24 million people. We hope that through the article, you could gain more knowledge about Shanghai food.
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