SOUP INSIDE A DUMPLING: Xiǎolóngbāo 小笼包 place
Everybody has his or her xiǎolóngbāo place. Mine is on the southwest corner of Jianguo Lu and Gao’an Lu. Xiǎolóngbāo is a Shanghai specialty, so tourists – don’t miss out. It’s a dumpling that is filled with pork and soup. Only a civilization as old as China’s can come up with something as ingenious as that. Soup INSIDE a dumpling. America’s been around for much less time and all we have to show for it is the deep-fried Twinkie. I eat xiǎolóngbāo the same way I eat shēngjiānbāo. See instructions below. This place also has your basic málàtàng. A few doors down is a restaurant that has pretty good cheap dishes where you can eat outside and drink beers when the weather permits.
What to order:
One order of xiǎolóngbāo is 6 kuai. I can eat two if I’m hungry.
SOUP INSIDE A DUMPLING, RELOADED: Xiǎoyángshēngjiān 小杨生煎 – Yang’s Fry Dumpling
Another specialty of Shanghai is shēngjiānbāo or shēngjiānmántóu. It’s like xiǎolóngbāo except it’s bigger and the bottom is pan fried. It’s fucking amazing. Here’s a tip: Don’t try to order shēngjiānbāo at other places: it won’t be as good, and it will be more expensive. Yang’s is the best. Also, don’t order shēngjiānbāo at dim sum. Dim sum is from Hong Kong. Shēngjiānbāo is from Shanghai. This place is a chain, so it’s easy to find in your neighborhood. The one on Yuyuan Lu near Jiangsu Lu is usually not too crowded.
These suckers are some of the hardest Chinese food to eat with chopsticks. Here’s what I do: 1. Bite small hole in dumpling, 2. Pour soup into spoon, 3. Drink soup, 4. Dunk dumpling in vinegar/chili mixture, 5. Eat in several bites
What to order:
I usually eat 6 of them, that means 1 1/2 orders. It’s 6 kuai per order of 4 dumplings.
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