Shanghai Young People’s Favorite Foods: Traditional Top 5

14 Feb

You can not understand a city without tasting its traditional cuisine. That’s quite true!

You can not understand a group of people without having an idea of what they are fond of eating. That’s still true!

What are Shanghai young people having in their plates? The answer is–traditional Shanghai cuisine!

These days, it is very popular among young people in Shanghai to go nostalgic by exploring the traditional foods.

Let’s take a peek at Shanghai young people’s favorite top 5 traditional foods.

No. 1Image of Xiaolongbao

Xiaolongbao–Steamed  Bun

Xiaolongbao is a kind of soup dumplings with thin flour made skin outside and flavored meat inside. From Qing dynasty till now, Xiaolongbao has a history of over 100 years. When eating a Xiaolongbao, you need to  open a small hole at first and then enjoy the juice inside the little bun very slowly–or you will burn your mouth.

Image from: 上海在线

image of cifantuanNo. 2

Cifantuan–Sticky Rice Roll

It is made by tightly wrapping a piece of youtiao (fried dough) with sticky rice. Usually, we like to put some kinds of pickles and shredded pork in it. I found that  Chipotle’s burrito has some similarities with cifantuan. Usually we eat cifantuan as breakfast together with sweetened or savory soy milk.

Image from: Day Green 日青

No. 3image of shengjian

Shengjian Mantou–Pan Fried Bun

Shengjian mantou is a very traditional specialty of Shanghai. It also has flour made skin outside and flavored meat inside, but the skin is thicker than Xiaolongbao. It is usually filled with pork and gelatin that melts into soup/liquid when cooked. Shengjian mantou has been one of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai for the last century.

This is a clip shot at the most famous Shengjian Station in Shanghai.

Reference: wikipedia

Image from: 新浪上海 

image of SanxianwontonNo. 4

Sanxian Huntun–Three Delicacies Wonton

We make clear distinction between large wonton and small wonton. Small wontons are casually wrapped by closing the palm on a wrapper with a dab of pork filling as if crumpling a sheet of paper. Sanxian huntun can be literally translated into “three delicacies wonton”. Because the wontons are served in chicken soup with laver and chopped pan fried eggs.

When I was a little girl, I went to a very old, nation-owned breakfast restaurant everyday and ordered this delicious cuisine for breakfast. It was a treasurable memory of mine.

Image from: 上海热线 Shanghai Hotline

No. 5jiuniang yuanzi

Jiuniang Yuanzi–Glutinous Rice Dumpling in Sweet Rice Wine Soup

Although jiuniang is similar to an unfiltered rice wine in that it is mildly alcoholic, it contains whole rice grains and is often made with sweet osmanthus flowers. Yuanzi is a kind of small rice dumpling, but contains no filling.

I enjoy the aroma of sweet osmanthus flower and rice wine with small cutie rice dumplings!

Image from: 阿邦网


shanghai's changeWhy we go nostalgic?

People around my age (born in 1980s) are becoming the mainstay of our society. And I think our generation is very special because we not only have witnessed the amazing changes that information era brought to the whole human beings, but also are enjoying the convenience it brought.

When we were little kids, our city is not that crowded and the cost of living is not that unaffordable. People were living in a simple but happy life. But nowadays, we can only feel the rush of the city life. Therefore, me and my friends are always having a sense of nostalgia though we are enjoying the benefits brought by the information age. So, one of our ways to cherish the memory of the old Shanghai is to explore traditional Shanghai-styled foods.

Can you imagine that the first picture was shot in 1990?

Image from: 遨游网

9 Responses to “Shanghai Young People’s Favorite Foods: Traditional Top 5”

  1. Julian February 15, 2012 at 01:21 #

    I love Xiaolongbao and Sanxian Huntun most! I think they perfectly match each other! I miss the food in Shanghai very much.

    • KellyMiaoMiao February 15, 2012 at 01:23 #

      You can make wonton at home! Let’s try xiaolongbao someday!

  2. Angie February 15, 2012 at 20:43 #

    wow!!!! They all look good to me.
    Would you buy me some if I go to Shanghai?

  3. Claire February 15, 2012 at 22:13 #

    I love the Jiuniang Yuanzi which you made last time!! They were so delicious!! Xiaolongbao is also my favorite!
    Now I wanna go back to Shanghai!!

    • KellyMiaoMiao February 16, 2012 at 05:29 #

      I wanna go back too! But I will also miss here..

  4. Celeste Sinistro April 9, 2012 at 09:38 #

    It’s amazing to see how much the food is different in Shanghai than America. They still stick to eating the traditional foods to pay respect to the older traditions, which is a good value. You seem to have a lot of rice, dumlings, and bun foods. I think that is in interesting fact that the cifantuan is similar to a chipotle burrito. From that first picture you can see how amazing the changes have gotten in the information era.

  5. Mary Sheldon April 9, 2012 at 20:38 #

    You have a lot of great things about food and where to find the best food and drinks, but what about the shopping? What are some of the best places to go shopping or some important attractions you shouldn’t miss?

    • KellyMiaoMiao April 10, 2012 at 07:33 #

      Oh, I definitely need to do a post on that! Thanks for that thoughtful idea! In Shanghai, we have so many places to do shopping and you will love it!

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