Shanghai boasts at least 2,000 stalls and snack houses selling all kinds of refreshments. Their traditions are often reflected in their street food, be it a simple bowl of noodle soup or a crunchy fritter. To stop at a street corner and dig into a small plate of noodles with soy sauce is an extremely enjoyable experience.
In Shanghai, and other parts of China as well, you are spoilt for choice: there are 300 different kinds of dumplings alone. Pastries, too, are available in at least 200 flavours. There are twisted dough sticks, soy milk, rice balls, fried cakes with green onions, noodles with a variety of toppings, steamed buns and sweet pasty soups.
Shanghai has built a reputation of being a haven for Chinese fast food. While in Shanghai, make sure you do not miss out on these superb snacks.
A dish peculiar to Chinese cuisine, soup buns are bigger than the Xiao Long Bao (steamed buns), and contain soup. They are shaped like chrysanthemums, with thinner dough skins and a lot of stuffing, which include a range of choices from minced pork to crispy prawns, and an assortment of vegetables. But they are flavourful no matter what stuffing you choose. The buns are served hot in the bamboo basket in which they are steamed.
Mashed red beans are used as the main covering for this dumpling delicacy. Filled with sesame seeds, red beans and pork, these dumplings are delicious and refreshing, and are a popular street snack in Shanghai.
Crab cakes are usually crispy and savoury, but this one comes with a Chinese twist. Crab cakes come with a burst of aroma from the herbs used in the Chinese kitchen, not to mention shrimp, sugar, roses and jujube paste. The filling also includes fresh green onions to add that special zest to the crab cake.
Naingao, or New Year Cake, is very famous in China. Shanghai’s streets sell them to eager locals and tourists who relish this cake every time they have a craving for street food. It is a typical southern Chinese dish made with rice and flour strips sliced into pieces and then stir-fried with other ingredients like pork and garlic gravy.
This is a fantastic snack at any time of the day. In Shanghai, though, it is a breakfast favourite. Cong You Bing is a set of crispy layered pancakes speckled with green onions and sometimes cubes of salted pork. It is crispy and crunchy on the outside while being warm and deliciously flaky on the inside.
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