The Great Noodle Tour: Shen Jiang Bao

So, there are these little dumplings all over the streets of Shanghai. They are called shen jiang bao, and they are more buns than dumplings. Fried doughy buns filled with juicy pork and fabulous soupy broth. I don’t know the names of any of the places that we ate, because they were just little holes in the wall with lines out the door. They are all over the place.

20150426_032247 Look at those little buns just waiting to get all fried and crunchy.  20150426_032256 Steamer baskets full in the windows of little shops. 20150426_032648 Cover and shake, then let them sit so the bottoms get golden and the juice is searing hot.  20150426_032917 A sprinkling of black sesame seeds and all that it needs ia a quick hit of vinegar.  20150426_033222 AAAH MAAHH GAAAHHH SO GOOD. The dumpling dough absorbs the flavor so much better than thin soup dumpling dough. The bottom is crispy and contrasts with the dough and the juicy pork within. Every dumpling is slightly different – softer, harder, juicier, meatier – but they are all absolutely delicious.  20150428_003503 The restaurants that offer these dumplings are very casual and often run out of them by early afternoon. They are mostly a breakfast or lunch food.  20150428_003505 Find some staff who seems nice and point to what other people are eating to order. That’s what we did.
20150428_003554 These long ones had the best ratio of meat:dough that we experienced in China.  20150428_003557 And this is one of my favorite meals of the trip. It was consistently delicious, fun, and SO CHEAP. 4 of us ate like kings for $5 per meal. Apparently they are available in NYC, but not to the same level of amazing-ness. Shen jiang bao – don’t miss them in Shanghai.

*Quick note: New Taste of the UWS is this weekend. This fabulous event covers 3 separate dining experiences and festivals with celebrity chefs and food from all of the UWS greats. The tickets are pricey but the proceeds all go towards beautifying and generally improving the neighborhood. My choice pick is Best of the West, but these are all winners! Get tickets here. This blurb is not sponsored.*

Comments

  1. I’m a little behind on your posts bc work/life is bananas bonkers right now but popped over and saw this so wanted to read and comment. I don’t care for these BUT I’ve only had them here (including the ones that friends who’ve had the “real deal” ones have said are pretty good), so I will take your advice and withhold further judgment on them until I have them IN China… I am not sure about getting past the thick doughyness of the bun part though!! But I trust you 🙂

    PS I scrolled down a little to see pics of what I haven’t yet read; did you know the GINORMO XLB WITH STRAW… is available in LA?! Zach of Food is the New Rock/Midtown Lunch has been posting about them and I’m all… wtf NYC catch up already.