After the lovely salted herring, yummy black pudding, and a myriad of other tasty things, life has resumed as normal in China. That means my mind has drifted back to dumplings!
A month or two ago, at the tail end of my three weeks soloing it, I went on a dumpling tour in Shanghai. It was basically four hours of eating, strolling, eating, chatting, eating, and on and on. Time well spent!
I’m not sure what it is that makes them so irresistible, but I don’t think I will ever get enough of dumplings. This tour also included some other snacks, which our tour guide Carla happily showered us with for the duration of our feeding frenzy. Starting at 10.30am and not having had breakfast, I was at my happiest.
Our first stop was for some deliciously juicy potstickers (锅贴 – guōtiē, pictured above) from a street side stall. These are pan-fried dumplings as opposed to being steamed or boiled. The filling almost always consists of pork, sometimes mixed with chopped vegetables. They can be seen on many street corners in Shanghai and are best with some vinegar.
Lucky for me the man next door was cooking up some fried egg pancakes (煎饼 – jiānbing), one of my favorite Chinese snacks. This one was particularly tasty.
One stall up again, there was a spicy meat steamed bun (辣肉包子 -làròu bāozi) on offer, which we shared between different people for fear of getting full so early on in the breakfast eating marathon.
We went for a little stroll from here with Carla giving us bits of information about Shanghai and the lane houses in the French Concession. Our next stop was a strip of small family owned places where we started with bamboo steamers filled with two kinds of steamed goodies; the steamed bun better known as soup dumpling (小笼包 – xiăolóngbāo), famous in Shanghai, and a steamed dumpling filled with glutinous rice, mushroom and some pork (烧卖 – shāomai).
Next door we tried some boiled dumplings, this time with a glass of beer! Heck it was almost Saturday afternoon at this stage.
Some more strolling… and then some more eating… now at a small and packed little establishment serving dumpling soup, not to be confused with the earlier devoured soup dumplings. And yes I could still keep it up.
Our last stop was at a Cantonese café for some more dim sum including dessert, consisting of egg tarts, various sweet buns, and my favorite, the rice ball (汤圆 – tāngyuán), a dumpling made of glutinous rice filled with sweet black sesame paste served in a sweet syrupy soup. A perfect ending.
We all rolled out of the café and went our separate ways, as if this was our normal daily breakfast routine.
While I strolled around town, I came across this guy. Believe it or not, I just could not resist some Kashgar naan bread!
What a successful day! Definitely needs repeating.