I was recently in China for three weeks and boy, was that an experience! I started in Hong Kong and flew into Shanghai a few days later, and it was, maybe my favorite city of all (I will probably say that about every place, they were all so freaking great, y’all). While in Shanghai, I got to do a food tour with Eating Adventures and it was just so fun and delicious. Not only did they teach you about local food and drink, they taught you about the city and culture. Our guide, Sisly was AMAZING. I cannot say enough good things about this experience. Let me share some of the yummy highlights with you:
First bite: a Shanghainese specialty called “Xie Ke Huang”, a crab shell pastry. The pastry is ultra light and fluffy and the top is coated with sesame seeds.
In China it is not uncommon to just bring a beer or beverage with you into a restaurant. Our tour guide stopped and picked us up a six pack of Tsingtao Beer – and thus began my love affair with this cheap Chinese beer. I drank it literally with every meal.
Stir Fried Bullfrog on Rice, y’all – this is a local favorite. My first time having bullfrog, and I must say, it was just delicious. I hate to be a cliche, but if you hadn’t told me what this was I would have thought it was chicken. The sauce on it was amazing – I could have eaten cardboard with that sauce on it, just sayin’.
Our next stop is to enjoy the oldest type of wine brewed by the Han people of China. It’s a rice wine, so I am expecting something similar to sake. That was NOT the case. It was extremely dark and sweet. It reminded me more of a dessert wine or a port.
No food tour of Shanghai would be complete without a taste of xiaolongbao. These magical steamed buns are a type of “soup dumpling” and something I could not get enough of.
Longevity Noodles! YUM! I loved this dish. Did you know that in China you eat noodles on your birthday? (And here I thought everyone just had cake!)
We make a stop in the Muslim Quarter of Shanghai for some street food. This is something I also saw in the Muslim Quarter in Xi’an: a flatbread made from sesame seeds, butter, milk, vegetable oil, salt and sugar.
And, we’re in Shanghai, so of course there had to be some Pan Fried Dumplings. At this point, I am unbelievably stuffed, but I just can’t turn down a good dumpling. Sue me, y’all.
You cannot end a food tour without dessert (DUH) and we enjoyed some killer street food for ours. This is a mango cream dessert and I am telling y’all, it was utterly fabulous.