At Culinary Backstreets Shanghai, we’ve already raved about the delicious regional varieties of roast duck – from local Huaiyang birds to the imperial Peking to shāo wèi (烧味), or Cantonese-style. While they each have their own unique breed of deliciousness, we are particular fans of A San’s fusion version. Continue »
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Editor’s note: It’s Breakfast Week here at CB, and to kick off the series, we first head to a street corner in the heart of Shanghai that offers a remarkable variety of breakfast foods. Stay tuned all this week for more morning dispatches from other CB cities. Continue »
The hotpot’s storied history stretches back over a millennium in China. The cooking method originated in Mongolia, where legend has it that warriors used their helmets as makeshift pots, boiling strips of horse and lamb meat over campfires to sustain them as they made their way south to breach the Great Wall. As hotpot cooking proliferated, regional variations took their toll on the meal’s simplicity, earning it the nickname of “Chinese fondue” among some Westerners. Continue »
Shanghai’s farm country is closer than most residents imagine, especially when surrounded by the city’s seemingly endless forest of skyscrapers. But just beyond the spires is a huge, green oasis: Chongming. Somewhat smaller than Hawaii’s Kauai, this island at the mouth of the Yangtze River grows much of the municipality’s food supply. Continue »
Nothing beats an alfresco summer meal in Shanghai, yet it’s not easy to find a Chinese restaurant that offers outdoor seating. While Chinese people prefer to shelter under umbrellas during the hottest months, Shanghai’s sun-worshipping expats flock to patios and terraces – most of them located in Western-style establishments. So the opening last summer of Cantonese restaurant Xin Dau Ji, with its expansive deck outside, complete with fans for open-air breezes, was a very pleasant surprise. Continue »
For a Chinese city as fast-paced and increasingly cosmopolitan as Shanghai, there are surprisingly few late-night dining options that don’t involve ordering from the roving, streetside pushcarts that hawk grilled skewers or fried rice and noodles. Unfortunately, these midnight vendors are not always where you want them to be when you need them most, after 10 beers. Enter Ding Te Le. Continue »
You could walk past the shoddy exterior of Henan Lamian every day without giving it a second glance, but the noodle shop hidden within is worth a double take. In our six years of eating there whenever the craving strikes (and it inevitably does, several times a week), this hole in the wall has become our local mainstay, providing cheap and consistently good noodles around the clock. Continue »