An Introduction to Shanghai Cuisine
In Eastern China, the respected history of the agricultural region of Shanghai has produced many classical cooking traditions that have
survived for thousands of years. Since both wheat and rice are abundantly available in the area, they often accompany an array of vegetables, soy
bean dishes, corn, and barley products. Here, cooking is largely accomplished with the use of peanut oil.
Rice is quite important when preparing Shanghai cuisine, as it is utilized in many different ways. To bring a classic treat to your dinner
table, try approaching rice as a stuffing, which is seen in the recipe of Eight Treasure Rice – consisting of a sweet steamed pudding with
glutinous rice, fruits, bean paste, and nuts.
Shanghai chefs draw upon the natural products found within their surroundings, such as the lotus leaves used to wrap food when cooking
(especially in steamed dishes). Paper-wrapped dishes are quite popular in Eastern China, which often combine chicken, prawns, beef, mushrooms,
and onions. The small packets of cellophane paper are deep-fried in hot oil, which are later opened up using chopsticks.
When preparing a recipe from the Chekiang province (south of the Yangtse), you will encounter vibrant rice and fish dishes. Many meals are
centered on fish, duck, frog, and eel since many ponds, lakes, and streams decorate the land. A classic dish to consider of the region includes
the duck creations of Nanking or the shellfish entrees of Yangchow. Throughout Shanghai, many dishes appear red in color, which is a result of
the dark soy sauce used in their creation.
Many individuals also favor Shanghai cuisine because of their use of sugar, which generates sweetly rich meals with an attractive appearance
and deep flavor. In order to savor the taste and color of Shanghai dishes, a few delicious suggestions are listed below:
Steamed Trout in Black Bean Sauce
Trout is cooked with white pepper, ground ginger, and spring onions and topped with a black bean sauce, light soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Roughly shredded Chinese cabbage is cooked with dried shrimps, winter pickle, ground white pepper, red bean curd cheese, tomato puree, light
soy sauce, butter, and chicken stock.
Wonton Soup with Watercress
With a bunch of watercress, this soup includes minced pork, soy sauce, MSG, sesame oil, sugar, freshly ground white pepper, ground ginger,
chicken stock, salt, Chinese wine (or dry sherry), and ready-made wonton skins.
Paotzu Steamed Buns Stuffed with Crab Meat, Pork and Cabbage
This dish includes minced pork, flaked crabmeat, finely shredded Chinese cabbage, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, finely sliced spring onions,
and finely chopped ginger root.
Bean Curd Soup
When looking for a savory soup to start off a meal, consider this bean curd Shanghai specialty, which is made with chicken stock, dried
Chinese mushrooms, uncooked prawns, canned bamboo shoots, finely sliced cooked pork, root ginger, freshly ground white pepper, finely chopped
spring onion, and sesame oil.
Additional Shanghai cuisine to consider for your next dinner meal includes selections, such as Chicken, Asparagus and Straw Mushroom Soup;
Salt and Pepper Prawns; and Crispy Whole Fish in Shredded Pork and Mushroom Sauce.