In Search of Bao and Dumplings

I do not know much about Shanghainese food.  I’ve just been told it includes a lot of sugar, but I must’ve not eaten any as I didn’t notice that.  I do know they are famous for Shanghai soup dumplings (also known as xiaolongbao) and fried dumplings (jianbao).  I tried to eat as much of these two as I could.  They’re both wheat wrapper encased meat dumplings with lots of soup inside as well.  The correct way, as far as I can tell, to eat them is to take a small bite and drink the scalding tongue burning hot soup out before eating the rest.  Shoving it all in your mouth is

I got there late and they only had pork and crab left. Shucks.

For the soup dumplings, I went to two places.  Din Tai Fung, the famous Taiwanese chain, as always provides a delicious high quality dumpling.  They do have the prices to reflect this.  It is a rather nice restaurant and they have a few locations in Shanghai.  They have many locations all over the world and is worth a delicious visit.

A fuzzy picture of shallow frying dumplings.

For the fried dumplings I bought them wherever I saw them frying on the street.  You can hear/see them everywhere.

Yang's delicious fried dumplings. I had to buy them three times to take a picture because I was too excited and ate them before doing so every time.

My favorite were Yang’s fried dumplings, which apparently have locations all over town.  Locations that the internet could not reveal to me as the original location shut down.  I ended up going to the location across from Jia Jia Tang Bao and the one on top of the Nanjing west metro station. Their dumplings were the perfect texture without being too crispy or thick skinned.

There is a trend of food trucks in LA bringing “street food” in a gourmet fashion.  To me, street food is supposed to be cheap and plentiful, not gourmet and full of lines.  I think that’s something I learned from Asia and I wish we had more dollar taco trucks than fancy fusion food trucks.


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