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Yang’s Fried Dumplings – My Shanghai

12 Apr

From the original Wujiang Rd store in February of 2008

When I first came to Shanghai I lived off of the original Wujiang Road – a street famous for street food.  My Chinese classes were a couple of blocks away and going home for lunch I often stopped for mala tang (hot and spicy soup – 麻辣烫) or different types of kabobs or my absolute favorite – Xiao Yang’s fried dumplings (小杨生煎).  I’vc not lived close to there for many years now, but whenever I have visitors I try to bring them back to one of the stores that sell this type of dumpling as the original shop that I went to is now gone – a victim of Shanghai’s rapid urbanization.

Waiting in line at the new location in November of 2010

Sheng jian – the type of soup dumpling (生煎) that is the specialty of this store are different from the steamed soup dumplings (Xiao Long Bao 小笼包) that are also famous in Shanghai.  This is a fried pork dumpling with a crunchy bottom that is sprinkled with sesame seeds and just a little green onion.  The soup inside however is the trick for both types – you have to very carefully suck it out before you pop it in your mouth because the dumplings are really too big to eat in one bite.  They are luscious and steaming and the perfect snack or dinner – or even breakfast.

A perfect example of a well formed shengjian - note the crispy bottom and sesame seeds and green onion on top consumed in March of 2012

Recently I was lucky enough to have guests from Chicago and on our one free day together I started things off with dumplings on the new Wujiang Road, an open, modern shopping mall which is the complete opposite of the original.  Name brands and foreign chains – everything from Vietnamese pho to burgers, but on the second floor of the mall is a familiar sign and a familiar taste.

My Shanghai includes Yang’s dumplings.  Does yours?

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