Street Food in Shanghai

Street food vendors in Shanghai

The popular destination of Shanghai is the largest city in China and lies on the eastern coast at the mouth of the Yangtze River. The historic city began as a port for fishing and textiles, but bloomed into a major financial centre. Part of the fascination of journeying through the streets is tasting the amazing but sometimes weird looking range of foods.

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Cong You Bing

Breakfast in Shanghai usually entails grabbing a quick pancake or pastry on the run. In preparation of the early morning crowds, vendors begin cooking green onion pancakes as early as six in the morning. The pancakes range from the consistency of a typical pancake to a bread like consistency. For a bit of something more you can get the vendors to top the pancake with an egg. You can pick one up for around 1.5 Yuan Renminbi (RMB) or the equivalent of $0.22 cents, bargain huh?! Pancake with an egg is double price, but still doesn’t break the bank.

Tea Eggs

Tea eggs

This Chinese version of the hard boiled egg dates back over 1,000 years, so you are literally eating a piece of history. Cooked in a combination of green tea and soy sauce, the popular snack is everywhere from breakfast stands and convenience stores to small Chinese restaurants. Nutritious and inexpensive, these eggs are not to be confused with the versions containing developing chickens or ducks. Each salty tea egg sells for one RMB or $0.15 American cents.

Hong shan yu

Sweet and soft these baked sweet potatoes are another cheap food sold from the street carts in Shanghai. Sweet potato fans typically find carts located wherever crowds gather. The price of these highly sought after treats varies with potato size, but ranges from 3 to 7 RMB, the American equivalent of $0.45 to $1.05 apiece.

Rou jia mo

This Chinese (Shaanxi) version of a sandwich dates back to 200 B.C. making it the oldest sandwich in the world. The meal consists of a split, steamed bun or a type of flat bread, filled with chopped or shredded cooked meats topped with sliced peppers. Vendors commonly stew beef, pork or lamb for hours with up to 20 different seasonings. Similar to an American sloppy joe, the delightful fast food is practically a meal in itself. The sandwich typically retails for around 6 RMB or approximately $0.90 cents.

Guo tie

Making guo tie (pot stickers)

Commonly referred to as pot stickers, these boiled, deep fried or pan fried dumplings contain cabbage and either ground beef or pork seasoned with garlic, ginger, rice wine and salt. A choice of chilli oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, or a combination of all provide the dipping sauces that often accompany this popular fast food. Vendors typically sell four Guo tie for 4 RMB or $0.60 American cents.

Xun yu

This traditional Chinese entrée features fish which has been deep-fried then boiled in soy sauce and seasoned. Locals eat the fish as a starter with many menu options at multi-course banquets or merely as a snack on the go. The crispy exterior surrounds tender, flaky white meat. Each 500-gram fish sells for around 17 RMB or $2.55.

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