Travel Diary: An American in China, 6

June 28, 2010 § 1 Comment

I am off to Shenzhen tomorrow! That means more fun family times and lots of seafood! Gahhhh!

Before we get to all that good stuff, we must first rewind to my last day in Shanghai+a longtime favorite food experience.

So, our train back to Nanjing was at 5 pm. What’d I do before then? Obsessively stalk Facebook, snuggle in that perfectly silken tofu, and of course visit Nanjing Road for some of my favorite street food! Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s most well-known street, crowded all day and every day as people shop and eat.

We started off with some of this good stuff. It’s Wang Lao Ji herbal tea! It’s soooooo good- very herbal, but just enough to handle, very sweet, and very refreshing. This is a favorite paired with hotpot (more on that later), but on this day, it readied us for…

Mini wontons! These were SO GOOD!! With only a teeny tiny scoopful of filling, these wontons were flavorful and generous in number. Imagine my glee once I realized we had ordered the last bowls! Suckers behind us, better luck next time 😛 (Wanna find em? Go to Yunnan Road, just a short walking distance from Nanjing Road, and find a restaurant called Xiao Cao Xing.) Enter at the risk of major belly expansion!

What’s waiting at the end of this insane line?

This. And, oh boy, was that line worth it (although, to be completely honest, my mom might’ve braved it while I fought for seats?)! The deliciousness you see above are fried soup dumplings from Xiao Yang Sheng Jian (Xiao Yang’s Fried Dumplings). Would this make it on my last meal on earth list? You betcha. Take another look:

What an Oh. My. God. moment! A tender meat filling and ample natural sweet soup is encased by a delicate skin with a satisfying crunch. The crunch. Mmmm, I live for that salty crunch. Douse these beauties in some vinegar and it’s heaven on Earth. I have literally waited a whole year to gobble up some of these, but it was so worth it. I don’t hesitate when I say this may be my favorite food goodie in all of China…

Want some? Visit the second floor of the Snack Emporium on Nanjing Road and head straight for where the line is longest. Prepare to bow down to the saviors behind the glass screen.

Back in Nanjing, I was obsessively trying to finish The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell, prequel to Sex and the City. Verdict? I really liked it, but I’m not familiar enough with the series to compare it with the show/book/movie. Such a pretty cover too, no? And look, how fitting… I’m reading it in a yellow taxi!

Okay, so let’s talk about hotpot. It’s definitely one of our favorite things to do/eat in China. Hotpot is fun! First, you pick the base. Our staple is the yin-yang pot- half yummy chicken broth, half super-spicy, literally mouth-numbing spiciness. Then, you make your own sauce and pick your ingredients for the pot.

Hah, that’s only about one-sixth of our ingredients! My personal favorites: potatoes, seaweed, radish, SPAM (don’t judge me), quail eggs, mushrooms and tofu skin. So once all the ingredients arrive, you dump whatever goodies you want into the pot, wait for it to boil, scoop em up, and savor the yumminess! There are other treats that stay out of the pot:

Pumpkin pastries, for one thing! The golden, crispy outer layer gives way to an ooey-gooey, not-too-sweet but satisfyingly pumpkin-flavored paste with a delightful crunch.

Time for bedddddddddddddddddd,



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